on the range

Austin Stars in 'No Reservations' Final Season Opener

Anthony Bourdain visits Hipster Apocalypse of SXSW 2012

By Virginia B. Wood, 9:27AM, Mon. Sep. 3, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Daniel Vaughn in a Famous Local Line

Globe-trotting chef and aging hipster Anthony Bourdain kicks off the final season of his culinary travelogue by dining out with local bands and standing in line for famous local barbecue during South by Southwest 2012.

After speaking at South by Southwest Interactive in March, Bourdain and his Travel Channel crew partied with some featured bands at their favorite haunts. That meant sharing elegant small plates at Barley Swine with Ume lead singer Lauren Larson, getting a new tattoo from Sleigh Bells guitarist Jason Boyer at a backyard pig roast and crawfish boil, and learning why Austin is called "Velvet Rut" from Alejandro Escovedo over plates of mole enchiladas and cabrito at El Azteca.

Bourdain and Beef Ribs at J Mueller

Bourdain also found time to stand in line for barbeque at both Franklin's and JMueller's with Full Gospel Barbecue blogger Daniel Vaughn, who's writing a book on Texas barbecue for Bourdain's signature imprint at Ecco Books this year. Tony swooned over the legendary brisket at Franklin's and marveled at John Mueller's black-pepper-crusted beef short ribs. The food shots from those segments are so good you can almost smell the smoke. All in all, this episode makes for an interesting insider-style take on the Austin food scene, but watching the 50-something Bourdain get a tattoo and shoot beers with kids half his age struck me as sorta pitiful.

No Reservations: Austin debuts tonight (Sept. 3) at 9pm, 8pm Central, on the Travel Channel.

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