A Slice of Fried Gold

General Bracket #2 Final: (4) Villa Nova vs. (2) Gumbo House

Sunday, March 28, 2010
This matchup finalizes the Final Four, as a classy Italian joint that is supremely underrated (aka Villa Nova) squares off against Gumbo House, a down home southern joint in my neck of the woods. Who wins this vaunted matchup? Check it below.

Villa Nova: This hidden restaurant off International and Arctic stays fairly busy thanks to a few simple truths: great food and great service. While other places may get more rep, Villa Nova goes back to the basics and just makes their meals a great value by loading up on food, giving you a diverse menu to choose from (my favorites: their spinach side, the Tournedos Bolognese entree, the Minestrone, and their calamari), and gives you service that is genuine, friendly and fast. It's like "The Secret" from Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball...it's a simple recipe for success yet a lot of restaurants choose to avoid it.

However, I must note: my most recent experience was not an exceptional one. It was fairly tasty but mitigated my strong feelings from early rounds.

Gumbo House: As I recently said, this place quickly went from a spot I passed often and contemplated eating at to being one of my go-to lunch spots. It even earned the vaunted "birthday restaurant" spot in 2009, which in itself is a hell of a thing. They do it with friendly service, delicious and varied food, a quaint setup, good prices, and awesome proximity to me. It's one of my favorite places in town and definitely one of the most vastly underrated ones, even if it is pretty damn bad for you.

But why must something so bad for me be so damn good. C'est la vie...you only live once. Might as well make the most of it.

The Showdown: Gumbo House...Villa Nova...two restaurants that subscribe to the secret of good restauranteering (made up word?) manage to face off for the last spot in the Final Four. While they're both incredible, the winner has to be the one that is more consistent and the one that I've most recently had great experiences. That means Gumbo House takes it in a close one, winning me over with their metronome like gloriousness.

General Bracket #2 Winner: Gumbo House


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