When Zahid Rahimi first came to Buffalo in 2014 to participate in the UB, one of his first observations was that the city lacked a “street food” department. Coming from NYC, he was close with this type of food, especially since his family was in business. When he talked to other students, he realized that he was not alone in his feelings. So, in 2016, as a student, Zahid decided he couldn’t wait any longer and opened Chick Mex Grill on North Campus.
“I offered it to UB and they accepted it,” Zahid said. “I learned about food because my family was in business in New York. I told them that there are so many UB students from other cities who love street food. I think running a restaurant on a campus for a grad was something out of the ordinary. ”
Zahid told me that one of the biggest commitments he faced was simplifying the menu. She said in NYC customers can ask just about anything. She eventually decided to focus on two things – “Mexican and Honest”.
“A lot of people come here from other cities,” Zohid explained. “These people are looking for food that we don’t have here. Back in 2016, I knew that mixing food would hit students, and so it was. ”
Hertel’s location will be Zahid’s second commercial in WNY. When I asked him why he chose Hertel, he replied, “I’ll hang out there. I know all the owners of nearby businesses. When the owner of La Tavola – Vic decided to want to sell, I knew it would be the perfect location. We don’t do any major renovations because the space fits our business model – we do the decoration changes though. We’ll do it like a street food operation where customers come and order, walk to the counter and pick things up, and then take their plates to their table. “
Zahid noted that the most popular dishes of Chick Mex Grill are these dishes mixed with beef and chicken, rotary, with salad, rice and pita. “I create all the menu items,” he said. “Sauces are all made from scratch – that’s our biggest advantage over the competition … the flavors and spices are unique. When it comes to flavor profiles, I’m very passionate – it’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. [laughing]. Customers also love our burrito bowl. And of course we will get beer and wine because we are in Hertel and our customers are waiting to relax and cool off with friends (indoors or on the patio). ”
While the opening speed was increasing rapidly, due to the pandemic, it was longer than expected. But Zahid is convinced that after receiving a special permit on April 19 … “I want to be back the next day. I’m very excited – that’s why our neighbors, who are constantly asking and commenting, aren’t waiting to open the place. This is the perfect time to open Hertel – I love the street and everything that happens. I couldn’t have been happier. ”
Chick Mex Grill | Hertel Avenue 1458 | Buffalo, NY 14216