Brunch / Casa Azul
A Latin brunch that fires on every cylinder
Photos by Eric Frick
128 Genesee Street, 331-3869 or casaazulbuffalo.com
Zina Lapi and Victor Parra are one hell of a culinary pair. Between them, they’ve managed to combine authenticity and innovation at Casa Azul, a Mexican gem in the heart of downtown Buffalo. Already well known for its tacos and guacamole with cricket brittle, Casa Azul also offers a strong brunch menu. Served only on Saturdays, the offerings features favorites like huevos rancheros, breakfast burrito, and souffled eggs—always with an interesting and inherently unique take on the classics. After walking into the two-story building that resembles shipping containers, we were asked to go upstairs to the dining area. The space is ample and flooded with natural light.
The not-to-miss carnitas hash (crispy potatoes, over-easy eggs, salsa verde, marinated onions, pickled jalapeños) and the breakfast queso (melted and caramelized Chihuahua cheese, baked egg, honey, bacon, habanero onions, scallion, tortillas) are the clear winners. The perfect cast iron pan crust on the bottom of the queso dish is what makes dreams and breaks diets. The combination of the carnitas seasoning with the warm salsa verde and the crispy potatoes is positively addictive.
After a quick glance at the menu, we wanted to order every single mimosa: charred pineapple, watermelon mint, blackberry. We just couldn’t choose. After tasting them all, the charred pineapple mimosa was the favorite. The sweetness of the pineapple, along with a little smoke from the char and the effervescence of the sparkling wine, makes it the cocktail I want before noon every day.
The restaurant is fun, relaxed, and comfortable, featuring bright colors and warm wood details that invite you to have another cocktail, enjoy the Spanish salsa playlist, and stay a while. It’s perfect for a family outing, hungover brunch after a night out, or any celebration. As with most establishments downtown, parking is at a premium but, if you’re willing to walk a bit (which is necessary after feasting like we did), you’ll be fine.