Last year, Saltie Girl won The Boston Globe’s Munch Madness restaurant tournament in an unlikely defeat of Joanne Chang’s beloved bakery/cafe Flour. And the year before that, sister restaurant Myers + Chang came in second to Oleana, losing by just six votes.
This year, Chang finally tastes victory. Flour is 2019’s Munch Madness champion. It beat out Somerville’s Sarma, another area favorite, with 1,322 votes to 848 in the final showdown. Toro and Island Creek Oyster Bar did well, too, getting bumped in the penultimate round.
Flour opened in 2000, in the South End location it still occupies. It quickly became famous for its sticky buns, Boston cream pie, and Chunky Lola cookies, along with an excellent breakfast sandwich and other savory items. It has since expanded: to Back Bay, the Seaport, Harvard Square, Central Square, and beyond. Cookbooks have followed, too, along with a James Beard Outstanding Baker award for Chang.
Persistence is a virtue. Or is that patience? Maybe Sarma will find out next year.Devra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.