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It's tip-off time in the Last Chef Standing bracket: Vote and help your favorite restaurants advance

It's tip-off time in the Last Chef Standing bracket: Vote and help your favorite restaurants advance

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Is your NCAA bracket busted? Yeah, me too. (Thanks, Lehigh! I should have just let my dog pick like last year.)

For a bracket competition with a clean slate, head to CultureMap's Last Chef Standing contest. Sixteen Houston restaurants are facing off head-to-head with the goal of being named the Whole Foods People's Choice Champion.

First-round voting started today and continues through Friday. Fans can vote everyday, so whether you love the burger at The Grove, the gumbo at Liberty Kitchen or the samosas at Straits, keep logging on to culturemap.com/tournament/lastchef to make your voice heard.

The first round features a few interesting matchups. Chef Junnajet Hurapan's pan-Asian new Blu Restaurant and Lounge in Sugar Land is facing off against the restaurant that lured him to Houston, Gigi's Asian Bistro.

Does casual pizza joint Alto stand a chance against the überswank Valentino? Can underdog Roots Bistro make waves against downtown fave Samba Grille? Will The Tasting Room, which almost won The Big Dance Restaurant Challenge bracket last year, go all the way this year?

All 16 restaurants will be serving up delicious plates with beer and wine pairings at CultureMap's first-ever Last Chef Standing tasting event on April 9 at Hotel ZaZa, with more winners to be named live at the event. Tickets are available for $45 now.

What bracketed restaurant is your favorite?