Taking inspiration from Mexican street food, Gringo and Blondie, 7514 W. North Ave. is a standout in Elmwood Park because the masterminds behind the family-owned restaurant prioritize the details in every dish. Diners should expect well-balanced flavors and textural interest to star in every item on the menu. Elements like ruffly slaws, sliced chilies and magenta hued pickled onions elevate the offerings in this diminutive North Avenue spot and leave guests craving more. 

The Restaurant Row standout, brought to life by Massa Café Italiano owner, Angelo Lollino and his wife and business partner Giovanna Lollino, offers a confident array of colorful Mexican-inspired dishes. Recent menu standouts included the Blondie Burrito, Carne Asada Tampiqueña, Baja Pescado Tacos and Pozole Roja. 

The Blondie Burrito, a vegetarian delight, is thoughtfully griddled on the exterior and brimming with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, poblano peppers, epazote and both queso fresco and cotija cheeses. The dinner-entrée sized, Carne Asada Tampiqueña offers a diversity of textures and flavors with a convenient DIY element. Expect chargrilled skirt steak and a cheese enchilada to meet Mexican rice, refried beans, warm corn tortillas and a blistered jalapeno in the popular dish. 

Even the Baja Pescado tacos benefit from the smart inclusion of Modelo beer in the batter used to fry a generous portion of cod to golden brown before being topped with a vinegar-forward Mexican slaw and jalapeno crema. Brunch lovers should venture to try the Pozole Rojo at Gringo and Blondie. The rich brothy soup boasts tender braised pork, toothsome hominy and red chilies. A garnish tray allows guests to customize each bowl with an assortment of garnishes including onions, cilantro, cabbage and dried seasonings.

After several visits it is abundantly clear the chefs at Gringo and Blondie take considerable pride in colorful presentations and won’t shy away from bold flavors. The menu, including both brunch and lunch offerings, demonstrates creative flair while maintaining a deep respect for tradition. Check out the timeless and photo-worthy dishes waiting for you at Gringo and Blondie!

Gringo and Blondie is open Sunday through Thursday from 11a.m. to  9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11a.m. to 10 p.m. They also have a catering menu with options designed to feed as few as 12 guests and ways to build a menu for larger gatherings. Check out the menu at gringoandblondie.com.

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