Every once in a while, a restaurant comes along that feels like an escape.
Case in point: The new Breezy Burrito Bar is located on Elmwood Avenue near Bidwell Parkway, but walk in, and you’ll feel transported somewhere else, somewhere you can’t quite put your finger on…
The surroundings in the new taqueria won’t take you to the painfully-obvious destination, Mexico; more like the hazy, drunken dream of Sophia Coppla, passed out on too many margaritas: dark, feminine, exotic and retro.
Launched by Briana Rose Hunter and her partner, Breezy Burrito began and continues as a Cali-Tex-Mex food stall at the EXPO food hall on Main Street in the Theatre District. The full bar-restaurant location on Elmwood takes the Breezy Burrito aesthetic and blows it out to widescreen proportions.
Hunter told us the plan for Breezy Burrito was always: Get a full-service bar and restaurant. She stressed that if the new location at Elmwood and Potomac was available three years ago, she would have jumped at the chance.
“The Elmwood Village: Since I’ve moved to Buffalo that’s where I’ve always dreamed of being so it’s kind of a perfect scenario,” she told us over the phone.
Slinging burrito bowls, burritos, tacos and other goodies over the past three years, Breezy Burrito has been that enviable blend of great food and good service. Hunter told us she’s learned a lot in managing the massive swings in business that come with operating a downtown location directly across from Shea’s on Main Street.
“With the Shea’s shows and with the lunch crowds, you get hit with 100 people in an hour, and we just learned how to provide a good fast casual experience,” she said. “We’re excited to be able to bring that same experience to Elmwood, and provide a sit-down dinner experience as well.”
Under the watchful eye of head chef Amilcar José Tenorio, the Breezy Burrito Bar menu will expand on the fast-casual and build-your-own offerings at EXPO by adding classic Tex-Mex and California entrees. Part of the Breezy Burrito mission is offering gluten-free and vegan options, and we were told new menu additions will include options for those with dietary restrictions, due to ethical or health concerns.
In addition to a bigger menu, the new restaurant has a massive, fully-stocked 33-foot bar. Hunter said tequila, margaritas in particular, will be a big emphasis. There are plans for a rotating cocktail menu and seasonal flavors, but Hunter hesitated to say it will be a full-blown craft cocktail operation.
Perhaps most impressively, the new Breezy Burrito Bar is a testament to the power of strong personal vision. Blending together fresh food, brilliant margaritas and exotically abstract surroundings, the new Breezy Burrito Bar may not put stock in cultural authenticity, but it is repping another kind of authenticity; that of its owner and her madcap vision for a temporary reprieve from our daily reality.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY, 14222
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. (Kitchen open until 11 p.m.)