Anthony Bourdain has proven, once again, that he's a man of the people -- this time by falling in love with the residents, food and small towns of West Texas.
The final season of "Parts Unknown" with the late television host Bourdain, who died earlier this year, is currently airing on CNN. In Sunday's episode, Bourdain took a visit to Far West Texas. He visits the United States-Mexico border and talks with locals about President Donald Trump's promise to build a wall. He talks with a musician in Presidio and rides horses with ranchers. He drinks a beer at the Lost Horse Saloon in Marfa, where the eye-patched owner of the bar tells him, "sometimes dogs come in without their owners."
"West Texas and Big bend, this area. Are you the platonic idea of the Texan?" Bourdain asks. "The American hero, low rider on a horse, big empty spaces, Mexican music, Mexican food..."
Ty Mitchell, the bar owner who looks as rugged as the saloon itself, certainly looks like the platonic ideal of the Texan. He's a cowboy-turned-saloon owner, which he says is "every cowboy's dream." As Bourdain talks with Mitchell, he seems to adopt his own Texas twang. It's hard not to, when you're in the element. You know you're around real Texans when you start to drawl.
"It's still where the punchiest cowboys in the United States are. It don't get no rougher," Mitchell says.
It's also where you can find some of the best gas station tacos in Texas. You read that right - gas station tacos.
Bourdain visits a Stripes gas stations, which Texans -- especially South Texas -- will recognize as the holy grail of gas station food, otherwise known as the home of Laredo Taco Company.
Would you get tacos at a gas station?#Bourdain fueled up at an unlikely place in Far West Texas. All-new#PartsUnknown, Sunday at 9p ET/PT on@CNNpic.twitter.com/HHwqo6LBVt— Parts Unknown (@PartsUnknownCNN)October 21, 2018
The final portion of the episode shows Bourdain on a trip through Big Bend along the Rio Grande, having a picnic and throwing a frisbee. Bourdain, who was an outspoken critic of Trump, talks with his guides about the river and cliffs that separate the U.S. from Mexico and waxes poetic on the "failure" of the president's border wall plans.
"I’ve been to a few places where they do have a wall. Few things are uglier or are more an indication of an utter failure of otherwise smart people to figure s*** out."
As the number of remaining episodes of Bourdain's final season gets lower and lower, there's one thing that never wanes: his passion for storytelling, for getting to know the people in every community he visited, for constantly being curious about every aspect of humanity - the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the episode, he tells his guides, "Thank you for showing me this ludicrously amazing, beautiful place."
Watch clips from the episode and find more information here.