Your Italian restaurant is in Maryland.
You serve Maryland Crab Soup, and that's fine.
You offer Maryland Crab Fries, and you get nasty letters from Pete Ciarrocchi's lawyer.
And now a federal lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philly on Oct. 27, is in the mail to J & P Pizza in Westminster, Md.
In 2007, Chickie's & Pete's Ciarrocchi registered the trademark "Crab Fries," as in seasoned french fries, and he's passionate about defending that trademark. Two years ago, he successfully sued another Maryland restaurant, which had offered to change the spelling to Krabfries.
Sidecar Bar & Grille in the Graduate Hospital area has a dish listed on its menu as "THE APPETIZER FORMALLY KNOWN AS: A dish so controversial, we dare not type its name."
I should note that J & P has eight locations, and the offending "Maryland Crab Fries" is listed on one menu online, dated 2007. Another J & P location's menu lists the more generic "seasoned fries."
J & P's owners did not return a call for comment.