Massa Café Italiano is temporarily closed for renovations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious food from its sister restaurant, Gringo and Blondie, also conveniently located on Elmwood Park’s Restaurant Row at 7514 W. North Ave.

The two restaurants are owned by husband-and-wife Angelo and Giovanna Lollino, and while Massa specializes in Italian food, Gringo and Blondie offers an array of delicious Mexican fare bursting with flavor, plus brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Not sure what to order? You can never go wrong with a quesadilla and the ones served at Gringo and Blondie never disappoint. The al pastor quesadilla is a particular favorite, filled with melted chihuahua cheese and juicy marinated pork. With sour cream and pico de gallo on the side, this is one quesadilla that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest palates. Take your meal to the next level by ordering a side of house-made guacamole.

Vegetarians, or anyone looking to take a break from meat, will delight in the Blondie Burrito, which is positively bursting with poblano and bell peppers, portobello mushrooms and crunchy lettuce with a healthy helping of cotija and queso fresca cheeses. You won’t even miss meat. 

No meal is complete without something to drink. The flavors featured in the restaurant’s tacos and quesadillas are complemented by its agua de horchata, a dense and creamy rice drink with hints of cinnamon. The horchata is slightly sweet and incredibly refreshing.

Gringo and Blondie also serves Mexican sodas, including a variety of flavors of Jarritos, but if you’re looking for something a little stronger, the restaurant’s got you covered there too. The bar carries several Mexican and American beers, as well as top-shelf liquor for those who prefer cocktails. 

No trip to a Mexican restaurant is complete without a margarita, as the folks at Gringo and Blondie are well aware. Whether you order a classic margarita or opt for something a little more adventurous, such as the mango frozen margarita or the guava frozen margarita, you will feel instantly transported to the sandy beaches of Mexico – no passport required.

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