First Round of 32

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Chipotle vs. Moe’s

In the trendiest matchup in the bracket, Chipotle emerged as the victor. These Tex-Mex/Mexican fast food chains are becoming increasingly popular across the entire country, regardless of possible E.coli outbreaks. The burritos at both Moe’s and Chipotle were extremely filling; however, Chipotle loaded theirs with everything that I wanted in it.


Conclusion: Chipotle was much heartier and therefore it will advance to the next round in the bracket.

Whole Foods vs. Organica

Although the Whole Food’s Purple Kale Caesar Salad did have fresh vegetables, that was all it really had. I couldn’t taste much flavor because it was mostly lettuce. There were actually only three cherry tomatoes in the salad, and considering it was $8.99, I expected better. Organica’s salad, on the other hand, was less expensive, had almost twice as many toppings, and a lot more flavor. Organica also had fresh vegetables and a wider variety. Usually, I don’t enjoy eating salads and can only eat a few bites before I get tired of it– which is how I felt eating the Whole Foods salad. But, Organica was a much better deal and I actually finished the entire salad because the toppings were delicious.

Conclusion: Organica was definitely the winner, and I definitely will continue eating salads from there.

– Alexis Choi

Wendy’s Baconator vs. Callahan’s

For six bucks, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Baconator itself is a nicely sized sandwich, loaded with beef, cheddar, and bacon. The combo, with fries and a drink, is still just under six dollars. This is a very good bang for your buck. Its competition, a Callahan’s hot dog is no joke. At 9 inches, this hotdog is a worthy opponent to any fast food deal. The dog and the bun work together in food harmony and make for a perfect tasting hot dog, and only costs about five dollars. However, the French fries may have been made the week before, as they seemed to be stale. The whole meal, costing more than the Baconator, should meet higher expectations, and yet aspects of it met standards below the Wendy’s meal deal.

Conclusion: The Baconator takes the crown, considering that for the price, it is well made delicious food. The Callahan hot dog put up a good fight, but just fell short. Long live the Baconator.

– André Baez

Subway vs. Jersey Mike’s

I think the Italian Combo at Subway beats the Italian Combo at Jersey Mike’s for many reasons. I have had Subway since I was very little and I have always loved its scrumptious-tasting hot bread and how they seemingly perfectly spread all of the ingredients within the sandwich.

Conclusion: The Italian Combo at Jersey Mike’s was very good but it just wasn’t as well prepared as it was at Subway.

– Ryan DePhillips

Shake Shack vs. Smashburger

Before visiting the fast food restaurants, we expected the Smashburger to be better than Shake Shack’s burger, as we thought Shake Shack’s burgers would have had more grease and oil than Smashburger’s. To our surprise, Smashburger actually dripped more oil and fell apart, whereas the Shake Shack burger stayed together, probably because of its smaller size.

Conclusion: Shake Shack is our winner.

-Mera Abdalla and Sohee Kaity


Popeye’s vs. Taco Bell

Ultimately, both were extremely disappointing. Although the chains have the same goal of trying to copy some cultural food, the salt and grease create something totally different than the objective. Unfortunately, because the taste was so underwhelming, this face off came down to price. With Popeyes, the “bang for your buck” is impressive; 10 pieces of chicken (which is (75% breading and 25% actual chicken) for $10.99. You also have to keep in mind that you get a side of choice and a biscuit. I don’t care who you are; that is nearly unbeatable and actually makes Popeyes somewhat worth it.

Conclusion: Popeyes is the winner. 

-Craig Schulman

Pizza Hut vs. Domino’s

This match-up was perhaps the most anticipated of the entire bracket. When it comes to pizza, there are no bigger names. Coming into the matchup, Dominoes had the advantage. While both have the most annoying commercials because there are so many, Dominoes are sometimes slightly entertaining. Dominoes was also king when it came to taste as well. Personally, I prefer a solid cheese to sauce ratio; I don’t like too much sauce on my pizza. Domino’s has masterfully perfected this ratio. Still, Pizza Hut was a worthy opponent. They did put a good fight, but the sauce ratio and price is what it came down to.

