Starch Madness 2016

Vote in our second annual bracket to find out which local carbohydrate dish reigns supreme.

Starch Madness Bracket Round 5

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Last year, we dared to ask: Whose spud game reigns supreme? Was it Dunkin’s glistening, golden breakfast medallions? The velvety truffled tots at the Back Bay’s swanky Grill 23? Sullivan’s seasonal crinkle-cut wedges? The resounding answer? Mark O’Leary’s “Shadowless” (and peerless) double-fried Russets in Chinatown—duck fat fries buttressed by kimchi cheese sauce and a ladleful of mapo tofu.

But somehow, all those oil-slicked tubers left an unsatisfying film in our mouth. When it came to fully exploring the Starch Madness pun, we’d neglected so many salty, satiating avenues. What about all those other carb-y supporting players: rice, pasta, corn, legumes, breads, and pasta? Potatoes were just the tip of the metaphoric iceberg.

It was time to think bigger.

That’s why, for our second annual bracket, we’ve introduced 32 contestants that run the spectrum from aioli-slathered street corn to maple bacon doughnuts to congee. Yes, Shojo is back to defend its title, but now it has to compete with some of Boston’s biggest and baddest signature sides (read: Sweet Cheeks’ towering buttermilk biscuits, shown above). New rounds of voting will begin every Tuesday until the field is whittled down to two finalists—each of whom will be featured in a behind-the-scenes profile published on And the Starch Madness champ will win a special prize: their very own golden Pillsbury Doughboy.

Whether you’re a believer in Bagelsaurus bagels or an acolyte of Area Four’s garlic knots, we want you to let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #StarchMadness.

Let 2016’s ultimate food fight begin.

Thanks for voting in Starch Madness! The winner will be announced March 30.


By Christopher Hughes and Jacqueline Cain / Photo by Toan Trinh / Flag image via Shutterstock