Albert S. Watkins
, the attorney representing local food truck Mangia Mobile
, the only thing more delicious than his client's toasted ravioli is a media circus
(with him as ringmaster, of course).
And that's what he's openly trying to create around the lawsuit that longtime South Grand restaurant Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Blvd; 314-664-8585)
has filed against Mangia Mobile for alleged trademark infringement.
On Tuesday, Watkins suggested a public "smackdown," wherein each eatery's toasted ravioli -- the only dish common to both menus -- would submit to a taste-off and be judged either by (1) a single taster, (2) a jury of folks unfamiliar with either establishment, or (3) a blue ribbon panel of local chefs.
It's a "ridiculous challenge," says Mangia Italiano's attorney, Paul A. Madduck
, in a "one-time response" to Watkins "tauntings":
If the Food Truck valued the name like my client does, it would never leave to chance its valuable rights based upon the subjective nature of some unknown taste buds....Every school child knows not to copy his neighbor's work. If the Daakes [the sibling owners of Mangia Mobile] truly want to make 'Mamma Leone' proud [their grandmother, who inspired their cuisine], they will build their own unique name and reputation on their own.
Mangia is offering to dismiss its lawsuit if the food truck gets rid of the word "Mangia."
The Daake siblings, in turn, are offering to add one of their first names to their business name, making it "Catherine's Mangia Mobile."
Neither side is satisfied.
Read the food truck's statement
here, and the restaurant's full response here