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Phil: the Man with the Iron Guts

Oh dear....Phil's behavior at the Japanese bar defines "ugly American". What an asshat shouting "Kampai" like it's some sort of joke. I wanted the business men there to kick his ass. I hope his behavior improves as the series goes on.

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He's an odd guy, but I found him to be perfectly charming. Milz, you have a point about the "Kampai" thing, but I'm chalking up to his quirkiness. Loved the show overall. Can't wait to see the episode in Italy.

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I liked it. Phil may seem off-putting, but I like to think the restaurateurs were having fun with him in all his wide-eyed goofiness.

I could never eat still wriggling shrimp. Ack!

I want to go on a food tour of Tokyo now.

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Tutto bene. Phil has redeemed himself. Or Italy has redeemed Phil (it has the power). Maybe it's because I love Italy and could identify everything from the unbelievable taste of the food to sitting on a balcony and telling others to go on without me to meeting a hosting senora who taught me how to make cappuccino (she made the best ever)? This episode made my heart grow dieci meters. And congrats to Nancy Silverton---can't wait for that cookbook!

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I like the show for the most part. Phil looks a heck of a lot like Owen Wilson and and I think he plays that up somewhat. He creeps me out a little. His "That's the best I've ever eaten!" is overkill. The goofiness takes away from the chefs and the food and areas they're trying to profile, but it's still interesting.

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For me, Phil has two major pluses.

He doesn't obnoxiously describe the food and he doesn't talk about the politics of where he is.

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Phil isn't as self-absorbed as Mario Battali, Gwenth Paltrow, Mark Bittman and that Spanish actress were when they drove around Spain talking about themselves, their families, themselves,  and a little bit about Spanish food. (That was the WORST food-travel show E.V.E.R.!) I'll give him that much but his "goofy" persona is grating.

Edited by Milz.
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I am enjoying the show.  Especially the part where he skypes with his parents.  "You ate an ant?  We have ants here." LOL

 

The reunion with him, Monica, their kids and their old friends was very sweet.  My how the daughter looks just like Monica. 

 

I couldn't have eaten the grilled meat that was still so raw in the middle that it was cold.  Good on him for not insulting the hosts and eating what is given to him.

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Tutto bene. Phil has redeemed himself. Or Italy has redeemed Phil (it has the power). Maybe it's because I love Italy and could identify everything from the unbelievable taste of the food to sitting on a balcony and telling others to go on without me to meeting a hosting senora who taught me how to make cappuccino (she made the best ever)? This episode made my heart grow dieci meters. And congrats to Nancy Silverton---can't wait for that cookbook!

Substitute Paris in your post for Italy and that's how I felt about the most recent episode. I stumbled upon this show by accident and when I saw that it had something to do with some guy named Phil in Paris, I recorded it. I have never heard of him before but his wide eyes and effort to be amusing grated on me. But oh my, I am right there with him on the food. As soon as the words "hot chocolate " came out of his mouth I said Angelina's! Yes, the.best.ever! I would have sat down on the curb and sobbed if it had been closed when I visited. I would have tucked in to every single dish he ate. In fact, I have put the names of the restaurants, fromagerie, patisserie, boulangerie that he went to in my travel folder for future trips. Having said that, unless he is visiting a destination I am interested in, I won't watch. And I agree with whimsey98 above ^, it made me nervous to see him "helping" the falafel guys. If I were a customer in line, I would have been pissed to see him slow things down.

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Spunkygal, I think he did a wonderful job in Paris---I'm fortunate enough to have visited many times and agree about Angelina's, also Pierre Hermes patisserie and L'as Falafel! I'm not sure what time he got behind that counter because I didn't see a huge line and that's pretty rare right there. You'll love every one of the places he hit. I think the difference between this and the Italian episode for me is the difference I feel between Paris (which I love and always feel at home in) and anywhere in Italy (which I love and somehow connect with on an even deeper level).

 

Of course, having said all that, I found the Tokyo episode only so-so. It'll be interesting to see if the goodwill he's built up with me over the past two weeks holds when he's in places I don't love.

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I'm really enjoying this show.  I find Phil child-like and hilarious, and I can relate to his interactions with his parents. 

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I don't like the skyping with mom and dad.

It reminds me of the commercials that CNN runs with Mike Rowe and his parents.  Only those are a whole lot better  IMO.

Edited by stormy.
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Phil and I are "of the same tribe", so to speak ;)  So that's why his calls with his parents resonate so much with me.  I'm convinced that we all have the same parents, in fact ;)

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The only reason I would want to go is for those buns with the pork inside, one of the first things he ate.  The rest I could do without.  Let's hope Spain is better.

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I think the reason that Phil's constant wide eyes and gushing about how much he loves whatever he's eating don't bother me is that he is only eating really good food at really good restaurants. If I were eating at those places, I would have the same reaction! What I like is that he seems really sincere about enjoying the good he's eating and he is able to articulate it specifically without going on and on too much. There are people who just say, "It's awesome!" (Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri) and then people who talk way too much about it which makes me feel like they're either overanalyzing it or trying to tell me how much they know about food. Phil strikes a good balance between describing the food briefly but obviously enjoying what he's eating.

 

Now I want to go to Hong Kong simply to ride on their awesome subway!

He was not kidding when he said it's one of the best subway systems in the world. It's clean, quiet, on time, organized, efficient, etc. Every stop has tons of places where you can get food (the bakeries were my favorite) and there are all kinds of shops. Compare that to the dirty, smelly, usually late train system where you often find muggers, masturbators, toenail clippings, and homeless people with BO that you can smell from the other end of the car we have in the San Francisco/Bay Area and the Hong Kong train system is like heaven. Bonus: I didn't have a single bad meal while I was there. We ate everywhere from hole in the wall places to fancy restaurants and everything was delicious.

 

Like the subway, Hong Kong in general is really clean and efficient. Even when there were long lines (like getting your passport stamped to go to Macau), they moved so quickly. I thought I'd be standing in line all day but the line was so fast that I only waited about five minutes. The day that I arrived as I was being driven to my hotel, I was staring out the window and I realized that there wasn't a single piece of trash on the sidewalk, in the gutter, or on the street.

 

Everything he ate in Paris, Italy, and Barcelona made my mouth water. I haven't watched the LA episode yet, but I'm excited to see where he goes. I lived in LA a million years ago so it will be fun to see where he goes (plus I love seeing where people go when they're on their home turf).

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Went to Barcelona and ate at Tickets and Pakta based on what we saw on his Barcelona episode and OH MY GOSH, the food was amazing!  If not for this show we could have really missed out on some eats and that spectacular market.  WOW!

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