UPDATE: Fini's Landing trails Zivaz by 57 votes with two hours left to vote for the championship burger. Go to www.azstarnet.com/burgermadness and click "Finals" to vote for your favorite. This one could go down to the wire.
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It might not come as a surprise that in the battle for Tucson’s favorite burger, heat rules the day.
Fini’s Landing, home of the spicy Chubasco Burger will face off against Zivaz Mexican Bistro this week in Caliente’s Burger Championship.
Zivaz, an 8-year-old family-owned restaurant, 4590 E. Broadway, had to take out some burger heavyweights to make the final. It beat trendy Diablo Burger in the first round, then took out Rusty’s Family Restaurant & Sports Grill, No. 1-seed Monkey Burger and popular newcomer Amigos Burgers and Beer.
Zivaz has one burger that owner Cecilia Valenzuela says it added as a 4th of July special and kept on the menu because it was so popular — the Asada Burger, open-flame grilled with onions, chipotle aioli, tomato and greens. Add a chile relleno for $2.
Fini’s Landing, a Catalina Foothills grill with a beachlike sensibility, 5689 N. Swan Road, was matched up against its old friends at Gentle Ben’s. The two restaurants brought their chefs and got together at Barrio Brewing Co. to host a burger battle on Sunday, offering two burgers (one from each restaurant) and two pints for $20.
Fini’s owner Doug Finical said the tally of burgers sold from each restaurant and updated live on a chalkboard was evenly split.
“It comes down to personal taste but I thought we didn’t have a prayer because it was homecoming and Gentle Ben’s has such a long history on University,” Finical said.
The Burger Battle raised about $400 for El Tour de Tucson, which lost its title sponsor this year.
Fini’s beat Noble Hops, Cody’s Beef ‘n Beans, Frank’s Sports Grill & Bar and finally Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co. to advance to the championship.