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MARCH MADNESS SHOWDOWN - Second Round

Posted by The LunchMen Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm not sure what I enjoyed more over the past few days - watching the college bracket drama, or watching the first round swings in the Columbia Lunch March Madness Showdown. At 10:00 a.m. this morning, we still had seven first-rounds ties. Thanks for all the emails and input.

Front-runners Cafe Millwood, No Name Deli, and The Kingsman all came through with unanimous victories, as did 2nd-seeded Immac, The Other Store, and Garden Bistro. The top three seeds in each bracket managed to avoid upset, although I must disclose that the End Zone Grill's fate against Tio's was still undecided until a tie-breaking vote was cast by Tug a few moments ago. Other favorites, like 5th-seeded Salty Nut and 8th-Cafe Strudel, struggled until the very end as well.

Some of the best drama this weekend was found in 5-points. I'm not talking about the St. Patrick's Day celebration, my friends, I'm talking about the fist fight between 6th-seeded Yesterdays and 11th-seeded Groucho's. Both of these venerable 5-points institutions had fans pressing them to victory. Who could blame them? Choosing between Yesterday's grits and Groucho's Formula 45 sauce just ain't easy. However, in the end, Groucho's eaked out the upset.

Other upsets include a surprising fall by 6th-seeded Zoe's to 11th-seeded Villa Tronco. The lesson from that match-up is, perhaps, that Columbia's main street workers are not too easily pulled away from their support of the downtown establishment restaurants. Then again, 4th-seeded Hampton Place Cafe got rocked and toppled by Tako-Sushi, one of the newer players on the lunch game. Tako-Sushi's prices were a big concern to the pundits, but the fans seem undeterred.

New-comer and 6th-seeded Thirsty Fellow did not fare as well as Tako-Sushi. Thirsty Fellow fell to 11th-seeded Golden Chopstix. Perhaps other share my passion for the Tom Kha?

In other results, the Cock-N-Bull's new location has been warmly received by its fans. The Cock-N-Bull delivered an absolute beat-down over favored Carolina Cafe, who received only one vote. Similarly, 8th-seeded Bombay Grill fell to 9th-seeded Nick's House of Pizza, and 6th-seeded Beezer's fell to the darling of West Columbia, 11th-seeded Compton's.

Here is what round two looks like; please get your votes in so that your restaurants can earn a coveted spot in Columbia's own Sweet 16.

TANK REGION
#1 Café Millwood ~vs~ #9 Nick’s House of Pizza
#5 DiPrato’s ~vs~ #4 Vella’s
#11 Golden Chopstix ~vs~ #3 The Mousetrap
#7 Publik House ~vs~ #2 Hunter-Gatherer

RABBIT REGION
#1 No Name Deli ~vs~ #8 Motor Supply Co.
#5 Mathias ~vs~ #13 TakoSushi
#11 Compton’s ~vs~ #3 Andy’s Deli
#7 Taqueria Jalisco ~vs~ #2 The Other Store

PUBLICAN REGION
#1 The Kingsman ~vs~ #9 Cock-n-Bull
#5 Drake’s Duck-in ~vs~ #4 Mr. Friendly’s
#11 Groucho’s ~vs~ #3 End Zone Grill
#7 Al-Amir ~vs~ #2 Immaculate Consumption

FRODO REGION
#1 Tony's Downtown ~vs~ #8 Cafe Strudel
#5 Salty Nut ~vs~ #4 El-Burrito
#11 Villa Tronco ~vs~ #3 M Cafe
#7 Dano’s ~vs~ #2 Garden Bistro

These are some great match-ups, we'll try to post the winners around this time tomorrow.

- Tank

5 comments

  1. Rabbit Says:
  2. I've got to take issue with the Villa Tronco upset of Zoe's. I think this was more of a pick against Zoe's than a pick for Villa Tronco. I understand if you don't like Zoe's - it's a little corporate and yuppie, and certainly not for everyone. But, I think this result is a reflection more of a groundswell against Zoe's than an endorsement of VT. I don't think many people honestly think VT has a better executed product, but they just didn't want to see Zoe's advance. Zoe's is a lot like Duke - a favorite that everyone loves to pull against. Really, we could have put any crap restaurant into VT's spot in the bracket and people would have voted for them just to see Zoe's fall.

