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Mar 21, 2011 09:13 AM

Munch Madness 2011 (

Somewhat fun and interesting.

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  1. 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

      Menton may not make it out of the first round.

      1. re: Gabatta

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: tysonmcneely

                    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

                    Coppa had baby brussels sprouts with pecorino that we really enjoyed

                    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                    1. re: mkfisher

                      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

                        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

        2. 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

            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

              It's a fun little game guys. Relax.

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

              1. re: yumyum

                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

                  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

              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. 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

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

                1. 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

                    Sorellina is a Columbus Group restaurant.

                    1. re: csammy

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