Food & dining

Saltie Girl wins Munch Madness 2018

The results are in, and this year’s Munch Madness winner is . . . Saltie Girl.

Sidell Hospitality’s Back Bay seafood bar stunned everyone by pulling out a win. Open for less than two years, with just 30 seats, it nonetheless managed to garner 5,738 votes in the final round. Not only that, it knocked out Joanne Chang’s beloved bakery/cafe Flour — after bumping Loco Taqueria, Myers + Chang, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Mei Mei, and Pagu in previous rounds.

A little star power never hurts. Actress Kate Hudson was one of Saltie Girl’s backers, posting an Instagram story with the message: “The best!!! My gf’s mama is up to win munch madness!!!!” (That friend would be Sidell’s daughter, Alexandra Trustman, an agent at Creative Artists Agency.)


There are always some last-minute antics as Munch Madness winds down, and this year was no exception. A team from Flour infiltrated Saltie Girl with a special delivery — giant cans of “tuna.” When they were opened, the contents were revealed to be . . . Flour’s famous sticky buns. The bakery posted a video on Instagram, with one final taunt: “Q: What’s better than canned fish? A: Sticky buns! (Every time).”

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Replied Saltie Girl honcho Kathy Sidell: “Joanne, gotta be honest. Charming video. Well played. But two female-owned establishments is already a win.” Then she signed off as a giant lobster roll was delivered to her table.

Because victory is a dish best served cold, with mayo. Or would you prefer hot, with melted butter? No need to choose. Lobster rolls come both ways at Saltie Girl, the Munch Madness champion of 2018.

Devra First can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.