I am currently in second-to-last place at my student newspaper’s office March Madness bracket competition. Not surprising, considering I picked Boston University as my champions (what can I say – I bleed scarlet).
I think I’d fare a little better at The Boston Globe‘s version of the basketball tournament: Munch Madness, their second annual restaurant tournament. Sure, I’d have gone the other way with some match-ups – I’d pick The Friendly Toast over Franklin Cafe, for instance – but I could have predicted such tense battles as Flour beating out UpStairs on the Square (good sticky buns will get you everywhere in life).
The remaining elite eight will be weeded down to one champion by the end of this week – voting ends on April 1, and the winner will be announced on the 4th. Globe critic Devra First tells me the finalists are all highly qualified (she’ll be talking more about this Wednesday on Radio Boston – tune in!). Today’s match-ups include late-night-craving den Franklin Cafe versus your-imaginary-Southern-grandma’s cooking at Hungry Mother. Hungry Mother placed second last year – will this be the year it goes… all… the… way?
Or will Harvard favorite Craigie on Main be the champs – even though they have to make it past the formidable Flour Bakery (remember what I said about sticky buns)? “A Bakery???? C’mon!” the crew at Craigie tweeted indignantly – trash talk is a key part of Munch Madness, in a town where it seems like everyone on the food scene knows each other. Filling out the bracket are such impressive names as Eastern Standard, Ten Tables, Highland Kitchen and last year’s winner, East Coast Grill.
I have to admit that, while completing my bracket on the Globe website, some of my choices were about as uneducated and arbitrary as they were for my actual March Madness bracket. I chose Purdue to win their match because, well, I like chicken (have I mentioned that organized sports deeply confuse me?). In a similar vein, I went with Eastern Standard over East Coast Grill to promote good eating in BU’s neighborhood – in reality, I’ve never eaten at either restaurant. I trust that other Globe readers have better smarts than me, however, so I do plan on immediately making the champion into my next date night. I tried to do the same with the UConn basketball team, but they aren’t returning my calls.