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Updated Sept. 9
Angelo’s Pizzeria is about to get even more popular. The Italian Market shop has become one of the city’s hottest spots since opening at the beginning of the year, with the menu of made-to-order pies and loaded sandwiches selling out on the regular.
Luckily, owner Danny DiGiampietro is already working on a plan to expand his tiny kitchen, because the restaurant is about to get some national exposure thanks to Action Bronson.
The superstar rapper/artist/producer was in South Philly on Saturday to film an episode of Fuck, That’s Delicious. Along with a few other local spots — likely including Cook and Solomonov’s Israeli cafe K’Far — the Viceland TV show will feature Angelo’s front and center.
“It was so hard not to say anything,” said DiGiampietro, who found out producers had picked his spot about a week ago. “I mean, this is ridiculous. Me? On this show?”
Bronson, born Arian Asllani, had a public falling out with Vice last year. But at the beginning of summer, the media company announced FTD would return with a fourth season this fall.
South Philly native DiGiampietro, whose over-the-top sandwiches attracted Action’s attention last time the rapper performed a concert here, posted a few videos during the shoot.
One showed the bearded musician helping with the daily bake, pulling long seeded rolls from the shop’s giant deck oven. Another showed him graciously receiving a special painting from DiGiampietro’s young daughter Luciana — one that has an inadvertent weed joke built right in.
Wine, pizza and…a ‘tree’
Bronson’s outsize pot habit is well documented. Scenes in FTD regularly fill up with smoke as he and his co-stars — fellow rappers The Alchemist, Mayhem Lauren and Big Body Bes — blaze and puff their way through the show.
“My daughter is really into art. She made him a painting of pizza, wine and a tree,” DiGiampietro said, explaining that Luciana had discovered Action was also a visual artist and wanted to make a gift, so asked her mom what the rapper liked. “My wife explained to her that he likes food, drink and ‘plants.’ So the tree — it’s marijuana.”
The exchange happened on the second floor above Angelo’s, in the same space where chef-painter Brad Spence will host a dinner in late September, where the whole FTD crew was holding court during the shooting.
“Action said he was gonna hang it up in his studio, and personally paint her a picture,” DiGiampietro said about his daughter’s experience with Bam Bam. “I looked like a really cool dad.”
Adding capacity before the show airs
The down-to-earth restaurateur (who would probably cringe at that word) is generally in awe of his own success, though he notes it’s not possible without working 18-hour days.
“This whole thing has been so magical,” DiGiampietro told Billy Penn.
“People say I’m unlucky” — his previous shop in South Jersey was taken under by flooding damage and his new spot in faced numerous construction delays, including a fire that shut it down in the first week — “but this is just my normal life. If my wife ain’t breaking my balls about bills, business is good.”
DiGiampietro, whose wife Lauren is from the family behind South Philly icon Sarcone’s Bakery, promised her he wouldn’t touch the money anymore after getting into some debt with his previous venture. He handed control over to his mother-in-law, “who’s been doing Sarcone’s books for 35 years.”
That’s how he’ll afford to knock down the kitchen’s back wall and expand operations into the former garage space there. “We outgrew this place right away,” he said. “I don’t want to be the guy who sells out,”
Will the additional capacity be added in time to handle the celebrity that comes from being on Fuck, That’s Delicious? Hopefully. The episode will air “some time this winter,” DiGiampietro said.
On Sunday, Action Bronson stopped by CookNSolo’s Rittenhouse cafe K’Far, which also regularly sells out. The FTD star called chef Camille Cogswell’s tahina chocolate chip cookies “quite possibly the best cookie on the face of the earth.”
The rap crew also collaborated on a new sandwich for Angelo’s menu: “The Mayhem,” which is a hot eggplant parm with spinach, roasted red peppers and long hots.