I’ve spent most of my life eating lunch (and/or dinner) hunched over my desk, fielding e-mails, responding to quick one line messages, answering my phone, and reading copy. When you have a daily live TV show to produce, the clock keeps counting down to airtime whether you’re eating or not! Of those thousands of meals, none are memorable. Not one.
But Hulu’s Eater’s Guide to the World offers up a menu to tempt your tastebuds and broaden your palate.
Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) is our tour guide, narrating our journey through the back woods and big cities. But what makes Eaters Guide different is we’re not following a foodie around with a camera as they eat exotic foods and cheers the locals. Maya is simply setting the table for what we’re about to ingest. And she does it well, from comments on what the food looks like to the abundance of cats in and around Casablanca.
The show instead shows off cultural cuisine through the eyes of local celebrities (that you’ve likely never heard of) and restauranteurs. They’re the ones that really know who to talk to, where to go, and what to order once you get there. Episode one takes us through the Pacific Northwest where seafood is king and dining alone is a thing. Then we’re off to Casablanca. The North African enclave balances very visible religious practices with craft cocktails in bars and heavy metal bands playing late into the night.
Big City, Little Spots
The show does go to foodie Meccas like New York and Los Angeles. But they don’t show us the most unique steakhouse or Japanese-Peruvian fusion spot of the moment. The NYC episode showcases the city after last call, from a food truck under the tracks to an all-night badminton court that’s popular with cabbies to an eatery popular with drag queens after their last show. In LA, we learn what’s best to eat on the hood of your car.
That’s what makes this show standout from other foodie faves: even in big cities, it takes you off the beaten path and explores in a way that makes you feel like a local. The blend of local cuisine and culture is the true recipe for success.
Noshing On Nostalgia
The show was shot before the pandemic. Seeing people eat at the bar or a chef’s counter, chatting up strangers, or sharing food makes me long for the days when we could go out and the only thing at the restaurant that was likely to kill us was a fatty cut of meat. It also made me ready to leave my still-soaked property (thanks, hurricane Eta) and get back on the road. An In & Out Burger by LAX, the best wood fired pizza in Brooklyn, Fish and Chips in London. Eater’s Guide made me ready to hit the road and have a meal where I savor every bite, experience every course, revel in the act of eating.
I’m hungry for more.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
One episode takes us through Costa Rica and shows us the fresh fruits that make their way into craft cocktails. I’m not sure what the bartender was mixing up, but it looked delicious.
Make mine a double.
Bon Appetite and Cheers!