As the clock counts down to the Final Four games of March Madness this weekend, it’s time to turn your attention to the spread … the snack spread, that is. With college basketball teams from Washington, Oregon, North Carolina and South Carolina facing off on Saturday, will your party playbook favor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest or the cuisines of the Carolinas? Looking to both regions for inspiration, we’ve rounded up a roster of winning recipes.
We’re down to the final two competitors in our Best College Eats tournament, and this championship game is guaranteed to be messy. We’ve got Marquette University and the Real Chili Restaurant serving up a sloppy, satisfying chili-topped bowl of spaghetti taking on Baylor University and Vitek’s BBQ, who is dishing up the restaurant’s famous Gut Pak, a fully-loaded plate of corn chips topped with brisket, sausage, beans and so much more.
Which of these two gut-busters will be named the Best College Eat? Vote for your favorite below.
Note: Voting for the championship round will last longer with the polls closing Friday, April 5th, at 5pm ET.
During our research, though, we noticed some similarities between the dishes that kept coming up as college students’ favorites. After some careful analysis (and sampling of the dishes) we identified these key elements when cooking up a Best College Eat:
After spending months collecting information from all of the restaurants featured in our Bracket Battle: Best College Eats tournament(not to mention sampling every single recipe that came out of the test kitchen), I wanted to figure out how something like the Fat Darrell — a huge sandwich loaded with mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, marinara sauce and French fries — came to be. Who thinks of piling all of the best late night snacks together in one sandwich? A hungry college kid, that’s who.