For such offenses as calling chicken eggs "duck eggs" and Yugoslavian pork shoulder "Virginia ham," 14 District restaurants and carry-outs were named yesterday in a city government list of "turth-in-menu" violators.
While some owners and managers of these offending establishments were moving calmly to adjust their menus to their fare or their fare to their menus, several were openly scornful of the crackdown by the District's Environmental Health Administration.
The manager of a Southeast pizza parlor, charged with selling a seven-ounce steak as an eight-ounce steak, protested that health inspectors had weighed the steak on an old scale marked "not for legal trade."
"I felt it was very unfair," said Gladys Hill manager of Star Pizza at 3222 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The scale, which belongs to the restaurant, was at least 10 years old. Hill complained. In any event, she added, "I didn't make the steaks. They weren't cut here. I bought them for eight-ounce steaks."
"We used to have duck eggs, but duck eggs are very hard to find nowadays," lamented a spokesman for Ruby's, a Chinese restaurant at 609 H St. NW. Besides substituting chicken eggs for duck, Ruby's was cited for selling frozen shrimp as fresh, a violation also charged to two other Chinese restaurants in the city.
Lowe's Deli at 1717 K Street NW was cited for 16 separate truth-in-menu infractions. The Lowe's menu advertised as "home made" eight items, ranging from meat loaf to cole slaw, when all were in fact commercial products, according to the Environmental Health Administration report.
Lowe's was also cited for selling non-Kosher corn beef, pastrami and salami as "kosher," and Yugoslavian ham as "Polish Northern Virginia ham."
Other common violations listed in the report were advertising cuts of chopped beef as "ground sirloin" when they were other grades, and making "chicken salad" from turkey. The one restaurant on the list that offered real ground sirloin the Old Stein Pub at 2603 Connecticut Ave. NW, misrepresented it as "chopped tenderloin steak," according to the report.
All the establishments cited were given penalty points on health inspections, and two were briefly closed because of cumulative violations. But the basic penalty for truth-in-menu infractions is simply the embarassment of being included on the list, staff sanitariam Joseph Nuzzi said.
One of the most irate of those cited in the report was Sat-Peter Singh Khalsa, manager and part-owner of the Golden Temple Restaurant at 1521 Connecticut Ave. NW.
The Golden Temple was accused of identifying ice cream made from cow's milk as "goat's milk ice cream." But Khalsa complained that the Environmental Health Administration itself had ordered him to stop selling the goat's milk product.
"Ice cream" must be made from cow's milk, according to a literal interpretation of the D.C. health code. The code says that milk has to be a key ingredient and elsewhere defines milk as "the lactal secretion obtained from the complete milking of cows."
"Those sons of guns . . . It's ridiculous!" said Khalsa, who has been waging an 18-month battle with city health officials for official permission to sell Honey Goat Ice Cream, a pennsylvania product Khalsa calls "the best ice cream in the world."
Also named in the report on the truth-in-menue violations were in China Palace at 3204 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Down Under, Inc at 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, the Dutch Treat at 1710 L St. NW, Emerson's at 7820 Eastern Ave. NW, the Ranchette Carryout at 826 18th St. NW, Quicky Food at 1128 18th St. NW, the Wah Pe at 3835 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the Wah Sing at 2521 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, and 1789, Inc. at 1226 36th St. NW.