Starch Madness 2016: And the Winner Is…

A hearty congratulations to Boston's ultimate carbohydrate!

A clash of complex carbohydrates culminated in a bagel-versus-rice battle royale this year. One month and tens of thousands of votes later, we finally have a Starch Madness 2016 winner. Congratulations to Chicken & Rice Guys, who barely edged out Bagelsaurus in the eyes of Boston’s gluten gluttons. This really was a close competition, with the CNR Guys’s Combo Plates defeating runner-up Bagelsaurus’s pretzel bagels by a margin of only (sweet jalapeno green sauce!) one percent.

We began this year’s Starch Madness with 32 contenders in four conferences: wheat, rice, corn, and potato. Throughout four weeks of tight competition, we saw a few surprises along the way—who else was shocked when the number one-seeded Sweet Cheeks was bounced in the Elite Eight? The Gilded Doughboy certainly was. And Commonwealth’s duck fat fries, last year’s runner-up, got vindication over Shojo’s mapo tofu “Shadowless” duck fat fries, knocking the reigning champion out in the third round. But while Commonwealth took the Potato Conference, in the end, it was Chicken & Rice Guys that emerged victorious. Congratulations to the 2016 Starch Madness winner—be sure to make space on the shelf for your trophy.

Now, because every starch has a special place in the food pyramid of our hearts, we did want to take a closer look at the stories behind each conference champion: the aforementioned fries from Commonwealth; Toro’s maíz asado, Boston’s original street corn; Bagelsaurus’s popular pretzel bagel, and our winner, the Guys’s addictive chicken and rice. Go behind the scenes of all four, and plan your next few lunch breaks accordingly.

cnr guys

The Combo Plate at Chicken & Rice Guys
It’s chicken. It’s rice. You love it.


The Pretzel Bagel at Bagelsaurus
No lie, the secret’s in the lye.


The Duck Fat Fries at Commonwealth
Twice cooked for double the deliciousness.


The Maíz Asado at Toro
‘This dish is going to put our kids through college.’