General Manager


Executive Chef

Our Story

BraiZe is co-owned by Lexington natives Zack Poleto and Brandon Leach.  Zack, BraiZe’s Executive Chef, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2006.  He has worked at Table 52 and Epicurion Bistro in Sous Chef positions under Chef Art Smith and Chef Dom Bialy. Brandon is BraiZe’s General Manager and has a degree in Finance from Northeastern Illinois University and a degree in Entrepreneurship from Illinois State University.

They have been best friends for over twenty years and have traveled the world, visiting India, parts of Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and places across the United States.  One of the best parts of traveling is the food, and BraiZe’s menu is inspired by some of Zack and Brandon’s favorite dishes from around the world.

BraiZe uses many ingredients sourced from local farmers and all food is prepared fresh to order.  The menu is updated regularly based on seasonal availability.  The signature item, the BraiZito, is a sandwich like no other: a six-inch chunk of hot, fresh-baked bread hollowed out and stuffed with goodness.  The end of the bread is buttered and grilled so every BraiZito is good to the last bite.

For Bloomington/Normal, BraiZe is one of the first of it’s kind. Through their use of social media they have established a large and dedicated following. Follow them on social media for weekly menu and beer updates and specials or sign up for our email list and get some sweet coupons from time to time.

Community Projects




Military Suicide Awareness

Bloomington/Normal JayCees

Habitat for Humanity

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Festival of Trees (Baby Fold)

St. Baldricks

Chamber of Commerce

First Bite sponsored by The Pantagraph

Glorious Garden Walk

Cemetery Walk

Lincoln College

Bike BloNo

1 Million Cups