Restaurant News

Anthony Bourdain's Spring Break Plans, Food Wars Flops, and This Week's Must-See Shows, in "TV Dinner"

OMG! Spring breaaaaaaaaak! Quick, pull out anything Abercrombie, Hollister, or Forever 21 and get your ass down to Dos Gringos Tempe Trailer Park for Jägerbombs, now. And don't worry about Anthony Bourdain. He'll just be in China for the fourth time, eating, suffering through cold temperatures, eating again, yelling at his production assistant to bring him hot coffee and rub his feet, more eating -- all on the Travel Channel's dime and all to bring you quality TV programming as Tony's frequent flier miles skyrocket.

After the jump, this week's must-see food show listings and last week's TV roundup.

What to Watch:

Last week, Food Wars debuted on The Travel Channel and, apart from a few tweaks -- like firing the writer and sound guy, cutting the run time in half, and secretly dropping "you care" pills in the drinking water of everyone who's not living on the "battleground" -- it's shaping up to be the perfect program to pimp TC's next artistic endeavor, America's Worst Driver.

In other news, Robert Irvine visits the Valley on Dinner: Impossible, Brian Boitano makes a meal for Kristi Yamaguchi and her family on What Would Brain Boitano Make?, Martha's got Colin (remember me?) Quinn helping out with a seafood stew, and in the category of "really?" Tastiest Places to Chowdown is featuring a restaurant that serves a five-pound burrito.

Here's the schedule. Be careful.

Monday (March 15) Ultimate Cake Off: "Monster Mash." Cakes are created for a monster truck competition. 9 p.m., TLC

Unwrapped: "Citrus Sensations." The making of citrusy treats, including Lemonheads candy, RealLemon lemon juice, Tostitos lime tortilla chips, and Dreyer's frozen lime bars. 9 p.m. Food Network

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Harbin, China." Tony takes his fourth trip to China. This time he visits Harbin, a city in the northeast formerly known as Manchuria. While there, he dines on stews, vegetables, and dumplings influenced by Korean and Russian cuisines. 10 p.m., Travel Channel

Tuesday (March 16)

Food Wars: "Kansas Fried Chicken War." Rival fried-chicken joints in Pittsburg, Kansas are visited. 10 p.m., Travel Channel

Tastiest Places to Chowdown: "Massive Meals." The Top 10 places to eat big in America are spotlighted, including a San Jose taqueria that serves a 5-pound burrito. 11:30 p.m., Travel Channel

Wednesday (March 17)

Martha Stewart Show: "St. Patrick's Day Show." A St. Patrick's Day show features a seafood stew with comedian Colin Quinn, recipes for Irish bacon and cabbage, and griddle scones with chef Darina Allen. 9 a.m. Channel 15, ABC.

Throwdown With Bobby Flay: "Stuffed French Toast." Stuffed French toast is made in a challenge at La Isla Restaurant, a popular brunch spot in Hoboken, New Jersey. 9 p.m., Food Network

(*Arizona Focus!) Dinner: Impossible: "Iron Obstacles." Robert Irvine arrives at the Ironman Arizona to compete in his own culinary triathlon, featuring three challenges in one mission. 10 p.m., Food Network

Thursday (March 18)

Modern Marvels: "Hot and Spicy." Spices and hot ingredients are examined. Included: the making of Tabasco sauce in Louisiana, the McCormick spice company in Baltimore, a chili cook-off in Mississippi, the bhut jolokia chili (called the hottest pepper in the world), and the making of horseradish, wasabi and mustard. Also, a trip to Michael Jordan's Connecticut restaurant, SolToro Tequila Grill. 8 p.m., History Channel

Food Tech: "All You Can Eat." Buffet items are explored. Included: a trip to Las Vegas, shrimp fishing off the coast of Florida, and a tour of a sugar-cane farm in Hawaii. Also: horseradish in Wisconsin, and honey for glazed ham in California. 9 p.m., History Channel

Friday (March 19)

Martha Stewart Show: "Cooking With Toni Collette." A recipe for grilled arctic char and wheat berry salad with Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"). 9 a.m. Channel 15, ABC. Kitchen Nightmares: "Mama Rita's." Chef Ramsay visits Mama Rita's, a Mexican eatery in Newbury Park, California, and he uncovers a disorganized kitchen resulting from inefficient leadership. The owner learns she may have to sacrifice a friendship in order to save her business. 8 p.m., Channel 10, FOX

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: "Totally Unexpected." Food Network stars recall some foods that surprised them, including deep-fried candy bars, prosciutto ice cream, and guacamole with sage, bacon and blue cheese. 10 p.m., Food Network

Saturday (March 20) 30-Minute Meals: "Southern Nights." Greens and andouille, spicy snapper and corn cakes with honey complete a Southern meal. 10 a.m., Food Network

Down Home With the Neelys: "Neelys Takeout." Preparing takeout favorites at home, including pulled-pork-barbecue egg rolls, broccoli-and-chicken stir fry, pineapple fried rice, and fortune-cookie sundaes. 11 a.m., Food Network

Giada at Home: "Aloha L.A." Hawaiian dishes are made for an island-inspired backyard bash. 1 p.m., Food Network Barefoot Contessa: "Outdoor Entertaining." On the menu: capellini with tomatoes and basil, smoked-salmon sandwiches, and oatmeal cookies with raisins and pecans. 1:30 p.m., Food Network

Sunday (March 21)

What Would Brian Boitano Make?: "Kristi Comes to Dinner." Brian prepares a Mexican meal for fellow figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her family. On the menu: open-faced quesadillas, carne asada tacos with green salsa, grilled-corn-and-bean salad, horchata rice pudding, and watermelon margaritas. 1 p.m., Food Network

Ultimate Recipe Showdown: "Party Foods." Four amateur chefs prepare their winning party dishes, including chicken-cordon-bleu roll-ups and plantain-and-shrimp party boats. 9 p.m., Food Network

Iron Chef America: "Cora vs. Ballesteros." Mexican-born chef Julieta Ballesteros battles Cat Cora in Kitchen Stadium. 10 p.m., Food Network

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld