Our first tournament match-up pits defending champion White Center (joining forces with West Seattle) against the Southeast Super Region, fresh off its play-in victory over the Northeast. File your vote by Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
*See Also Seattle Weekly's Snackdown Returns
Gwen Elliott is sold on West Seattle and White Center.
Contending again for the 2012 Snackdown crown might come off unseemly for a 'hood that crushed the competition last year, but the Dub C/West Seattle confederation offers up a snack-friendly smorgasbord that can't be ignored when the conversation turns to chow. To make the case, a little name-dropping is in order:
For pizza there's everything from the giant, hipster-approved wheels at Talarico's, the blue collar, family-friendly pies at Proletariat, and salt-of-the-earth Giovanni's, with such understated interior you'd never guess they pump out the most gorgeous pizza in the land (with the assistance of the friendliest high schoolers around). If it's burgers you crave, look no further than Zippy's Giant Burgers, whose beefy sliders have been dubbed "Best Seattle Burger" along with their proprietary black bean patty, ranked in '10 and '11 as "Seattle's Best Veggie Burger."
Suds to wash down all that meat and cheese? Elliott Bay Brewery, Big Al's, and Locol Barley and Vine will service your every hoppy need, with exceptional pints produced from EBB's sustainable brewing process, crispy ales from Big Al's, and Belgian imports, regional specialties, and even wine on tap at Locol.
Ready to run south of the border? There's a burrito with your name on it at the end of the never-ending line at Dub C fave La Fondita (and don't miss the authentic Mexican Roasted Corn stand just steps away). Like your Latin fare a bit more refined? The Mission's sweet potato tacos, loaded nachos, savory quesidillas, and fancy cocktails will float your boat--and do order their fabulous Cadillac Margarita, topped off with a float of Grand Marnier.
Hungover, family bound, or both, breakfast and brunch are perfectly exemplified by Meander's Kitchen and Eats Cafe; coffee is always done right by Dubsea; Bakery Nouveau and Salvadorean Bakery offer the spectrum of baked goods from buttery European pastries to provincial specialties; and La Romanza and Mashiko provide elegant dining experiences with reasonable price tags.
And Southeasterner Nina Shapiro is sweet on her corner of the city.
What can't you find in the Southeast Super Region? In a city that pays lip service to diversity, but in many neighborhoods has precious little of it, this area's got almost everything.
Almost, because the one thing it lacks is super high-end places. Who needs them? Not when you can go to Columbia City's La Medusa, a place that executes its Sicilian menu with items like duck breast, farro and risotto croquettes. Hungry for more humble Italian fare? The Southeast region's got an astounding array of superb pizza places--Georgetown's Stellar Pizza and Via Tribunali, Mt. Baker's Flying Squirrel and Mioposto, Beacon Hill's Bar del Corso, Columbia City's Tutta Bella, Rainier Beach's Pizzeria Pulcinella.
Columbia City offers great diner fare (Geraldine's in Columbia City), elegant Thai food (the Spice Room) and a Caribbean joint that serves up yams and plantains (Island Soul). Columbia City Bakery's bread is justly sought after by restaurants around the city.
Want Ethiopian food? There's Meskel in the Central District. Indian? Try Travelers Thali House on Beacon Hill. Dim Sum? The Rainier Valley's Jumbo Seafood Restaurant & Lounge easily matches more celebrated places in the International District. And Vietnamese? There are too many holes in the wall to name, and one of the delights of this region is discovering them yourself.