Making the Big Time: Two Eastie Restaurants Featured on Television

May 24, 2012
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Food Network host Guy Fieri with Angela’s Café owner Louis Garcia and Rino’s owner Tony Di-Censo. Rino’s was the first East Boston restaurant to be featured on Triple Ds.

Guy Fieri and the crew from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives (Triple Ds) were back in East Boston last week filming at two popular restaurants in the neighborhood. In 2010, Fieri made Rino’s Place on Saratoga Street a national sensation by featuring chef and owner Tony DiCenso on the widely successful show. Overnight Rino’s became a landmark with Triple Ds’ fans from all over the country making the pilgrimage to try DiCenso’s homemade lobster raviolis.

On Friday, Fieri and company spent the morning at Italian Express on Sumner Street. There, Fieri was met by Mayor Thomas Menino who gave the Food Network host a tour of the neighborhood. The two were spotted driving around Eastie in Fieri’s trademark red 1967 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible.

“The Mayor is a rock star, he’s the coolest guy,” Fieri told the East Boston Times about Boston’s longest serving mayor.

Inside Italian Express, Fieri met owners Jim Ianuzzi and Jonathan Harker and sampled some of the restaurants signature dishes. Menino endorsed Italian Express’s Eggplant Menino (eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with tomato sauce). The endorsement by the Mayor was reportedly filmed for the show.

Triple Ds also featured Italian Express’s pizza as the restaurant’s signature staple.

“We want to thank all our customers, friends and family,” said Ianuzzi and Harker. “This would not have been possible without your love and support.”

The film crew for the show then headed up to Angela’s Café on the corner of Lexington and Brooks Streets where residents had a front row seat to filming. All afternoon Friday, people who lived in the houses around Angela’s sat in their windows and watched as Fieri did his thing.

“We are here in East Boston and when you think of this neighborhood you think Italian but we are here to try some real homemade Mexican,” Fieri could be heard saying outside Angela’s.

Inside Angela’s, Fieri feasted on the restaurant’s signature Mole Poblano, Pepian Rojo and some of the Mexican breakfast dishes.

“He was impressed by how quickly my mother (Angela) made the homemade tortillas,” said owner Louis Garcia. “He was also amazed by the Pepian Rojo and how we use cactus as a main ingredient in the dish.”

Later DiCenso joined Fieri and Garcia at Angela’s to give his stamp of approval and might make a cameo on the upcoming segment.

After shooting wrapped Fieri headed down to Rino’s, the first Eastie restaurant featured on Triple Ds, and had dinner with the crew. The homemade lobster raviolis that made DiCenso a household name were certainly on the table.