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Munch Madness 2011 (Boston.com)

Gabatta Mar 21, 2011 09:13 AM


Somewhat fun and interesting.

  1. k
    kimfair1 Mar 23, 2011 11:46 AM

    I can't believe Stella beat Bergamot in round one. I know Stella has its fans here, but the one time I went, I had one of the worst meals I've ever been served in Boston (pounded veal in the worst red sauce I've ever had the misfortune of eating, the only good thing was there was hardly any of it on the dish). They also have the singularly most uncomfortable chairs I've had the misfortune of sitting in any establishment I've ever dined in. Blech! Of course the first comment I see under the brackets today is pro-Stella "Big portions of good food." Ah, I see, the portion size is soooo more important than quality food. I'll take smaller portions of excellent food any day, but then again this isn't a Chowhound game.

    I had one of my favorite meals of the year at Bergamot last year, even though it was miserably hot in the restaurant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kimfair1
      yumyum Mar 23, 2011 11:51 AM

      Agreed. Some of the picks were pretty random. Friendly Toast beat out Journeyman. Huh.

      The Friendly Toast
      1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

      1. re: yumyum
        kimfair1 Mar 23, 2011 11:59 AM

        At the risk of sounding even more of a food snob than I already am, I think the winners of some of them would be different if it were Chowhounders voting instead of the general public. I told my buddy at work today that Vinny Testas would win against a good restaurant because you could get 10 pounds of crap pasta for $10.

        1. re: kimfair1
          Alcachofa Mar 23, 2011 12:15 PM

          Right. Stella has a very solid B&T-crowd following. I am guessing most of them have never even heard of Bergamot.

    2. c
      csammy Mar 22, 2011 12:25 PM

      Some omissions!
      No Michael Schlow restaurants: Tico, Radius, Via Matta?
      No China town restaurants?
      No Columbus Group restaurants Mistral Teatro Mooo…L’Andana
      Abe & Louis

      I understand that they don't want all high end restaurants or all low end restaurants but why include Deuxave and Linage over any of the above and why do we need 11 "Gastropubs"?

      177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

      75 Charles Street South, Boston, MA 02116

      140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

      Via Matta
      79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

      222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

      2 Replies
      1. re: csammy
        Gabatta Mar 22, 2011 12:27 PM

        Sorellina is a Columbus Group restaurant.

        1. re: csammy
          jgg13 Mar 22, 2011 12:40 PM

          I'm pretty sure at least some of those were on the initial voting round

        2. jgg13 Mar 21, 2011 01:41 PM

          Did anyone else notice that Phantom Gourmet is pimping their own "munch madness" - albeit something completely different.

          1. r
            robwat36 Mar 21, 2011 10:38 AM

            I'm hoping for a first-round upset by Cutty's over Flour. Not that Flour doesn't have tasty sandwiches, but they have so much more visibility and Cutty's is amazing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: robwat36
              MC Slim JB Mar 21, 2011 10:44 AM

              I like both those place, and think Cutty's deserves and needs the attention more than Flour, but I sure wouldn't bet that way.


            2. Bob Dobalina Mar 21, 2011 09:40 AM

              Tough second round matchup likely between Craigie and L'Espalier.

              Also unfair inter-conference first round matchup between No. 9 Park and Butcher Shop.

              And Blue Ribbon BBQ is a one seed? Please!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                hckybg Mar 21, 2011 11:33 AM

                I agree, the logic behind many of the seeds is lacking, meaning that there are some unfortunate first round matchups--like East by Northeast versus Island Creek Oyster Bar, which will eliminate one very good place way too early.

                1. re: hckybg
                  yumyum Mar 21, 2011 11:37 AM

                  It's a fun little game guys. Relax.

                  It's not like KICKING DUKE TO THE CURB or anything. ;-)

                  1. re: yumyum
                    itaunas Mar 21, 2011 11:55 AM

                    And while the free PR of doing well doesn't hurt, I don't think Globe readers really use this to make a dining decision. If they were going to IC already they are going to go, but they aren't going to choose it over East by Northeast based on the "munch madness" rankings. Like 'all star ballots' and so on, its something where people vote sometimes based on an agenda, sometimes just for fun (even w/o information).

                    East by Northeast
                    1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                    1. re: itaunas
                      hckybg Mar 21, 2011 11:59 AM

                      Of course, of course this doesn't merit seriousness. But I have seen the "Munch Madness 2010 winner" boast many times at East Coast Grill, and it sure doesn't hurt as PR. But I realize this isn't actually a big deal (I am just tired of seeing the self-promoting posts from certain restaurants-that-already-get-all-the-attention and wouldn't mind seeing David beat Goliath :).

