Cafe Society

March madness: The top four foods for the Sweet Sixteen

After a weekend of great basketball and not-so-great snacks, I'm planning some sweet eating action for this coming weekend's Sweet Sixteen.

Here's some of the top local fare from three of the remaining top-ranked teams, and one from a post-game replacement.

We're not in Kansas any more.

1. Syracuse is the home of cheap booze and low-paid hookers, the armpit of New York. The drink of choice here is the "Rosarita" Bloody Mary at Shenanigans Bar. This concoction is made from the unholy coupling of tomato juice and clam juice designed to bring out the flavor of the veggies. Clamato, the hairless clam of champions.

2. Kentucky, land of the Derby, mint juleps and Southern women who love it when you go south of the Mason-Dixon line. When you're traveling through this back-country state, make sure you stop in the town of Owensboro, home of the world-famous mutton barbecue, a staple since 1816. You have nuttin' on this mutton.

3. Duke University is considered one of the top institutions of higher learning, although some people need remedial lessons in when to say "no" to drunken fraternity lacrosse players. And the people of Raleigh-Durham could also use some schooling in good restaurants, since in a list of the many higher-end eating establishments in the area, WalMart is the number-two choice. Yeah, who doesn't want a dried-up piece of fried chicken that's been sitting in the hot deli window for three years?

4. Since Kansas isn't in the tourney anymore, thanks to a giant choke job that would do Heidi Fleiss proud, we bring you the better Kansas: Kansas State. I can hear The Wizard of Oz in the background as I prowl through the streets of Manhattan (Kansas) looking for some edible engagement that marries the heart to the Hartland of America. Harry's in the Wareham Hotel is considered the best in the city; its menu even features such foodie fare as foie gras, lobster and mussels. For the middle of nowhere, that's some high-class eating...

Let's hope these teams all make it past this round so that they don't have to eat what's waiting for them back home.