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The March Madness Ultimate Burrito Showdown bracket. (Photo: arizonarestaurantweek.com)

PHOENIX -- As college basketball fans glue themselves to March Madness, some Arizona foodies are gearing up for a different kind of showdown.

The March Madness Ultimate Burrito Showdown, a contest between 16 Arizona restaurants, began Thursday.

"We've got a great cross-section of restaurants who want to compete to have the best burrito," said Steve Chucri with the Arizona Restaurant Association.

These burritos are anything but standard fare. Chucri said some of the top eateries in Arizona will bring their burrito A-game.

"These restaurants are top drawer and it's not the Mexican food that's the common expectation of the pedestrian of the street," he said. "This is gourmet food."

The best burrito will be decided through an online bracket, similar to that used in the March Madness tournament.

"You'll be able to vote and to see who's winning and who's not, just like you would go check scores for the NCAA," Chucri said.

The participating restaurants are:
• Carolina's (Phoenix)
• Molina's Midway (Tucson)
• Los Dos Molinos (Phoenix/Mesa)
• Barrio Queen (Scottsdale)
• Blanco Tacos (Phoenix/Scottsdale)
• Crescent Ballroom (Phoenix)
• Joyride Taco House (Gilbert)
• Someburros (Statewide)
• Javelina Cantina (Sedona)
• BLD (Chandler)
• America's Taco Shop (Valleywide)
• Otro Cafe (Phoenix)
• The Original Burrito Co. (Ahwatukee)
• Chino Bandido (Phoenix/Chandler)
• Carlsbad Tavern (Scottsdale)
• SOL Cocina (Scottsdale)

The final winner will be chosen April 7. To cast your vote, go to facebook.com/arizonarestaurantweek.

Jeremy Foster, News Editor

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