The Ultimate Burrito Showdown kicks off with 'Sloppy 16'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- As college basketball aficionados begin predicting the teams who will compete for NCAA championship glory, Arizona foodies are gearing up for Arizona Restaurant Association’s first ever Ultimate Burrito Showdown.

Beginning March 27 with the competition’s “Sloppy 16,” burrito lovers statewide will have the ability to cast their vote for Arizona’s Best Burrito and even be introduced to some of 2014’s Spring Arizona Restaurant Week participants.

The Ultimate Burrito Showdown will show no mercy, pitting lauded foodie favorites like three-time James Beard award nominee Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s Barrio Queen and Phoenix favorite Otro Café, against long-time Valley treasures like Carolinas and Los Dos Molinos. From the “Sloppy 16” and the “Edible 8,” down to the “Flavorful Four” and the final championship bracket on April 7, the best burritos from Sedona to Tucson will go head to head on Facebook to gather the most votes.

“We really wanted to do something fun to celebrate the flavors and cuisine of Arizona as a precursor to this year’s Spring Arizona Restaurant Week,” said Steve Chucri, president of Arizona Restaurant Association. “As Arizonans, we are passionate about our food and proud of our culinary influences – what could be better than giving everyone a way to celebrate March Madness with a little healthy competition among the best Mexican restaurants in the state?”

To kick off the competition on March 25 and 26, Facebook users will be able to submit their predictions for the “Elite 8,” “Flavorful 4” and championship match ups to win prizes courtesy of the Arizona Restaurant Association and Arizona Office of Tourism. Match ups will be revealed daily; the list of restaurants chosen to compete in the inaugural Ultimate Burrito Showdown are:

  • Carolina’s, Phoenix - Machaca Burrito
  • Molina’s Midway, Tucson - Crazy Burro
  • Los Dos Molinos, Phoenix & Mesa - Green Chile Burrito
  • Barrio Queen, Scottsdale - Barrio Pollo Burrito
  • Blanco Tacos, Phoenix & Scottsdale - Machaca Burrito
  • Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix - Al Pastor Burrito
  • Joyride Taco House, Gilbert - The Beast
  • Someburros, Statewide - Breakfast Burritos
  • Javelina Cantina, Sedona - Super Burrito
  • BLD, Chandler - Short Rib Breakfast Burrito
  • America’s Taco Shop, Valleywide - Carne Asada Burrito
  • Otro Café, Phoenix - Carne Asada Burrito
  • The Original Burrito Co., Ahwatukee - Barbacoa Burrito
  • Chino Bandido, Phoenix & Chandler - Jade Chicken Burrito
  • Carlsbad Tavern, Scottsdale - Carne Adovado
  • SOL Cocina, Scottsdale - Chipotle Shrimp Grilled Burrito

To learn more about Arizona Restaurant Week and to vote in the Ultimate Burrito Showdown, please visit

The spring Arizona Restaurant Week is May 17-26.