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.”