Now that I’m closing in on 43 years old, I can proclaim that when I grow up I want to be Alton Brown (aka A.B.). He is my hero. When not creating and playing with “Good Eats,” A.B. had the time and resources to tool around our great nation last spring on a 2005 BMW 1200 LT (motorcycle) in an often hilarious month-long search of food found off the beaten path on a show called “Feasting on Asphalt” (F.O.A.).
F.O.A. offers an enthusiastic and skewed look at the burger joints, diners, drive-throughs, pizza parlors, pharmacies — yepharmacies — and sandwich shops that fueled American’s travels during the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. The rules are simple for Mr. Brown and his four companions: (1) there will be no travel on major interstates, (2) there will be no eating at major chain restaurants, (3) if they can’t locate food or lodging, they will fend for themselves via camping, and most importantly, (4) there will be no whining.
His F.O.A. compañeros include Tom Munroe (Producer, Security, Omnivore; 2001 BMW 1150GS), Jean Claude Dhien (Photographer, Motorcyclist Extraordinaire, Role Model; 2006 Triumph Speed Triple), and Michael Clark (Motorcycle Maintenance, Recon, Intelligence, 2001 BMW 1150GS). They are all culled from the staff of Be Square Productions, the team that I think that A.B. might agree elevates “Good Eats” in every measure. They are supported by a truck manned by Mike Clark (Sound Recordist, Mixer, Navigator), Ramon Engle (Cameraman, Protocol, Dairy Enthusiast), and Lamar Owen (Cameraman, Lighting, Wheel Man). One of the most unique, although fleeting, aspects of this show is a sharing of the latitude and longitude of the group’s various stops, ostensibly for us GPS fiends. Very cool. Very A.B.
After all, how can one not like a guy who calls MacGyver his patron saint and gets “…very uptight paying more than $100 for a meal — and that’s two people — because I expect so much of it that it makes me uptight.” Another A.B. witticism: “There are only two kinds of food: good and bad. Also, all of life’s big problems include the words ‘indictment’ or ‘inoperable.’ Everything else is small stuff.”
Almost cool. Somewhat nerdy. My hero.