Synopsis: Bourdain treks around Detroit, exploring what is left of a city that was once at the forefront of American innovation and industrial production. Bourdain explores the ruins of the Packard Automotive Plant, visits a fire hall where the firemen double as gourmet chefs, and eats homemade Salvadoran pupusas, all while contemplating the possibilities of the city’s future.

On Detroit’s past:

“It’s where nearly everything American and great came from. The things the whole world wanted were made here.”

On abandoned industry:

“It’s hard to look away from the ruin, to not find beauty in the decay. Yet unlike Angkor [Wat] and Leptis Magna, people still live here. We forget that.”

On the resilience of native Detroiters:

“Detroit has a reputation as a tough town, but that toughness is about resilience, too—the insistence on sticking with it no matter what, on not giving up in the face of the utter failure of leadership year after year.”

Guests weigh in:

Bourdain: “You have, like, a really weird attitude towards food in general.”
Charlie LeDuff (journalist): “Yeah.”
Craig Lieckfelt (chef): “What’s that?”
LeDuff: “You know, you got liquor, you got cigarettes, you got coffee.”

Bourdain: “Why did you never run for office?”

Adolph Mongo (political strategist): “You got to be crazy. You know what? They don’t want straightforward politicians. They don’t last. You got to be real cold-blooded. Being an elected official is like working for the drug cartel. You can’t give anybody any mercy.”