Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant critic Craig La Ban wrote a review of Chops a steakhouse
in suburban Bala Cynwyd and now they are suing him for libel. The lawsuit contends that La Ban wrote false information when he wrote
A recent meal, though, was expensive and disappointing, from the soggy and sour chopped salad to a miserably tough and fatty strip steak. The crabcake, though, was excellent."The restaurant owner's lawyers contend
LaBan didn't eat a strip steak, but instead had a "steak sandwich without bread."The Inquirer's lawyers countered with
LaBan's notes and his receipt for the meal, which shows he was charged for steak frites - steak and french fries. They also submitted to the court copies of steak frites recipes from celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray, both of which call for strip steaks.
And the lawyer's for both sides now agree
LaBan ate steak frites, not a steak sandwich without bread. But Rassias [the restaurant's attorney] said it was a rib-eye, not a strip steak.
Okay, La Ban ate a miserably tough and fatty rib-eye steak. Jeeze, let's move on guys.
I'm not sure what is more pathetic. The specter of lawyers haggling over what whether or not what the guy ate was a strip steak, what is or is not the "proper" cut of meat for a steak frites
(since when was there a law that stipulated the ingredients in a dish prepared in a restaurant?)
or the fact that the lawyers for the newspaper cited Rachel Ray as an authority!
Libel suit could reveal a reviewer | Inquirer | 07/03/2007