A Slice of Fried Gold

Fancy Bracket: (4) Orso Ristorante vs. (5) Glacier Brewhouse

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here we are with the second matchup in the Fancy Bracket, and this showdown is between two sides of the same coin: Orso Ristorante versus Glacier Brewhouse. This matchup is very akin to one where you see two teams from a major conference like the SEC or Big Ten go at it early on, but you ultimately realize that both are non-factors in the grand scale of the tourney. Let's call this the Illinois/Wisconsin game of the tourney.

Orso Ristorante: Orso is definitely the Illinois in this matchup. Illinois teams are typically based around doing a few key things right (being more athletic, streak shooting, defense) and hoping they outweigh the negatives, and that is pretty much Orso's game too. You have a lot to like - an exceptional bar, an attractive and friendly wait staff, solid atmosphere - but you also have a lot that is less than desirable. Their menu is a solid if not forgettable one, filled with all of the classics of what makes a good menu but nothing that really jumps off the page. Plus it is expensive for what you get. Sort of like what happens if you run a perfect pick and roll with a point that can't shoot and an immobile big. Their desserts are a major highlight though, akin to the legacy of guards that throw down daggers at the end of the game like Dee Brown.

Glacier Brewhouse: Just like Wisconsin, Glacier Brewhouse attempts to wear visitors down and bore them to death. While there is nothing wrong with what they do, they just don't do anything that is exciting or anything that jumps off the page. Somewhat predictably my best experience has been with their soup, which makes sense for someone who compares closely to a meat and potatoes team like Wisconsin. This is just a forgettably effective restaurant, and one that I find people go to simply because the perception of quality surrounds it like the legacy of 18 to 22 win teams exists in perpetuity with the Badgers.

One extra note: I also don't really like their beer, which is kind of their claim to fame.

The Showdown: Just like in the dreaded 8/9 matchups Illinois and Wisconsin are always destined to meet up in, ultimately it just means the winner gets to get stomped by the one seed in the next round. While Glacier Brewhouse does everything decently, they don't really do anything very well. Orso has the ability to rise to the occasion, bringing an excellent bar, dessert menu, and wait staff to the table, and while that may not make them a contender for the championship, that's enough to win this matchup.


Sara said...

I couldn't disagree more. Any restaurant that serves a hot creamy pasta dish loaded with all kinds of seafood still in the shells - shrimp tails, clam shells and even crab still in the shell - mixed up in the sauce gets a thumbs down from me - that's just ludicrous in my book. And Glacier Brewhouse's bread pudding kicks arse! ;)

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