The best pizza joint in town — I’m biased by the Cajun Executioner — is coming up with a new name for its boudin pizza after being slapped with a cease-and-desist letter from a law firm representing a Baton Rouge restaurant that somehow managed to trademark “boudin pizza.” Baton Rouge, as in “not in Cajun Country where boudin originated.”
Dean-O’s owner Tim Metcalf says he was stunned when he read the letter. “Shock, anger, dismay — I couldn’t believe that could be done,” Metcalf admits. “What’s to stop me from trademarking “pepperoni pizza” and calling Papa John’s and Pizza Hut and Dominos and say, ‘Hey, quit it or pay me,’ you know? It’s so generic I didn’t think it was possible, but it’s done.”
Dean-O’s isn’t a lemonade stand, but Metcalf quickly made something sweet out his legal lemon, putting the word out on Facebook and soliciting ideas from patrons for a new name for his boudin pizza. As of this writing the responses have eclipsed 600.
“I thought I was gonna get 10 or 15 [suggestions],” he says. “There are some great ones. It’s going to take me a day or two to digest them and choose the winner. People in Acadiana are amazing. I can’t believe it.”
Metcalf will spend the better part of this afternoon going through the suggestions — The Boudi-licious is my personal fave and Metcalf admits it’s high on his list, too — before settling on the winner. Whoever submitted what becomes the winning name will, as Metcalf notes on the pizzeria’s Facebook page, have some kind of treat coming his or her way: “... if you win ‘I’ll hook you up’!!,” reads the status update. He plans to settle on a new name for the pizza today and announce it Tuesday.
Sure enough, Pastime Restaurant's Boudin Pizza is trademarked!
Metcalf didn’t want to disclose the name of the repugnant Red Stick restaurant, but a quick search of the googles reveals it to be the Pastime Restaurant, a venerable establishment popular with LSU fans in the shadow of the I-10 overpass between downtown BR and campus at the corner of Nicholson Drive.
The pizza merchant says he didn’t really entertain the idea of challenging the trademark — Baton Rouge and Lafayette are different markets and, as he points out, boudin is a generic term akin to pepperoni and sausage — mainly because of the expense he would incur. “I don’t think the money’s worth it. We’ll change it and make it cute,” he says. “I thought about challenging them to a cook-off: may the best man win for the name. In honesty I don’t think they would take me up on it. I would even go to Baton Rouge and let them judge it there — I’ll go to their home court.”
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.