Hungry Mother has three-peated as Munch Madness champion. In a matchup of Cambridge heavyweights, the Southern-style favorite held off Oleana, which specializes in North African and Mediterranean cuisine, by 311 votes to claim its third consecutive title in our annual tournament of 64 local restaurants modeled after the NCAA March Madness basketball bracket.
It was the fourth straight trip to the final round for chef Barry Maiden’s Hungry Mother, which has only lost once — in 2010 to East Coast Grill. In one of the biggest surprises of this year’s competition, that former champion was knocked off in the opening round by the Kenmore Square mainstay Eastern Standard. However, Hungry Mother and the only other previous finalist, Craigie on Main, were paired against each other in the Final Four. In that rematch of last year’s finalists, Hungry Mother edged chef Tony Maws’s restaurant by a little more than 300 votes to advance.