Weekly Volcano Blogs: Served blog

April 3, 2015 at 7:53am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Final Four today!

Tournament of Mac and Cheese Final Four is on. Vote now!

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And then there were four. ...

Believe it or not, fine readers, there have been days during the Tournament of Mac and Cheese when, by noon or so, it was already obvious which mac and cheese-serving restaurants would be moving on and which would be going home. There were blowouts ... oh were there ever. Sometimes, it made my job a little easier; I could work on the next day's copy at a decent hour in the evening without fear the game would suddenly turn.

Oh, but yesterday was different. Yesterday, the votes just kept coming - from tipoff to the final buzzer. Three of the games were come-from-behind wins, and by wins I mean victories by a handful of votes. One was a dead heat with an hour left to vote.

The tournament began with 64 South Sound mac and cheese restaurants March 19. Today, four mac and cheese restaurants will face off for the ultimate glory - elbow to elbow battles to determine the best mac and cheese-serving restaurant in the South Sound. What four mac and cheese slinging joints will move onto the Final Four?

The drumroll please ...

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Over The Moon Café (709 Opera Alley, Tacoma) vs. Eleven Eleven (1111 S. 11th St., Tacoma)

After mounting quite a tear through the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, a tear that - quite honestly - many weren't prepared for, Eleven Eleven's run came to a halt when it faced beloved Over The Moon Café yesterday. Hilltop's Eleven Eleven lead the entire day until five people somewhere in the world decided to vote during the final hour of the contest. With a one vote margin, Over The Moon Café and its fancy mac and cheese heads into the Final Four today.

Game 2: BITE at Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway, Tacoma) vs. Rosewood Café (3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma)

When first discussing the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, in editorial meetings that seem like they were many moons ago, Rosewood Café was mentioned almost immediately. The North Tacoma café has a following, and everyone knows it. The neighborhood hangout has fared well so far in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, but yesterday - despite being locked in one hell of a close game all day - the Rosewood couldn't sustain the cheese. BITE Restaurant & Bar, embedded in the boutique Hotel Murano, turned up the chill music, placed another bellhop in the lobby and pushed their Ooo la la Lemon Drop cocktails. When the buzzer sounded, BITE had garnered 52 percent of the vote, and a spot in today's Final Four.

Game 3: Marrow Kitchen + Bar (2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma)

Engine House No. 9 has made a lot of friends in its 40-plus year history at Sixth and Pine. Yesterday, the Tacoma destination for craft beer and mac and cheese needed all of those friends to take down hip Marrow Kitchen + Bar, a number one seed and a bistro many had advancing all the way to the championship on their Tournament of Mac and Cheese brackets. With a two-vote margin win, 11th seed Engine House No. 9 advances to the Final Four.

Game 4: Boathouse 19 (9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma) vs. Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge (454 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma)

Number two seed Boathouse 19 has killed it so far in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese. That said, most prognosticators still assumed Boathouse 19 would go down when facing number one seed Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge. Surely, Maxwell's with its fancy digs and celebrity chef would have too much firepower for Boathouse 19, right? No so fast, my friend! Boathouse 19 maintained a solid 50-point lead all day. After taking a victory lap in their bad motor schooner, Boathouse 19 finally took a deep breath and soaked in their spot in today's Final Four.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Final Four:

Over The Moon Café

BITE Restaurant and Bar

Engine House No. 9

Boathouse 19

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's Final Four mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.

Game 1: Over The Moon Café (709 Opera Alley, Tacoma) vs. BITE at Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway, Tacoma)

Inside Over The Moon Café you'll find black table linens, cozy colorful chairs and lighting that sets the mood perfect for date night or conversation over a glass of wine. A small lamp adorns your table alongside a collection of vintage hardback books, combined with the lighting and velvety seating you're enveloped in a gypsy-esque ambiance. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu is spattered with colorful salad options and tasty sandwiches during lunch that transition to artful fine dining worthy plates in the evening. The modern art zing of the Hotel Murano's décor is as entertaining as a People magazine cover story. Your eyes are pulled from left to right, up and down, catching equal parts fine art and whimsy. Upbeat chill music reverberates through the lobby, right up to the lobby bar. Their restaurant, BITE, is just as cool. Located on the fourth floor, the space drips with chic. Over The Moon Café and BITE both serve "adult" mac and cheese dishes - no elbow macaroni, no American cheese. Here we go! CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Game 2: Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma) vs. Boathouse 19 (9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma)

On the other side of the bracket sits a scenario nobody could have predicted. Eleventh seed Engine House No. 9 and their "Tailgate" mac and cheese ran over Topside Bar and Grill, Paesan Kitchen and Mac N More to reach the Final Four. Impressive, to say the least. Number two seed Boathouse 19 and their balanced three-cheese mac and cheese motored over Red Robin, The Hub and Westside Tavern to face E9 today. Number vs. number. Firehouse theme vs. nautical. Li'l Smokies vs. caramelized onion and huge chunks of ham. Engine House No. 9 vs. Boathouse 19. I fully expect the Tacoma Emergency Network to be activated today. CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Log onto the Served in the South Sound blog tomorrow and discover which two restaurants will battle it out in the championship game Monday, April 6. The online voting will launch around 8 a.m. Monday morning, closing at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the voting will resume live at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont during the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party. Our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

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About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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