“My phone is ringing off the hook, I keep hearing Keith Lee?” Jonathan Evola said.
DALLAS — Jonathan Evola has cooked for decades, but Friday morning, something happened for the first time in his career.
Evola, who owns Seasoned Street Food with his wife, Aimee, got a phone call from an angry stranger. The man on the other end of the phone called him a crooked, lying thief.
“That was the first call of the day. And it was 350 of those calls throughout the day,” he told WFAA.
One after the other, furious people threatening to destroy his life and catering company kept calling. Evola ran to Aimee, beyond confused.
“I said, ‘Aimee, something’s up. My phone is ringing off the hook, I keep hearing Keith Lee?'” Evola said.
Keith Lee, Aimee explained to her husband, is a famous TikTok food critic who recently visited Dallas. While Lee was here, he stopped at a food truck, which later went viral after its owner was accused of misappropriating a big tip left by Lee.
That food truck is not at all associated with the Evola’s business, “Seasoned Street Food,” but does have a slightly similar name. Angry people on the internet, Aimee realized, confused the two businesses. And they would not stop harassing her husband.
“[People] from all around the world, I’m talking about the Virgin Islands, Caribbean Dubai, Europe UK, Australia,” Evola and his wife explained.
All those people then started posting negative Google reviews, quickly dropping Seasoned Street Food’s rating from five stars to three.
“We had to shut down the website,” Aimee said.
“On my voicemail I clarify who we are not,” Jonathan Evola added.
On Saturday, the Evolas worked for 14 hours, giving away free food to anyone who would take it just to explain.
“Keith Lee was not here, and we are not affiliated with the controversy,” Evola said.
The Evolas told WFAA they are grateful for several people with TikTok platforms who have helped spread the word that their business is not the one involved in the controversy. They also praised several local businesses who helped donate supplies and ingredients for their event on Saturday.
Since then, they told WFAA, their Google reviews have started to bounce back.
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