                2. re: Bob Dobalina
                  Kinopio Mar 22, 2011 06:29 AM

                  The seedings were determined by readers last week. They had a poll and you clicked on what was your favorite restaurant. The top 4 vote getters are now the four 1 seeds.

                3. MC Slim JB Mar 21, 2011 09:23 AM

                  I'm hoping for a Speed's vs. Menton showdown. Could a Chowhound-/amateur-driven voting campaign outstrip well-funded Barbara Lynch's PR operation?


                  354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    Gabatta Mar 21, 2011 09:43 AM

                    Menton may not make it out of the first round.

                    1. re: Gabatta
                      MC Slim JB Mar 21, 2011 09:51 AM

                      Menton vs. Toro? I think you're right, would bet big on Toro. I was just hoping for the unseemliest high-vs.-low matchup.

                      I wonder how many readers could actually vote in all these matchups based on experience? I can't imagine Bondir has done that many covers to date; ditto Journeyman.


                      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                      354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

                      279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        yumyum Mar 21, 2011 10:20 AM

                        I did really well in my munch madness brackets last year. But I didn't "vote" on places I'd not been. I did coin toss. Luckily this year I have fewer that I've not been to -- and only one (rhymes with pritiken bublic mouse) that serves bad food, IMO.

                        1. re: yumyum
                          robwat36 Mar 21, 2011 01:20 PM

                          I've liked everything I've had at Citizen so far except for the too-salty tuna burger. What did you have that was bad?

                          1. re: robwat36
                            yumyum Mar 21, 2011 01:31 PM

                            Ooof. The food I had there was just terrible, starting with the schrapnel-laced oysters and continuing on to the greasy pig foot schnitzel and the bad bad bad lardo. They comped us dessert, which was actually quite good, but really I'd eat across the street at Tasty ANY day of the week.


                            1. re: yumyum
                              MC Slim JB Mar 21, 2011 01:46 PM

                              I've had better luck with the food at The Citizen, but I haven't had any of those dishes. Clams a few different ways, a terrific cod dish, meatballs, the root-vegetable salad, beef jerkey (amazing). Strong bartending, great whiskey list, that cool ice-ball thing.


                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                jgg13 Mar 21, 2011 01:49 PM

                                I've had good luck there but not so much that I'm going to go way out of my way and fight the crowds. If I happen to be in the area on an off night, I gladly pop in though.

                        2. re: MC Slim JB
                          jgg13 Mar 21, 2011 01:40 PM

                          That's an issue in my voting. There are places that I'm sure I'd vote for more than others if I had managed to go there a few times and get a sense of the place, or heck, get there at *all*.

                          1. re: jgg13
                            kimfair1 Mar 21, 2011 07:07 PM

                            Our oysters were shell free (and quite good), the meatball was amazing. The rosemary whipped lardo and ricoota and honey toast were just OK, the cassoulet hearty and quite good. My wife had a special of braised veal breast that was good (though the brussels sprouts were undercooked). I have to disagree with MC on the bartending, though. I liked the drinks (we sat at the bar), but I had 2 of the Ideal Manhattans, and my wife had one and all three tasted slightly different due to the free pouring. The first was markedly darker than the other two, and was the best of the three. I love the ice ball thing, and will stick to bourbon over the ice ball in the future. If I'm paying you $10-12 per drink, I expect them to taste consistent from one to the next, and that's really hard to do while free pouring.

                            1. re: kimfair1
                              maillard Mar 22, 2011 11:17 AM

                              Are there any restaurants that cook brussels sprouts properly? I find them really gross when undercooked, but have had way underdone sprouts at Green Street and Highland Kitchen.

                              Highland Kitchen
                              150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                              1. re: maillard
                                tysonmcneely Mar 22, 2011 11:44 AM

                                I had Shredded Brussels sprouts at the abbey that was pretty good. They slice them thin and then roast them.

                                1. re: tysonmcneely
                                  maillard Mar 22, 2011 12:58 PM

                                  Oh yeah, the shredded brussels sprouts at Washington Square Tavern were probably the only good brussels sprouts I've had in a restaurant... I'll have to check out The Abbey sometime.

                                  Washington Square Tavern
                                  714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                2. re: maillard
                                  mkfisher Mar 22, 2011 01:03 PM

                                  Coppa had baby brussels sprouts with pecorino that we really enjoyed

                                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                  1. re: mkfisher
                                    yumyum Mar 22, 2011 01:07 PM

                                    Second the baby brussels from Coppa. They can be a little al dente though, and they have a tendency to roll onto the floor.

                                    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                    1. re: yumyum
                                      Madrid Mar 22, 2011 01:30 PM

                                      back in December had some great ones with Manchego as a special at Neptune Oyster.

                                      Neptune Oyster
                                      63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

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