Fred Pugh, the co-owner of Tony's Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City

Fred Pugh, co-owner of Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City, holds a plaque that designates his restaurant an official location on the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail.

Last June the world tragically lost Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was first and foremost a chef, but more than that, he truly was a lover of food as a concept. He saw it as a path that connected cultures, as a way of understanding others and as a vehicle for traveling the world. He inspired countless numbers of regular folks to get out of their comfort zones and try things that they might never have otherwise.

But no matter what far off corner of the globe Bourdain visited, at heart he was a Jersey boy. Born and raised in Bergen County, in the small town of Leonia, Bourdain’s blunt, unedited opinions were consistently dripping with a gruff, no-nonsense brand of North Jersey charm that at once made him both believable and endearing. And despite having massive success traveling the world on his various TV shows, in 2015 he decided to dedicate an entire episode of his CNN show “Parts Unknown” to his home state. Starting at Hiram’s Roadstand — a much celebrated hot dog stand in Fort Lee — Bourdain meandered southward (and westward) stopping in Asbury Park, Camden, Long Beach Island and Atlantic City.

Tuesday, June 25, has been declared by celebrity chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres “Anthony Bourdain Day.” Ripert and Andres were friends with Bourdain and chose to honor him on what would have been his 63rd birthday. And last week the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail was officially launched with ceremonies at various locations around the state that were featured on the show. The Food Tour recognizes each of the spots that he visited during the “Parts Unknown” episode with an official plaque. For those in Atlantic County looking to honor Bourdain on his special day, we present four Atlantic City-based stops on the Anthony Bourdain Food Tour (and what to order when you get there).

1 Tony’s Baltimore Grill:

Growing up in North Jersey, Bourdain always had a soft spot for Jersey –style Italian and Tony’s Baltimore Grill fits the bill perfectly. A weathered spot that has been open since 1927, like everyone else, Bourdain came here for a beer, some spaghetti and meatballs and a few bites of one of their famous bar pies. Tony’s Baltimore Grill is located at 2800 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to TonysBaltimoreGrill.bigsurfmedia.com

2 Dock’s Oyster House:

An Atlantic City institution, as a seafood lover Bourdain couldn’t resist visiting this landmark for a taste of their world-famous oysters and a stuffed lobster. Following his lead on this order will not steer you wrong. Dock’s Oyster House is located at 2405 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to DocksOysterHouse.com.

3 Knife and Fork Inn:

The sister restaurant to Dock’s Oyster House, the Knife and Fork Inn is easily one of A.C.’s most instantly recognizable restaurants thanks to its German-style architecture. Inside Bourdain discussed the history and future of the city over a tasty plate of pretzel crusted swordfish with lump crab meat. The Knife and Fork Inn is located at 3600 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to KnifeAndForkInn.com.

4 James’ Salt Water Taffy:

The site of last week’s official launch of the Anthony Bordain Food Tour, Bourdain stoped in at James’ Salt Water Taffy despite his well-documented lack of a sweet tooth, noting “I hate sweets, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia.” He, of course, tried a bit of their world-renowned salt water taffy. James’ Salt Water Taffy is located at 1519 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to JamesCandy.com.

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