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Munch Madness

Another Madness win for Hungry Mother

By Devra First
Globe Staff / April 4, 2012
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Classy. That’s how this year’s Munch Madness tournament began, and that’s how it ended. There were no curses cast, no pig’s heads delivered, as in previous years. Cambridge restaurants (and past champions) East Coast Grill and Hungry Mother calmly faced off, with Hungry Mother ultimately trumping East Coast Grill and moving on to beat Highland Kitchen.

On the other side of the bracket, Craigie on Main and Eastern Standard jousted. Eastern Standard created a video set to brunch-worthy jazz, politely asking viewers for their votes. Craigie on Main sent an e-mail praising “our friends” at Eastern Standard and offering some thoughts on why Craigie still deserved the win. (“As in this election season, it is important to make an informed choice,” the e-mail said.) Craigie prevailed.

And so it was Hungry Mother in the final round (again!), this year against Craigie on Main. Another all-Cambridge battle, and a tough choice to be sure: sophisticated yet homey Southern fare, or devoutly nose-to-tail creativity?

Perhaps flush with last year’s win, Hungry Mother got a bit cocky and sent a lovely sympathy bouquet to Craigie on Main. The card read: “You deserve happiness instead of heartbreak, peace instead of pain. . . . May time help to ease your grief and bring you the happiness and peace that you deserve.” The Hungry Mother staff even hand-wrote a message: “Dear Tony [Maws] and staff — With our deepest sympathy on coming in second place in 2012 Munch Madness. You’re still #1 in our hearts. Love, Hungry Mother.” (In turn, the Craigie staff sent Hungry Mother pizza from Cinderella’s. The flowers came from Central Square Florist. Even in competition, Cambridge businesses support one another.)

All of this sympathy would have been really sweet if Hungry Mother hadn’t sent the flowers in the middle of Craigie’s Saturday-night service. Voting didn’t end until Sunday night. “Don’t let Craigie on Main make a mockery of our arrogance!” they exhorted voters in a mass e-mail.

And voters didn’t.

Hungry Mother wins again, garnering 1,614 votes to Craigie’s 1,382 in the final round. (A total of 204,000 votes were cast over the course of the tournament.) The restaurant is the bona fide, Southern-fried champion of Munch Madness 2012. Congratulations to the staff, and to all of the fine restaurants and food trucks in this year’s brackets, which again reminded us what a delicious place the Boston area is to live.

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.

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