ARLINGTON, Texas — The online reviews are usually positive and glowing for Hurtado Barbecue and its locations in Arlington and Fort Worth. But a social media "beef" after the most recent Texas Rangers game had Houston Astros fans leaving less-than-pleased reviews, even if they've never been to either of the award-winning restaurants.
The official BBQ of the Texas Rangers, Hurtado Barbecue is also in its first full season at Globe Life Field. After a third-in-a-row loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday, Sept. 6, Hurtado's pit boss at the ballpark told owner Brandon Hurtado that Astros fans were exceptionally obnoxious and rude.
"There were people in Astros jerseys walking out in handcuffs. Fights breaking out. People rude to our employees at the stand. So, it was a rough series all around," said Brandon Hurtado said.
So, later that night on X, formerly known as Twitter, Hurtado wrote: "Astros have the worst fan base in any major league sport anywhere. And I used to think the Giants were bad."
"And [it] just created a snowball effect with a lot of really angry people," Hurtado told WFAA.
Angry Astros people who, in addition to responding on social media to the post, began giving him one-star reviews on Yelp and Google. Some of them, he said, mentioning menu items that he doesn't even serve.
But at Hurtado BBQ the next day, the controversy dissolved like melt-in-your mouth brisket.
"For Astros fans, this place is amazing," said DFW area resident and diehard Astros fan Jeremy Glanzer, who was having lunch with his Rangers fan friend and co-worker Steve Bacheller.
"I'm sorry about that in general," Glanzer said of the Astros fans that night. "Because I don't think they're that bad of fans. If you've been to Yankee Stadium it can get a lot worse."
"And here's what I do as a Rangers fan," added Bacheller, as they both enjoyed their Hurtado BBQ lunch. "I pray for the Astros fans. That's just what we do. Right? It's what we do," he joked.
Prayers, for people like Kevin Weatherford, an admittedly proud Astros fan who dined at Hurtado BBQ in Arlington on Thursday as well. But as he began talking, he began searching the Hurtado dining room... for a broom.
"I came all the way to Dallas to come see... a sweep," he said, as he held up the broom.
"I would say there's a balance between being proud... and being maybe... proud," Weatherford said of being an Astros fan.
"I've never had BBQ in Houston, because I'm scared," his Rangers fan friend Juan Mondragon responded.
"You never know what they're having," he joked.
As for the one-star reviews sent to Hurtado out of spite, Weatherford was a bit more kind.
"It's kind of like your pitcher last night," he said to his Texas Rangers fan friends. "A 5 out of a 10."
As for Brandon Hurtado, he wanted to say he doesn't think all Astros fans are bad. He didn't want to leave that impression. In fact, that same night, he was buying drinks for some very well-mannered Astros fans who visited his bar.
"I think there's fans like that in every fan base, unfortunately," he said of the fans who treated his staff badly at Globe Life Field. "But we just haven't seen anything like that this season so far."
A season winding down for the Rangers but just heating up at Hurtado, on the grill, in the smoker and online.
"BBQ is amazing. Hurtado BBQ is unreal," said Glanzer, as he and Bacheller finished their midday meal.
"And if you guys wait another hour, the line's gonna be wrapped around the building," said Bacheller about the popularity of Hurtado BBQ. "You don't get that by a one-star review."