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 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.