I can certainly admit that I was genuinely surprised by some of the results in the group stages of the CougCenter World Cup of Pullman (and Moscow) Food. The Pat Reeves Group, dubbed the 'Group of Death' by some certainly lived up to its billing but we had some surprises in virtually every other group.
We've reseeded the top two from each group based on votes so this isn't a strict World Cup format. You'll have until 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night to vote and then the semifinals will get under way. We will not reseed after this; the winner of quarterfinal one will face the winner of four and the winner of quarterfinal two will face the winner of three in the Final Four.
Point of parliamentary procedure (which, yes, has been copy and pasted from our group stage post): this is about your FAVORITE restaurant, not necessarily the best. Whatever the word favorite when it comes to food means to you, roll with it. Just make sure you're playing the NHL on ESPN theme to get good and pumped during your voting.
The knockout stages are fixing to be a tough competition between some of the best restaurants the Palouse has to offer. LETS GET TO THE VOTIN' AND GET PUMPED UP!
Quarterfinal Match One:
No. 1 Seed: Cougar Country (343 votes, Pat Reeves Group)
No. 8 Seed: The Breakfast Club (148 votes, Connor Halliday Toilet Cloggin' Group)
One of the two restaurants we expected to make it out of the Group of Death did it with emphasis as Cougar Country gets the most votes in the first round by a sizable margin. The Breakfast Club's inclusion is more shocking given it's competition in the Connor Halliday Toilet Cloggin' Group. Black Cypress and CD's Smoke Pit pulled an Italy and, although they played well enough to scare their competitors, they couldn't make it to the knockout stages. It'll be interesting to see how many votes the Moscow institution pick up against the perennial favorite.
Quarterfinal Match Two:
No. 2 Seed: The Old European (307 votes, Andrew Furney Group)
No. 7 Seed: La Casa Lopez (188 votes, Andrew Furney Group)
We did reseed and it just so happens both teams that advanced out of the Andrew Furney Group will face each other again. It's bound to happen every once in a while but hey, dems the rules (that I made up three days ago). It's another Pullman-Moscow Highway battle as a darkhorse favorite of the Mexican food fans against an old standby breakfast spot that seems to divide a lot of fans. The Old European, somewhat appropriately, seems to be be like the French national team in that regard. It seems to be France's year in Brazil, is it the Old Europeans or can La Casa Lopez pull the upset?
Quarterfinal Match Three:
No. 3 Seed: The Coug (292 votes, Connor Halliday Toilet Cloggin' Group)
No. 6 Seed: Gambino's (206 votes, Joe Salave'a Group)
I'll be honest: this surprised me. Perhaps the voting for The Coug is a little spill over from, well, spill over from the college years of many voters but it matters not for they are here. Gambino's actually tied atop the Joe Salave'a Group with our No. 5 seed but a coin flip (seriously!) gave them the tougher match up. Will it be the old fashioned 'Merican food and beer or the Italian food favorite of many on the Palouse?
Quarterfinal Match Four:
No. 4 Seed: Sella's (259 votes, Pat Reeves Group)
No. 5 Seed: Tam's Place (206 votes, Joe Salave'a Group)
Sella's was the other team to make it out of our self-appointed Group of Death but it did get a good run from South Fork Public House that made it at least a little interesting. Tam's Place is our third breakfast location on here so it clearly means we enjoy things that soak up large quantities of alcohol left in our stomachs the next morning. Then again, if you can wait until the afternoon, Sella's will do it too. The next round will be a tough task for either of these establishments but who moves on?