INTRODUCING: Allston Village Bar & Restaurant March Madness

Happy Selection Sunday Everybody!

Unlike a certain student exploitation cabal, we’re not going to spend all day wasting your time revealing the selections one by one. There’s your bracket! Make your predictions! Debate with your friends! Get hungry and go patronize these establishments! Do whatever you want!

Wait… so how does this work?
The bracket will played out in a series of Twitter polls where you, lovers of Allston, will get to vote for your favorite establishments. There will be 4 polls posted each day, each poll being open for 48 hours.

Why did you exclude a place that I like?
When we were first making this bracket, we didn’t realize how quickly we could fill 64 slots (we ended up expanding to 68, but more on that later.) Because it was so incredibly easy we had to put a few restriction in place.

First, we decided to impose strict geographic limits to what we determined was Allston Village, the epicenter of Allston cuisine and nightlife. That means we lost out on some great places on the wrong side of Packard’s Corner (Holly Crab, Roast Beast), Lower Allston (The Bus Stop, Ariana) and those that toe the Allston-Brighton border (Harry’s, Ittoku.)

We also had to cut out those we considered coffee shops or dessert places, because there are a lot of them and they seemed to be offering something different and not comparable to the other establishments here. (Bars without food menus did not receive this same treatment, because the selection committee is a bunch of booze hounds.)

Also Hookah Lounges were excluded, because we thought of them too late into building the bracket, but did you know that we have THREE Hookah lounges in Allston? Wild.

Okay but a place I like fits those parameters and still didn’t make it. What gives? 
In the end, part of who made it and who didn’t was somewhat arbitrary. We wish we had a good rubric for determining who got selected, but we don’t. If you think we REALLY screwed up by forgetting something, let us know!

Okay, but what about Super 88? 
Good point! Super 88 was intentionally excluded because we felt if we included it as a food court monolith it would rightly wipe the floor with its competition, but if we Balkanized it and made each spot compete separately, it wouldn’t do justice to the magic that is Super 88, and would also give us way too many competitors. So sorry Super 88, you’re just going to have to sit this one out knowing that we already decided that you’re awesome.

How was the seeding determined?
The 1 and 2 seeds were specifically chosen as places that we thought deserved specific recognition as Allston food & drink powerhouses. Beyond that? We pretty much just tried to make exciting first round match ups.

We also tried (but didn’t totally succeed in) keeping similar places bunched together as much as possible so that we could maintain variety in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds.

Okay, but you made Tavern In the Square a 2 seed? 
They have the longest lines in Allston, so you have to acknowledge that. Besides, every tournament needs a Duke.

Okay So What’s This About 68 Places?
Oh Right! So before we can even get to the first round, we have 4 play-in games. We thought 4 play-ins was the right amount because that’s how many the actual March Madness has. Any more would overkill. At least unlike the real NCAA, when we say we are trying to give these places exposure, we’re not lying through our teeth.

PLAY IN MATCHES:
Thai Place (184 Brighton Ave.) 
vs.
O Yummy (182 Brighton Ave.)

Bibim (166 Harvard Ave.)
vs.
Hanmaru (168 Harvard Ave.)

Shabu Zen (80 Brighton Ave.)
vs.
Mala (129 Brighton Ave.)

Inbound Pizza (1232 Commonwealth Ave)
vs. 
La Mamma (190 Brighton Ave)

Wow! Look at all that talent in the qualifiers! Can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when it goes live! We will probably put those play-in match polls up Monday, but maybe we’ll do it tonight instead? Who knows! Get excited because #AllstonMadness is upon us.

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