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A refreshing take on Mexican-American at Breezy Burrito Co.

Located smack in the center of EXPO Market, Breezy Burrito Co. is a build-your-own burrito and taco experience that’s retrofitted its time-honored familial Mexican recipes to the popular quick-serve business model of today.

A refreshing blend of familiar classics and Instagrammable mash-ups like its own choco taco, everything on the menu shares the common ground of being made fresh in-house with local ingredients and is available at the drop of a dime for the on-the-go diner.

The quick-serve model here is slightly more structured than that of say, Chipotle, in the sense that the menu items, though completely customizable, begin as prescribed combinations that serve as tried and true suggested “starting points” for you to either leave be or make your own. For another go-around I’d consider making some minor tweaks to my preference, but for this first meal, I left everything up to Breezy.

Regretfully gorging yourself on chips and salsa is practically a Mexican-American tradition, and Breezy Burrito Co. does a bang-up job at enabling the addiction. Though served as an à la carte item, for $1 you’ll get a mountain of hearty tortilla chips that you can drag through molten house made queso ($2.50), guacamole ($2.75), and/or any of the fresh salsa options ($1.50).

Briana Hunter, left, a co-owner of the Breezy Burrito, serves customer Mike Schuler. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Climbing upward in scale, the quesadilla ($10.50) is another shareable starter (or standalone entrée should you so choose) that comes packed with the protein of your choice smothered in a Mexican cheese blend and pressed firmly under a crisp tortilla shell. Equipped with any of the house salsa options, sour cream and their rustic chunky guacamole, it’s a well-executed staple.

Soft tacos come two to an order for soft shell and three for hard. You can choose from ground beef ($8), shredded chicken ($8.80), slow braised beef ($8.75) or a vegetarian option made with organic tempeh ($8). Though impressive on the whole, the braised beef was the outright favorite. There’s a depth of flavor derived from a spice-laden espresso-spiked braising liquid that permeates the beef and matches perfectly with the cool sour cream and fresh pico. It’s a unique and worthwhile bite from the rapidly expanding Buffalo taco selection.

Though simple and flavorful in a hard shell taco, the ground beef is better enjoyed in the chimichanga ($11). A favorite on the day, the tortilla crisped up nicely in the fryer and locked out any grease in the process, keeping the interior juicy but not oily. Packed tightly with beef, a few beans and molten cheese, it’s a hefty flavorful item that’ll send the hungry home happy.

Venturing away from tradition, Breezy’s Tex-Mex wings (10 for $12 or 20 for $22) come either tossed in Breezy Sauce or dry rubbed in proprietary blend of over 17 spices and served with a side of jalapeño ranch dressing that didn’t bring much to the party. The Breezy Sauce is a smoky sweet and spicy blend that’s delivering on flavor though a little mild for my taste. The dry rub is a contender for best in the biz in that category. Fried hard and doused in spice, chicken itself plays second fiddle to the seasoned skin that practically became a sweet and salty barbecue chicken chicharrón.

I couldn’t walk out without a choco taco ($4). A staple of my childhood, I could practically hear the ice cream truck bells while chomping in to one of these. The cake-batter shell is made in-house then stuffed with ice cream, dipped in chocolate and finished with sprinkles. As delicious as it sounds, it’s a microcosm of Breezy Burrito Co. A creative rendition of a well-loved classic that pays homage to it’s roots and punches above its weight class.

CHEAP EATS

Breezy Burrito Co.

EXPO Market, 617 Main St. (218-8989)

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m to 8 p.m Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Price range: $3-$12

Wheelchair-access: Yes

Parking: Street

Gluten-free options: Yes. Most anything without a flour tortilla. Call or ask in-person.

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