I get it now! I was looking at this thing all wrong, I was expecting something along the lines of the Al Roker vein, I should have known better. This is definitely not one would expect from the Food Network these days. The idea is a sociological look at America through eating, through road foods as it were. Kind of a De Tocqueville/Blue Highways take on these Americas via the search for food and the evolution of the food traditions.
It took me half the damned program tro figure it out too. Tonights episode was the spark. Especially his ruminations in front of the St. Louis Art Museum with the food historian and his time spent in Florence Kansas. The conversations with the waitresses in La Junta Colorado was also a kicker. Since I am reading Blue Highways now, the connection became obvious, the tone of the book is evoked by the long camera shots of the lone highways in Kansas and Colorado. I need to rewatch the other two episodes to see if there were hints in those episodes but I think it just wasn't there, I think AB found his motorcycle legs, as it were in this episode. Very interesting.
I wonder how AB managed to talk the head honchos at the Food Network to go for this. No BAM, no perky lass spouting nonsense, and no plunging cleavages, Hmmm, maybe they have a clue after all. Naaaah.