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WE HAVE A WINNER!!!
With a massive 80.21% of the final vote, Oberlin is the winner of RI Restaurant Madness. Yay!!
In case you’re just tuning in, here’s what you missed:
64 excellent Rhode Island restaurants are squaring off in daily head-to-head matches that will leave only one kitchen standing by the end of next month. And it’s up to you to decide who wins!
From February 29 through March 31, we’ll be featuring two matchups per day. Vote for your favorite and the more popular restaurant advances. It’s easy! (The only thing you have to do is sign up for the weekly Law And Order Party emails.)
As an added incentive, every match-up you vote in scores you a shot to win a $100 gift certificate to whichever restaurant wins at the end of the month. That’s 63 chances to win!
Questions? Here’s a quick rundown of how the restaurants were chosen and ranked. And here’s the daily schedule:
Wednesday, March 30
Chilangos v. Oberlin
Noodle Revolution v. north
Winners: Oberlin: (82%); north (53%)
Tuesday, March 29
nicks on broadway (2) v. north (2)
El Rancho Grande (1) v. Chilangos (2)
Winners: north (64%); Chilangos (58%)
Monday, March 28
Enoteca Umberto (3) v. Oberlin (8)
Noodle Revolution (2) v. Thai Star (3)
Winners: Oberlin (85%); Noodle Revolution (54%)
Sunday, March 27
Even Easter Sunday doesn’t stop RI Restaurant Madness. It’s the final day of the Round of 16 and we’ve got four contenders. Can Perro Salado, Newport’s last hope, stand a chance against El Rancho Grande with their fancy black and gold ERG uniforms? (It’s unlikely, to be honest.) Will second seed north be able to defeat division champs Al Forno? (That might be more likely.) Will anyone actually be looking at this page on a big holiday? (Who can say?!)
Winners: north (92%); El Rancho Grande (83%)
Saturday, March 26
Two underdogs competing today: El Paisa and Oberlin were both the bottom seed in their divisions, but both cleared two rounds with no problem. The Colombian restaurant in Central Falls opened in 1978, making it one of the oldest in the competition, but Thai Star is no spring chicken, either. Meanwhile Oberlin’s only been open for three months, but today they face their very own sister restaurant, birch. From what we’ve seen so far, both of these matches are going to be close.
Winners: Oberlin (64%); Thai Star (58%)
Friday, March 25
Two Federal Hill favorites square off from opposite sides of DePasquale: Enoteca Umberto serves Italian on Atwells, while Broadway Bistro is a little more unpredictable. The winner will face either Oberlin or birch, two restaurants with the same owners. Interesting! Meanwhile, remote Noodle Revolution out in Westerly faces Julianna’s, Hartford Avenue’s finest Peruvian restaurant.
Winners: Noodle Revolution (81%); Enoteca Umberto (55%)
Thursday, March 24
nicks on broadway had a rough Round 2, barely scraping past Kitchen to advance to the Savory 16. This one might go to Gracie’s, although nicks has notable stamina, serving food 53 hours a week. Meawhile, Chilangos faces Ebisu. If Chilangos wins, that’ll guarantee Mexican food in the final 4, since the winner will face either El Rancho Grande or Perro Salado next week.
Winners: nicks on broadway (70%); Chilangos (52%)
Wednesday, March 23
Eli’s Kitchen won the very first match of Round 1, pulling off an upset over Cook & Brown. They’ve had three full weeks to recover, which means they’re either well rested right now or out of shape. They face Al Forno. Meanwhile, Can Ebisu win where Nami lost yesterday? The shabu shabu restaurant faces competition from the unassuming Mi Ranchito, the least tech savvy of all 64 restaurants in this competition.
Winners: Ebisu (67%); Al Forno (56%)
Tuesday, March 22
birch and Posillipo both owned Round 1, defeating their competition rather mercilessly. Squared off against one another, and Posillipo might put up more of a fight than you might expect. The little restaurant in Centerdale has its fans, clearly, but chances are birch is going to take this one. It’s just a matter of how wide a margin. Meanwhile, Nami v. Thai Star should be interesting. People like Federal Hill more than they like Chalkstone Avenue, but Thai Star’s one of the most solid competitors in this field.
Winners: birch (95%); Thai Star (69%)
Monday, March 21
Four of the hottest teams in Round 1 have are up today, and this one could truly go in any direction. El Rancho Grande is the top seed in its division, but you can’t rule out fan favorite Den Den (whose website alternately spells their name Den Den, DenDen, and DENDEN, if you were wondering). Meanwhile, the city’s two most crowded brunch places square off. nicks on broadway is the older team and Kitchen‘s pretty hot lately, but nicks also has a secret weapon: dinner.
Winners: El Rancho Grande (92%); nicks on broadway (57%)
Sunday, March 20
With the elimination of the Nordic Lodge yesterday, Noodle Revolution is now South County’s only hope. The new-ish Westerly team faces Beirão, a frequently overlooked Portuguese squad from Central Falls. Whoever wins will face Julianna’s in Round 3. Meanwhile, Chez Pascal and Enoteca Umberto are two solid teams with great reputations. Umberto’s the younger of the two squads, but watch out for the French: Enoteca Umberto won their first-round match, but it was the lowest-scoring game of the whole round. They’ll need to work their offense hard if they want to get much farther, especially against Broadway Bistro in the next round.
