My laziness knows no bounds, and I'm going to wrap this up a bit speedier than I intended. Thus, you'll now get two matchups a day for the rest of the campaign until the final!
Up first, we have giant slayer Bear Tooth versus the sneaky good Tap Root Cafe, along with the battle of the esteemed midtown/downtown hippie cafes as Middle Way Cafe squares off against Snow City Cafe. Who will win in these epic showdowns? There is only one real answer...our stomachs and taste buds.
Bear Tooth: This restaurant is the number one giant slayer in the tournament, playing the Northern Iowa to Moose's Tooth's Kansas. While Bear Tooth doesn't have anything as hysterical as a six foot tall guard from Iowa with brass balls named Ali Farokhmanesh, it does have a lot of things that make it every bit as awesome. A diverse and delicious menu, great beer and liquor, fantastic service, the option to watch a movie while eating anything on their menu (in the words of Marv Albert...YES!!!), and just a great set up all together.
This place is the bees knees, and from this industry analyst to you, I think them taking out the Tooth was just the tip of the iceberg.
Tap Root Cafe: This is a great first round team, bringing excellent breakfast and lunch options to the table, plus an aweome selection of beer. It's a sneaky delicious combination, sort of like UDub's squad this year - you don't know it's great until they beat you by 18 like they did New Mexico. I've discovered recently that they have some of the best biscuits and gravy in the city, which to me is the equivalent of UDub's coach realizing they had a 6'10" point forward who had great handle with both hands and had automatic range out to 23 feet. That's a pretty big deal.
Yet, their negatives are big enough to make dispatching them fairly easy if a very talented faces them in the tournament. You know, like next round when West Virginia is going to murder them or this round when Bear Tooth salivates as they look at Tap Root's slow service, luke warm water, and oddly cold set up.
The Showdown: This is a blow out, as Bear Tooth is just a mega powerful contender at this point. As much as I love Tap Root, Bear Tooth brings its A game in almost every facet of the equation. Which, you know, is very unfortunate for Tap Root. Bear Tooth is movin' on!
Middle Way Cafe: This joint is bringing it like the Baylor squad of this year's tourney. They everything well, but they throw in one thing that they do excellently and that acts as the tipping point. Middle Way Cafe's tipping point is my go to breakfast order for the entirety of the city - breakfast burrito with avocado. That thing should be illegal for how delicious it is. I crave it in nearly every situation, breakfast...lunch...dinner...3 am, randomly at my desk during the day. You name it. It's the great x-factor of this bracket.
Besides that, they have incredible baked goods, a varied lineup of tasty sandwiches, good service (although occasionally horrific times in terms of receiving your food), and a full array of coffee for those that like their breakfast or lunch to be super charged.
Snow City Cafe: In many ways, Snow City is a sister shop to Middle Way. They do a lot of the same things. Focus on breakfast and lunch, trendy and friendly waitstaff, primo location, art friendly...you name it. Their menu may be even more balanced, as their lunch isn't just sandwiches but a variety of tasty treats (like the pesto chicken).
However, here's one thing that they're missing out on that is necessary to move out of this round - a go-to meal. You need something to rely on and something to always bring you back. Snow City doesn't have that for me, which is no good indeed.
The Showdown: In an epic matchup and one of the closest ones so far, Middle Way wins simply because it has two go to meals (the aforementioned breakfast burrito and the delectable avocado melt) while Snow City has none. To use a little of Bill Simmons NBA Trade Value column logic, when I took the two head to head, who would I take? Middle Way every time.
Prepare for an epic showdown next round...Bear Tooth vs. Middle Way for a spot in the Final Four! It's going to be a barn burner baby!