    As for round 2, here are my picks:

    CAFE MILLWOOD over Nick's House of Pizza
    VELLA'S over Diprato's
    MOUSETRAP over Golden Chopstixx
    HUNTER GATHERER over Publik House

    NO NAME over Motor Supply
    MATHIAS over TakoSushi
    ANDY'S over Compton's
    OTHER STORE over Taqueria Jalisco

    COCK N BULL over The Kingsman
    DRAKE'S over Friendly's
    GROUCHO'S over End Zone Grill
    IMMACULATE CONSUMPTION over Al Amir

    TONY'S DOWNTOWN over Cafe Strudel
    EL BURRITO over Salty Nut
    M CAFE over Villa Tronco
    GARDEN BISTRO over Dano's

    -Rabbit

     
  3. Rob Lindsey Says:
  4. Rockaway's got ousted in the first round, making my bracket (http://robl.in/2f) busted from the jump. Apparently my experiences there are way different from most folks'.

    Here's my round 2 votes:

    CAFE MILLWOOD
    VELLA'S
    GOLDEN CHOPSTIXX
    HUNTER GATHERER

    NO NAME
    MATHIAS
    ANDY'S
    OTHER STORE

    THE KINGSMAN
    DRAKE'S
    GROUCHO'S
    IMMAC

    TONY'S
    SALTY NUT
    VILLA TRONCO
    GARDEN BISTRO

     
  5. Frodo Says:
  6. Frodo says:

    TANK REGION
    #1 Café Millwood OVER #9 Nick’s House of Pizza
    #5 DiPrato’s OVER #4 Vella’s
    #3 The Mousetrap OVER #11 Golden Chopstix
    #2 Hunter-Gatherer OVER #7 Publik House

    RABBIT REGION
    #1 No Name Deli OVER #8 Motor Supply Co.
    #5 Mathias OVER #13 TakoSushi
    #3 Andy’s Deli OVER #11 Compton’s
    #2 The Other Store OVER #7 Taqueria Jalisco

    PUBLICAN REGION
    #1 The Kingsman OVER #9 Cock-n-Bull
    #4 Mr. Friendly’s OVER #5 Drake’s Duck-in
    #11 Groucho’s OVER #3 End Zone Grill **** UPSET ALERT ***
    #2 Immaculate Consumption OVER #7 Al-Amir

    FRODO REGION
    #1 Tony's Downtown OVER #8 Cafe Strudel (Tony's Downtown looking like a championship caliber team)
    #5 Salty Nut OVER #4 El-Burrito (Salty Nut, with its biggest deck and saltiest nuts in Five Points, has HUGE upside potential, but it also can play like a dog. It wins this one and makes a run if service doesn't take 2 hours, the weather is nice, and the raw fries are cooked appropriately.)
    #3 M Cafe OVER #11 Villa Tronco (Villa Tronco just is limited in too many ways-- M Cafe has too many weapons for Villa Tronco to overcome)
    #2 Garden Bistro vs #7 Dano’s (for lunch, Garden Bistro takes this one. For pitchers of beer and pizza, it doesn't get any better than Dano's. Seeing Dano's lose here is like watching Davidson lose in the Elite Eight back in 2008- I hate it, but I can't control it.)

     
  7. The Publican Says:
  8. PUBLICAN VOTES:

    CAFE MILLWOOD over Nick's
    VELLA'S over DiPrato's
    MOUSETRAP over Golden Chopstixx
    HUNTER GATHERER over Public House

    NO NAME over Motor Supply
    MATHIAS over TakoSushi
    COMPTON's over Andy's
    OTHER STORE over Taqueria Jalisco

    KINGSMAN over Cock n Bull
    FRIENDLY'S over Drake's
    END ZONE GRILL over Andy's
    IMMAC over Al Amir

    TONY'S DOWNTOWN over Cafe Strudel
    EL BURRITO over Salty Nut
    M CAFE over Villa Tronco
    DANO'S over Garden Bistro

     
  9. Tank Says:
  10. TANK Votes:

    CAFE MILLWOOD over Nick's
    DIPRATO's over Vella's
    GOLDEN CHOPSTIXX over Mousetrap
    HUNTER GATHERER over Publik House

    NO NAME over Motor Supply
    TAKOSUSHI over Mathias
    ANDY's over Compton's
    TAQUERIA JALISCO over The Other Store

    KINGSMAN over Cock n Bull
    DRAKE'S over Mr. Friendly's
    END ZONE GRILL over Groucho's
    AL AMIR over Immaculate Consumption

    TONY'S DOWNTOWN over Cafe Strudel
    EL BURRITO over Salty Nut
    M CAFE over Villa Tronco
    DANO'S over Garden Bistro

     

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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.

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