Whenever Andrew Zimmern is in Boston, he always makes time for a quick picnic in the North End.
The "Bizarre Foods" host was back in town over the summer to film episodes for "The Zimmern List," which premieres March 13 on the Travel Channel. The new series is "a very personal show" for Zimmern, giving viewers a peek at the places he loves to visit across the country.
When he wasn't busy stopping by Fenway Park and catching up with his local culinary pals like Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, Zimmern found room in his schedule to swing by his favorite Italian deli during his latest trip to the Hub. The food star, who used to live in Boston, tells Metro that he has a ritual of visiting the North End shop whenever he travels to the city.
"Every time I'm in Boston – and I mean every time, without fail – I go to Salumeria Italiana in the North End," Zimmern says. "I buy a third of a pound of this, a quarter of a pound of that, and I make a picnic for myself."
Whether he's by himself or with friends and family, Zimmern always takes his cache of treats to the same spot for a nice picnic.
"I head down the street and away from the big crowds and I sit in that little park across from Paul Revere's house," he says. "People forget there are two picnic tables there, and I have a little picnic."
"It's the best way to taste, because I can get meat and cheese at Salumeria Italiana, I can get bread from my favorite bakery, I can get my cannoli from Maria's," Zimmern adds. "I've got the picnic of my dreams. I get to wander the North End shopping and then I don't have to carry so much around because I'm eating it."
In addition to his love for the North End, Zimmern has a special place in his heart for the city as a whole and all the great food that it has to offer.
"Boston is one of my favorite cities," Zimmern says. "I just adore everything about it and the food scene is really, really great."