We’re not a food blog, but that doesn’t stop us from appreciating the late Anthony Bourdain, who explored food with the love and care few manage to pull off. Bourdain tragically died last week in France, but hopefully his influence lives on. If you ever feel like you need help, don’t hesitate to utilize resources like Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Last week, we shared the story about Jim Boeheim’s restaurant choice during an NBA Finals trip to Cleveland with some fans, and John suggested that we needed an offseason food blog from him. As you can see, @TrillGunderson came up with the perfect name for the blog with the suggestion “Parts Unzoned,” an ode to Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”
Syracuse Orange fans aren’t surprised by Jim’s fondness for Italian restaurants or dishing on local cuisine. Remember what he said this after the last Big East game at the Providence Friars about Syracuse’s impending move to the ACC
“Every one of these games is a little bit of sadness for me. I know where all the good restaurants are now, and now I’ve got to go down to Clemson, S.C. I’m sure there’s a couple of Denny’s down there. They’ll like me a lot now in Clemson. I like to make friends before I get down there.”
It wasn’t just a one-time thing as Jim really got a lot of mileage out of the Denny’s line in 2013.
Pitino said he saw Jim Boeheim at a nice restaurant on Tuesday and Boeheim said, "next year we'll be eating at Denny's."— Jody Demling (@jdemling) March 15, 2013
Unfortunately all those mentions didn’t lead to a sponsorship deal with Denny’s. Perhaps they are just waiting to make a switch to become Ristorante Denny’s before making the commitment. Even though this review isn’t pertaining to an Italian restaurant, we can use it to demonstrate Jim’s previous televised work around food to help pitch this new show.
Now with the ACC Network preparing to launch, there is going to be a need for new and original content. This is where “Parts Unzoned” comes in. We won’t suggest that Jim’s going to go out of his way to find the best local cuisine on his visits, but he’s going to specialize in finding the best Italian food in every ACC city just as he did during the Summer Olympics in Rio
“I’ve been out for dinner once, and it was good. An Italian place. The restaurants in Rio are pretty much either seafood or steak. I’ve been to Brazilian steak houses and they bring you 26 different kinds of meat, but I don’t like 18 of them. So the Italian was good.”
Haters will say this is too niche, but you’d be better informed if you knew where to get the best Italian meal in Raleigh. You know you wouldn’t want to have to resort to Carolina barbecue at least until Dinosaur opens up a Triangle location, so let Jim steer you to a meal fit for a Syracuse fan.
Picture it in each city:
Jim: “We’re here in [CITY X], trying out the best meal in town. Today, I’m at local favorite [RESTAURANT], trying out their [note: probably not famous] chicken parm!”
Owner: “Sir, we’re a Greek restaurant.”
Jim: “So why don’t you walk me through how you make this chicken parm? Where’d you get the recipe? What goes into the sauce?”
Owner: “We don’t make chicken parm, sir.”
Jim: “You don’t make Chicken parm? This is the worst Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to. Might as well be Denny’s...”
This would probably work pretty well for all 14 of the other cities, no? Or he’d just take you to Delmonico’s every week.
Besides, are you telling me you’d rather watch another hour of “Mini Golf with Dabo” or “Taking Charges with John Scheyer”? Yeah that’s what we thought...