Angelo’s, Mike’s BBQ says they didn’t refuse to serve the Houston Astros before Game 3 against the Phillies
Philidelphians gave the Houston Astros a lot of work while they were in town for the World Series, but denying them dinner?
Two South Philadelphia restaurateurs — Danny DiGiampietro of Angelo’s Pizzeria and Mike Strauss of Mike’s BBQ — are fuming over reports that they disparaged the Astros by refusing to serve the opposing team’s meals at Citizens Bank Park.
NBC Sports Philadelphia retracted much of its report Wednesday afternoon after it became clear it was overstated. A spokesman said the article had been updated “to reflect the restaurant’s comments”.
Review sites Google and Yelp were also bombarded with negative reviews following the report, which was picked up by other news outlets such as the New York Post and Barstool Sports.
DiGiampietro at Angelo’s and Strauss at Mike’s said they had good reasons not to serve the Astros: Angelo’s would be closed during the desired late-night delivery time, and Mike’s serves barbecue, not the sought-after “Latin food.”
What apparently inspired the article was DiGiampietro’s Instagram story on Tuesday in which he said he would not be giving away pizzas to the Astros after Wednesday’s game. DiGiampietro, however, did not mention the timing issue on Instagram, where he has almost 95,000 followers.
But, as he later told on the phone, on weekdays he starts before dawn, and his shop closes at 7 pm “or when we run out” – which happens often.
“I had a very nice conversation with [a representative of] Astros,” he said. “I told her there’s no way I could deliver 10 pizzas at 10:30, 11 at night.” Further complicating the situation, DiGiampietro had tickets to Wednesday’s game and couldn’t be in two places at once.
So it was forbidden.
When he said on his expired Instagram story that he would not honor the Astros’ request, he said he received direct messages from people accusing him of “starving the Astros.”
Not that DiGiampietro has it for opposing teams. “Hey – I just did a 180 [meals] for [Pittsburgh] Steelers,” he said.
But DiGiampietro’s explanation never made it into the article, published Tuesday. DiGiampietro said reporter Adam Hermann never spoke to him.
Meanwhile at Mike’s Grill, Strauss said the Astros requested four orders of “Latin food.” Mike’s doesn’t serve Latin food — just American barbecue, he told the Astros.
Strauss, realizing his shop’s concept was incorrectly listed on a list of restaurants provided to the team, posted a text exchange with an Astros representative. Strauss added, “I’m not going to feed them…lol.”
Strauss said he never spoke to a reporter before the NBC Sports story was published.
Both anecdotes were tucked into Hermann’s story titled “Philly BBQ, pizza place shuts down Astros’ World Series catering request: Philadelphia isn’t making it easy for Astros to deliver food.” He included the line: “Hilarious, they’re having a hard time because the people behind some of the best food in this town put sports loyalty above money.”
But they didn’t.
After The Inquirer contacted NBC Sports Philadelphia, the article was edited Wednesday afternoon to read: “Hilarious, on Tuesday night it looked like they were having a hard time finding a proper meal after the game.”
The hospitality business is a competitive game. Scott Calhoun, owner of the Ember & Ash restaurant in South Philadelphia, said, “I don’t know of any business, especially at this point in time, that would turn down an opportunity like that.”
This week, without any fanfare on social media, Ember & Ash filled an order including steak, chicken, chicken wings, burgers, pasta, crisps and salad for 50 people hosted by the Astros.
“We’d like to think we fed them so well we lulled them into a coma last night,” Calhoun said of the Phillies’ 7-0 win over the Astros on Tuesday.
But seriously, “our fire suppression system went out on Saturday, and that cost us about $2,000 to fix and clean up,” Calhoun said. “That money came in handy.”
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