Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ode to March Madness


With the final four facing off tonight in DEEEEtroit, I of course wanted to give a little love to the local areas boasting teams in this year's big dance. With favorite listings in East Lansing, Storrs, Villanova, and Chapel Hill as well as their local equivalents, you should have just enough time to grab treats before watching the games tonight (tip off is around 6:00 PM).

First, I should make it abundantly clear that I am totally and completely biased as to this year's seeds. I love me some Spartans (parents are MSU alums, grew up bleeding green, you get the point....). Whenever we visited campus, we had to stop at Spagnuolo's on Grand River Ave. (Yes, I realize that going with pizza as the food of choice on a college campus is totally chiche). With really cheap MI-style pizza (meaning thick crust and full of meat - by the way, in no way am I claiming that it rivals NY or Chicago-style), it didn't get better than Spag's. DC boasts different varieties of pizza, not so much MI-style, so I'll recommend either Italian Store for NY slices, or Vocelli for delivery pizza (really not bad). I'll skip an analysis of the multitude of artisanal shops. Really, who wants 2 Amy's when we are talking March Madness?

Penn State was the original, so I feel that UConn is a little bit of a copycat in hyping their Dairy Bar, but it does seem to be a Storrs favorite for Huskies fans. For ice cream in DC, you might as well switch to frozen custard, and head to Dairy Godmother. It doesn't get any better.

Villanova boasts Maia seafood market and restaurant. In DC, looks no further than the Maine Avenue waterfront market. Pick up rolls and chowder for lunch, along with a nice piece of flounder, halibut, or the like for dinner, and you'll be happily set.

Matt Barrett of Chapel Hill raves about the southern favorites at Crooks Corner, particularly the Shrimp and Grits. While not exactly a sports bar, either carry out an order or stop in at Johnny's Half Shell for happy hour to devour the $6 plate of BBQ shrimp and grits, served with those addictive herbed oyster crackers and sourdough. It's fantastic!

Ok, I'm headed out to pick up my snacks now. Go Spartans!!!

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