Winners: Enoteca Umberto (63%); Noodle Revolution (60%)
Saturday, March 19
The Broadway Bistro squad is top ranked in their division for good reason – they blew away Reali’s in Round 1. Wayland Square Diner could pull off an upset, though, but they’ll have to play hard. Round 2’s been brutal to diners, as we’ve just said goodbye to both Monty’s Victory Diner and Classic Cafe. Meanwhile, a Lebanese restaurant in Smithfield (The Continental) is competing against Peruvian food on Hartford Avenue (Julianna’s). Food you don’t see too often in areas that aren’t known as foodie territory? The Continental’s seeded higher, but this one’s really anybody’s game.
Winners: Broadway Bistro (71%); Julianna’s (57%)
Friday, March 18
It’s do or die for Newport today. Boru is gone. Stoneacre Pantry is gone. With no backup from Middletown or Portsmouth, Perro Salado is Aquidneck Island’s only hope of making it past Round 2, and they go into this one as the underdog against Pho Horn’s which, while technically in Pawtucket, is just a stone’s throw from the Providence border. Meanwhile, Nordic Lodge demolished The Mooring in a Round 1 upset, but Gracie’s may have some tricks up its sleeve to defeat the lakeside lobster buffet.
UPDATE 12/19 8:16AM: Gracie’s takes Round 2 with 80% of the votes over Nordic Lodge. PHO HORN’s AND PERRO SALADO HAVE GONE INTO OVERTIME! Overtime voting goes until noon on Saturday.
Winners: Gracie’s (70%); Perro Salado (67%)
Thursday, March 17
The victors of two Round 1 upsets will have to fight hard to make it past Round 2. Oberlin is the youngest team in the competition, just a few months old, but they have a home court advantage – only three Providence restaurants have lost so far when faced with out-of-town competition. Plus with Classic Cafe off its game yesterday, does this spell the end for diner food? On the other hand, Monty’s Victory Diner is looking like the best restaurant in Nasonville right now. (Or Harrisville? Or Burrillville?) Meanwhile, El Paisa pulled off a decisive first round victory against the heavily favored Angkor. Can their momentum propel the 38-year old Colombian team past Café Central, or will the Portuguese take this one?
Winners: Oberlin (94%); El Paisa (70%)
Wednesday, March 16
Four strong contenders here in the first match of Round 2, and three from Providence. north totally dominated Besos in Round 1, but Classic Cafe pulled off a solid Round 1 victory against what many would consider a tougher opponent. Chilangos had some trouble in the first round – they only defeated O Dinis in double overtime – so keep an eye out on Newport’s Boru, a younger team who had no trouble at all beating the Oxford Tavern just a few days ago.
Winners: north (82%); Chilangos (79%)
Tuesday, March 15
PHO HORN’S (Pawtucket) v. Rasa (East Greenwich)
AL FORNO (Providence) v. Sophia’s (Warwick)
Monday, March 14
Angkor (Providence) v. EL PAISA (Central Falls)
15 Point Road (Portsmouth) v. POSILLIPO (North Providence)
Sunday, March 13
NICKS ON BROADWAY (Providence) v. Stoneacre Pantry (Newport)
BORU (Newport) v. Oxford Tavern (East Providence)
Saturday, March 12
WAYLAND SQUARE DINER (Providence) v. Jigger’s Diner (East Greenwich)
Man-o-Salwas (Johnston) v. BEIRÃO (Central Falls)
Friday, March 11
ENOTECA UMBERTO (Providence) v. Phil’s (Wakefield)
JULIANNA’S (Providence) v. Gesualdi’s (Providence)
Thursday, March 10
MI RANCHITO (Providence) v. Maharaja (Narragansett)
The Mooring (Newport) v. NORDIC LODGE (Charlestown)
Wednesday, March 9
Flat Waves (Middletown) v. MONTY’S VICTORY DINER (Burrillville)
NAMI (Providence) v. Riviera (East Providence)
Tuesday, March 8
DEN DEN (Providence) v. Apsara (Providence)
NORTH (Providence) v. Besos (East Greenwich)
Monday, March 7
EL RANCHO GRANDE (Providence) v. Budare Grille (Central Falls)
THE CLASSIC CAFE (Providence) v. The Middle of Nowhere Diner (Exeter)
Sunday, March 6
Red Fin Crudo (Providence) v. OBERLIN (Providence)
THAI STAR (Providence) v. Blend Café (Cranston)
Saturday, March 5
EBISU (Providence) v. Marko’s (Narragansett)
GRACIE’S (Providence) v. The Grange (Providence)
Friday, March 4
THE CONTINENTAL (Smithfield) v. Serra de Estrela (Cumberland)
CHEZ PASCAL (Providence) v. Simone’s (Warren)
Thursday, March 3
BROADWAY BISTRO (Providence) v. Reali’s (Johnston)
NOODLE REVOLUTION (Westerly) v. Sue’s Restaurant (Providence)
Wednesday, March 2
CHILANGOS (Providence) v. O Dinis (East Providence)
KITCHEN (Providence) v. Crow’s Nest (Warwick)
Tuesday. March 1
BIRCH (Providence) v. L’Osteria (Cranston)
CAFE CENTRAL (Bristol) v. Hong Meas (East Providence)
Monday, February 29
Cook & Brown (Providence) v. ELI’s KITCHEN (Warren)
PERRO SALADO (Newport) v. Ichiban (Cranston)