Conclusion: The victor is clear: Dominoes every day of the week.

-Jason Ackerman and Craig Schulman

McDonald’s McNuggets vs. Burger King Nuggets

Going in with an unbiased and open mindset, I was there to judge these nuggets based on taste. I also kept in mind service as well as price.  The McDonald’s nuggets were moist, juicy and had a crunchy outside. On the other hand BK’s nuggets were a big soggy and a little dry making the decision an easy one.

Conclusion: After careful consideration, McDonald’s McNuggets took down Burger King’s nuggets as the difference in taste was drastic.

– Jason Ackerman

Wendy’s Nuggets vs. McDonald’s Fries

Sometimes the best way to recover after a stressful day of school is to find solace in the arms of Wendy and Ronald McDonald. To cure our Monday blues, Rebecca and I set out on a quest to try Wendy’s nuggets and McDonald’s fries. Since fries and nuggets aren’t exactly comparable, we tested them to see which menu item would be the better snack. In terms of both price and wait time, Wendy’s and McDonald’s were basically the same, so it all came down to taste. The Wendy’s nuggets were not only better tasting, but also a better texture. The McDonald’s fries that were were served were slightly soggy and tasted like an old batch.

Conclusion:  The Wendy’s nuggets are a better snack. They tasted better, had a better texture, and were more filling.

-Rebecca Bonifacio and Jack Billotti

Panera vs. Blimpie

The Italian Sandwich ($8.99) from Panera is a 850 calories combination of giardiniera, red wine salami, ham, provolone, arugula, and basil mayo all sandwiched in between a hoagie roll. It comes with a side of potato chips. On the other hand, the Ham, Salami, and Provolone ($8.99) from Blimpie is a 12” sub with 920 calories consisting of slow-cured ham, salami, and provolone lined with tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, vinegar, oil, and oregano.  In terms of atmosphere, Panera Bread gives off a more relaxed vibe, a place where you can take your time with eating. The café was spread out and the seats were spacious, leaving enough elbow room to do my work. Blimpie, however, had a more excited mood, where I had to order fast and eat my food faster. In addition, it had a more compact space, which hastened my ingestion of the sub. In their menus, the two chains both had a variety of options to choose. In Panera Bread, they offer a plethora of food to eat such as other sandwiches like paninis and flatbreads, soups, mac and cheese, salads, bread bowls, and baked goods. Likewise, Blimpie offers a mix as well with their subs, paninis, wraps, salads, fried chicken, and pizza. Both have beverages to order on the side.

Conclusion: Panera comes out on top, with their superior taste, cleaner space, and more soothing atmosphere.

– Joon Paik

Five Guys vs. Mooyah

I had only goal in mind when I stepped into both establishments: to crown one of these burgers as the winner for this round of the food battles. Five Guys goes for a more traditional, simple burger while Mooyah tries to stray away from that. Mooyah’s patty has many more flavors and seasonings that definitely give the burger character. Mooyah’s taste may be creative but it suffers from having too much grease. It gives you a bad feeling in your stomach and the eating experience is also a little too messy. Five Guys not only lacks that greasiness but it is also cheaper, quicker, and just as tasty.

Conclusion: In the end I must say that Five Guys wins.

