Nothing pairs with March college basketball like a bracket with real stakes — or should we say steaks?
For the second year in a row, the Miami Herald is hosting Munch Madness, where readers vote online for their favorite Miami-area restaurants in a bracket-style challenge similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament.
Last year, more than 150,000 of you voted. Munch Madness became a combination of a critic’s choice, since I, as the Miami Herald’s food editor, chose the “teams,” and a people’s choice, since you, the readers, vote on the winners. The restaurants will face off over six rounds during March until the winners are announced on Facebook Live April 3.
The restaurants are a mix of local favorites, hidden gems, fine-dining spots, and places that I think you should put on your radar. Maybe you’ve never heard of some of these restaurants — that’s a good thing. I want to encourage you to stray from your usual standbys and try that little restaurant you always see on the drive home.
Last year, Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill won the championship on the strength of its 23 Florida restaurants. That didn’t stop the runner up, Mignonette, the upscale downtown seafood restaurant and raw bar, from having some fun. Convinced they couldn’t win the head-to-head final, the two owners of Mignonette resorted to visiting each of Flanigan’s restaurants in a single day and posting a picture from each location. (Oh, and eating mighty well along the way.)
The winner retires as champion. But we’ve invited back the Sweet 16 from last year. That means 48 new restaurants get a crack at the title.
So be like an expert basketball handicapper. Read about each of the restaurants in our online poll and vote for your favorite. More important, get out there and try a new place.
Voting opens Monday at 9 a.m. At that time, visit miamiherald.com/munchmadness.