Update: Click here to vote in the next round.
We had a wild ride through the left side of the bracket yesterday with #4 Whataburger edging out #9 Wings 'N More by the slimmest of margins. #2 seed The Republic kept the fine dining contingent alive while #1 Layne's rolled over #4 Torchy's Tacos in what I thought would be a closer matchup.
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South/East Regions: Scrumptious 16 Results
Voting is optional for each matchup, so percentages may not equal 100%.
Scrumptious 16: West and North
I'm not sure what to expect anymore. My seeding turned out to be pretty accurate and people are mad at gigthem08 (and me by proxy), so I'd say things are going well. Continue to be mad in the comments section and tell your friends to vote because there are stickers on the line. For the last time, let's see how gigthem08 sizes up today's contenders.
Part Two: I'm pretty much out of things to say about all of these places :-D
The West: Semifinal #1 - Chicken Oil Co. vs. The Dixie Chicken
Full Name: Chicken Oil Company (#1 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #16 Applebee's (96% of the vote); W - #8 Amico Nave (84% of the vote)
Strengths: The destruction of Applebee's was the most dominant performance by a #1 seed I've ever seen, and I watched all 40 minutes of this year's Kentucky/West Virginia debacle. Received a litany of hot #taeks from frustrated journalists who feel they like to run up the score.
Weaknesses: Their half price burger Mondays were a mainstay during my studies for the CPA exam, so I will always unfairly dislike this place on some level. This is a personal opinion that should be ignored, which makes it no different than everything else, really.
Full Name: The Dixie Chicken (#5 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #12 Los Cucos (81% of the vote); W - #13 Blackwater Draw (57% of the vote)
Strengths: Remarkably similar food to Chicken Oil... almost as if they are owned by the same parent company. One can throw bones, down pitchers of booze, and pee on ice in an establishment that couldn't be more quintessentially Aggie if it were located on Kyle's 50 yard line. The timeless staple of Northgate.
Weaknesses: Some didn't like the decision to branch out and add a liquor wall + expanded beer selection... but I love it. The place still feels the exact same, only now you can choose from more than a half-dozen beer options. There are those who think this takes away from the charm, but I couldn't disagree more.
The West: Semifinal #2 - Freebirds vs. Fuego
Full Name: Freebirds World Burrito (#2 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #15 Smashburger (83% of the vote); W - #7 Jin's Asian (70% of the vote)
Strengths: This is my hangover meal. There are many like it but this one is mine. Provides ample foil to keep you interested during interminable conversations with family, because that foil Sully isn't going to make himself.
Weaknesses: I didn't love when they expanded their offerings. Felt to me like they were trying to mirror Chipotle's menu to certain level. Just do you, boo boo.
Full Name: Fuego Tortilla Grill (#3 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #14 Lupe Tortilla (83% of the vote); W - #6 Antonio's Pizza (59% of the vote)
Strengths: Pretty dang good tacos... especially their breakfast tacos. Can take an act of congress to get an order in during peak hours, but always worth the wait.
Weaknesses: I'm sad they knocked Antonio's out. I'm an #old, so I will always see Antonio's as the 3am place to eat. And like any good graduated Ag, I am confident that the active thing during my time on campus will always be the best possible version of that thing.
The North: Semifinal #1 - Fargo's vs. Shipwreck
Full Name: Fargo's Pit BBQ (#1 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #16 Jesse's Taqueria (85% of the vote); W - #8 Blue Baker (65% of the vote)
Strengths: Probably the best BBQ in the greater BCS area. If we're going on taste alone (which we should), this should last longer than any BBQ joint in the field.
Weaknesses: Like any top-flight BBQ place, the wait will be a pain. And you're going to be shuffled through the line like cattle. But that's the going rate for top-end Texas BBQ. It's worth it.
Full Name: Shipwreck Grill (#5 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #12 Raspas El Paya (71% of the vote); W - #4 Fishdaddy's (56% of the vote)
Strengths: Crawfish. Crawfish, crawfish, crawfish. They're good at just about everything seafood related, but it's a must-visit during crawfish season.
Weaknesses: It's not really on the way to anything. It's worth the trip, but you'll have a 15 minute drive towards whatever you're going to do next.
The North: Semifinal #2 - Mickey's vs. Grub
Full Name: Grub Burger Bar (#2 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #15 Longhorn Tavern (83% of the vote); W - #7 Chuy's (61% of the vote)
Strengths: Food quality trumps all here. It almost feels out of place in CS, in a weird way, but the burger and shakes are so dang good that it just doesn't matter. When it comes to pace/ambiance/decor, probably about as far away from the other burger joints in town as possible. Not that that's bad, it's just different.
Weaknesses: You don't get to pick where you sit, which evokes strong memories from the assigned seating days in the cafeteria when you had to make conversation with the weird kids. I hope I wasn't the weird kid. I was probably the weird kid.
Full Name: Mickey's Sliders (#3 seed)
Road to the Scrumptious 16: W - #14 BJ's (47.8% of the vote [vs. 47.3%]); W - #11 Atami (51% of the vote)
Strengths: The two closest battles of the entire tournament belong to these guys. They are like the Holiday-Bowl-Bound '06 A&M football squad, with decidedly less short-side option. Has a loyal customer base that raves about their food. I haven't been, but this process has taught me that I need to change that.
Weaknesses: The plucky side that makes the second weekend of the dance always falls short in the Sweet (Scrumptious) 16. When you play with fire, you eventually get burned, and I think the physical toll of two extremely close battles will be too much to overcome.