-Ryan Lee

Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks

The question, “Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks?” is a lot like playing Monopoly. Everyone starts fighting about it and you might lose your friends over it. I took it upon myself to answer the question. I went to both locations and ordered the same thing – a hazelnut iced coffee – as a test subject to determine which coffee shop chain would top the other. Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee was light; it wasn’t too strong or dense, making it perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. The hazelnut flavor, however, tasted artificial and almost masked what I ordered to drink in the first place – the coffee. I personally did not mind it. In fact, I actually enjoyed it, but it certainly may not be for everyone. In terms of service, placing my order was quick and painless. The baristas took a few extra minutes getting my coffee out to me but I wasn’t petty about it. The best part about ordering at Starbucks was using their app. I didn’t have to wait in line and I exchanged minimal human interaction.  As for the coffee, it was very strong and rich in flavor and also a lot smoother. The hazelnut syrup wasn’t nearly as distinct as it was for Dunkin’ Donuts. It seamlessly blended into the flavor of the coffee rather than overpowering it. 

Conclusion: After vigorous observation, careful examination, and putting way too much caffeine in my body, I concluded that Starbucks had the better iced coffee.

– Kristy Liu

Wendy’s Fries vs. Burger King Fries

The best way to end the day from school on a last period free is to treat yourselves to warm and yummy fries. Grace and I eagerly went into Wendy’s, located in Hillsdale, and ordered a pair of medium fries. The price was fair and the wait wasn’t that long either. But when we both took our first bite, the look of sheer disappointment crossed our faces. It wasn’t the warm yummy fries that we were both looking forward to. Instead, it was some soggy, salty and leftover burnt fries. Most were so small that they didn’t even have potato in them. However, at Burger King, both from past experiences, we knew that these fries would obviously top the ones from Wendy’s. When we sat down to eat, all we saw were some fat and filling-looking fries, which was soon confirmed when we took the first bite. It’s contrast with salt was the perfect combination and satisfied us immensely.

Conclusion: In the end, it is clear that Burger King fries were of the best quality regardless of the price and wait time.

-Grace Choi and Melia Sharma

KFC vs. Boston Market

Fast food is supposed to be cheap, and the ratio of quality to price should be thrown out of the window when deciding between fast food “restaurants.” Hence, the Original Recipe, KFC chicken, is the winner due to its immediate pleasure it brings your senses. Not to downplay the Quarter White, but this is a David versus Goliath situation. KFC chicken is served in its staple bucket, while Boston Market tries to grab the upper hand using “homemade” feel. Another advantage KFC has is the atmosphere. Unfortunately for Boston Market, KFC also had a more attractive ambiance. This may be due to the fact that it was a Saturday noon, lunchtime, and more people wanted a meal more so than the Original Recipe chicken drumsticks.

Conclusion: KFC is the Winner

– Mark Marotta

Big Mac vs. The Whopper

I’ve had Burger King’s Whopper for years and I have loved it. Then, suddenly, I tried McDonald’s Big Mac for the first time in probably a decade and I immediately fell in love, more so than the Whopper. In my opinion, compared to the Whopper, the Big Mac is juicier, the buns tastes better, and the “meat” of the burger is well spread out, making it less filling, quicker to eat, and tastier. The slight flaws of the Whopper include it being a little too dry and a little too filling.

Conclusion: Although the Big Mac is slightly worse presented and a little more expensive, I without a doubt think the Big Mac is overall a better burger compared to the Whopper.

-Ryan DePhillips

BBQ Chicken vs. Chick-fil-A

Overall, it was an extremely close contest. If this was an actual March Madness game, it would be a buzzer-beater. However, Chick-fil-A was able to sink a three as time expired. For BBQ Chicken conveniently located at Bistate, fresh out of the frier was the Crispy Gold Wings. They were so hot that we couldn’t eat it without squirming in our seats. Apparently, this order is a “go-to” whenever going BBQ. The BBQ Chicken performance was impressive; it was really really good. On the other hand, getting to Chick-fil-A is a little bit of a hike, but, ultimately, it was worth it. Chick-fil-A is the gold standard of chicken. It is the chicken to end all chicken. It is hard to believe that Chick-fil-A is a fast-food chain and not a southern grandma’s home. This loss for BBQ Chicken is nothing against their chicken, but rather, this win is all about the perfection of Chick-fil-A.

Conclusion: Chick-fil-A is the winner.

– Amy Choi