Wednesday’s episode of Food Network “Mystery Diners” was titled, “Hot Meat.” Charles Stiles came to Toms River, New Jersey to meet with Tony Rivoli, who runs an Italian family restaurant called Rivoli’s. The restaurant has been there over 27 years and as Tony described his menu, the dishes looked phenomenal. Charles was summoned by Tony because he had concerns about his meat purveyor. A new purveyor who was very persistent was given a chance by Tony. He told Tony that he could beat his current meat supplier’s prices by ten percent. This did not bother Tony, but each week; the percentage is getting higher and higher. Tony has been in business long enough to know pricing and is fearful that the meat is not coming from a legitimate source and does not want to tarnish their reputation.
Tony was told by Daniel, the private investigator that he would do background checks on all the employees and the meat man and his partner. Charles told Tony that he would put a “Mystery Diner” in the restaurant as part of the wait staff. Tony was a bit insulted because he trusted all of his family employees and those he considered family.
In the control room, Charles had Tony come to watch what went on in the restaurant. Tony pointed out all the people who worked in the restaurant. When Charles told Tony what Daniel found, he showed a photo of his meat man in an orange jumpsuit, he is an ex-con with warrants out for him in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Delaware. He even went to the meat company and found that it was an abandoned building.
Charles then told Tony, that as he suspected, there was nothing to worry about with his staff. As Daniel staked out Eric’s house, a white box truck pulled up and picked up Eric. When Danny, the “Mystery Diner” server tried to ask questions about the meat delivery, the hostess told him to mind his own business.
As they followed the truck, it went to a secluded area and met another truck. The high-powered microphone picked up the conversation and Omar; the other truck driver told them that if he has any more shortages in his deliveries, he will be fired. Then the two guys roughed up Omar, and took the meat from his truck. Next stop was Rivoli’s. Dan called the police and had them meet them when the truck arrived.
Danny the waiter has raised suspicion of the rest of the staff and dropped his microphone. When they all were aware of this, they shouted at him while Tony went down to save Danny’s behind as the meat truck arrived.
Tony led them to the control room where the police were waiting to put them in handcuffs. Tony was grateful to Charles for his honesty and made him a plate of pasta.
Eric and Les are currently awaiting trial and no longer provide meat to any restaurants. The other meat company was notified about the scam, and Omar was fired for his involvement. Tony has rehired his old meat purveyor and is happy to report his prices are consistent thanks to Charles and his staff of “Mystery Diners.”