NYC Food Fight: Tournament Edition

Jonathan Zeller

Quarterfinals: Edible Eight

Round 1 of our New York City food bracket is in the books. After thousands of votes, it mostly went as expected. Sure, the Madonia Brothers cannoli pulled the traditional 12-over-5 upset against the NoMad’s roast chicken for two—but just like in this year’s men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, that was as crazy as things got.

So here we are, with eight foods left standing at the precipice of the Flavorful Four. Scroll down to vote for your favorites, and come back next week for the semifinals.

(Left) Photo: Adam Kuban • (Right) Photo: Daniel Turtel

1. Classic New York Slice, Joe’s Pizza
9. Porterhouse Steak, Peter Luger
Eat pizza with a knife and fork in NYC, and you’ll get some strange looks—but that’s nothing compared to what you’ll encounter if you eat a porterhouse with your bare hands. Joe’s scored the most resounding victory of the first round over the highly divisive Cronut, but this should be a more formidable challenge for the top seed.

(Left) Photo: Joe Buglewicz • (Right) Photo: Kate Glicksberg

12. Cannoli,Madonia Brothers Bakery
4. Har Gow,Pacificana
Madonia Brothers’ Arthur Avenue cannoli was the Cinderella of the first round, knocking off a fine-dining favorite. Can the Italian dessert continue its run against a Sunset Park dim sum staple?

(Left) Photo: Julienne Schaer • (Right) Photo: Alan Rosen

2. Pastrami Sandwich, Second Avenue Deli
7. Original Cheesecake, Junior’s
Powerhouses collide in the second round. Were they not locked in cutthroat competition, this very pastrami followed by this very cheesecake could be some visitors’ very rich dream meal. But only one can move on.

(Left) Photo: Tagger Yancey IV • (Right) Photo: Julienne Schaer

3. Bagel and Cream Cheese with Lox, Russ & Daughters
6. Hot Dog, Nathan’s
Two century-old New York City institutions square off in a salty breakfast-versus-lunch battle. Your correspondent has to admit he hopes the bagel continues its march to glory. But the voters must decide.

That’s it for the quarterfinals. Voting ends Monday, March 27, at 9am, and the Flavorful Four is scheduled to be unveiled later that day. See you then.