You know what they say about March: It tends to involve madness.
Although this year there wasn’t an official March Madness bracket for all us to obsess over, a different type of March Madness bracket made its way to the Capital University community this past month.
This one involved something that everybody loves: food. But the choices involved led to some heated matchups, a few upsets, and a lot of local cravings from students.
We are talking about the Ultimate Main St. Food Showdown. Here are the results, along with some expert analysis from the resident food bracket expert.
Round 1: Rookie Sandwich Shop shows impressive performance, Drinks category ruled by ZenCha
There weren’t any bracket-busters in this round, as the expected winners pretty much ran their course. The biggest loser of this round was undoubtedly Freshii, scoring a measly 7 percent of votes versus the meatloaf-sandwich-based rookie Newfangled Kitchen. ZenCha beat out the other drink-focused establishment that made it to the bracket by a rather heavy margin, getting over 73 percent of the votes in its matchup.
The only somewhat contested matchup in this round came from the Pizza Parlor Division, as Bexley Pizza Plus beat out Harvest Pizza by a 6 percent margin. The other pizza-based matchup, however, was a no-contest, as New-York style pizza joint Anthony’s Pizza took care of business in its first-round contest versus Rubino’s Pizza.
Round 2: Newfangled reigns supreme in blowout victory, Sushi joint knocked out by Newcomer
Round two’s most interesting matchup saw Moshi take on Brassica. Moshi came in as the expected favorite; they take Cap Bucks, they feature quick and portable food, and they even source sushi at campus restaurants. Despite all of this, the Mediterranean newcomer Brassica took this matchup, winning 62 percent of the votes. For those following along at home, this may have been the matchup that ruined an otherwise perfect bracket.
Another relative newcomer had its second straight round of dominance as Newfangled Kitchen beat out ZenCha by a nearly 70 percent margin. At this point, it seemed to some that Newfangled could go all the way after this impressive performance.
Final Four: Seasoned Veterans take out New kids on the block
This year’s Final Four saw two up-and-coming eateries take on two established joints as Newfangled Kitchen took on Rusty Bucket and Brassica took on Anthony’s Pizzeria.
Newfangled’s reign of dominance came to a complete halt this round as Rusty Bucket took nearly 65 percent of the vote. For some this may have come as a surprise. Newfangled had been on fire the previous two rounds, and much like Moshi, the eatery featured easy carryout and took Cap Bucks.
Things weren’t much more competitive on the other side of the bracket as Anthony’s took nearly 65 percent of the vote competing against Brassica. This outcome was expected as Anthony’s is just so much more accessible to students. Brassica was already at a distinct disadvantage being located across Main Street whereas Anthony’s is located right on Pleasant Ridge Avenue, helping the pizza joint stay alive.
The Final Round: Anthony’s wins big after student-led campaign
At this point, we had seen some pretty huge matchups and even greater upsets. Brassica and Newfangled were so close to reaching Main Street supremacy but fell short partly due to their lack of experience in the game. Places like Moshi and ZenCha fell short due to the nature of their respective offerings. Simply put, not everyone likes sushi or tea, and they certainly don’t like the two next to each other.
The final two restaurants in this bracket are universally American. We have pizza, an American staple brought over from Italian ancestors, and burgers, something so American that just thinking of it makes you picture bald eagles and craft beer (the latter also happens to be on the menu at this restaurant and tavern).
Coming in, things could have gone either way between Rusty Bucket and Anthony’s. But Anthony’s had a unique advantage on its side: a vocal student. This student’s support could be heard across the community Tuesday night, as he tweeted his support soon after the matchup was announced. Said tweet garnered one like soon after being posted, a telltale sign of the rapid acquisition of support the pizza shop was starting to get in the final round.
When the matchup ended, we saw Anthony’s Pizzeria defend its home turf, scoring 59.8 percent of the 142 votes cast whilst Rusty Bucket received 40.8 percent of votes. That leaves Main Street with one true winner, and it isn’t even located on Main Street.
Going into next year, expect to see Anthony’s come in as the restaurant to beat and for the relative newcomers to get wiser and stronger. The seeding will also significantly be affected by this year’s results.
As a side note, this satirical story was meant to highlight many of the local Bexley businesses that may be staying open during this pandemic. If you would like to support, consider ordering carryout or delivery from any of the restaurants listed above. For those that take Cap Bucks, you may be able to donate remaining Cap Bucks to your eatery of choice. No matter what you do, make sure you practice social distancing while doing so. It is imperative that you do your part to help #FlattenTheCurve.