Gwacamole, A Girls-Owned Mexican Restaurant Impressed By Household Recipes, Opens In Portage Park

Gwacamole, A Girls-Owned Mexican Restaurant Impressed By Household Recipes, Opens In Portage Park

PORTAGE PARK — After working within the kitchens of assorted Chicago eating places for 15 years, Isabel Leyva determined it was time to strive working her personal enterprise.

Leyva, along with her sister and pal opened Gwacamole, a Mexican restaurant with meals from the state of Michoacán, at first of October at 6011 W. Irving Park Highway.

Gwacamole provides well-liked gadgets reminiscent of tamales, flautas and birria tacos, all with a do-it-yourself contact utilizing Leyva’s mom’s recipes, she stated.

“She all the time taught us the way to prepare dinner this type of meals, so we are attempting to present folks the expertise, like if you’re consuming actual Mexican meals,” Leyva stated. “We wish folks to have a unique expertise than the common Mexican-American expertise.”

Though Leyva’s mom died two years in the past, she stated she is aware of her mom can be pleased with her and her sister. She’s additionally comfortable the restaurant is all women-owned and -operated and offers alternatives to ladies within the trade, she stated.

With particular seasoning, sauces and different elements native to Michoacán and the Leyva household kitchen, like avocado aioli, the homeowners hope prospects will style a extra genuine dish than extra widespread Mexican-American or Tex-Mex cuisines, she stated.

The restaurant’s title, a play on the phrase “guacamole,” was chosen due to guacamole’s reputation and illustration of Mexican delicacies, the proprietor stated. It’s a transparent image of the tradition and meals, each for Mexicans and in different cultures.

“When folks from different cultures hear ‘guacamole,’ they know that it’s going to be one thing from Mexico,” Leyva stated.

The restaurant takes over the spot that previously housed Volcano Categorical Japanese Grill & Sushi, which closed over the summer season after being open for lower than a 12 months. Earlier than that, it was house to an empanada store that closed in 2021.

Seating inside Gwacamole, 6011 W. Irving Park Highway, is seen Nov. 8, 2023. Credit score: Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Membership Chicago

The small restaurant is painted in inexperienced to signify guacamole, however homeowners didn’t want to vary the house a lot because it’s been outfitted for a restaurant for years.

Leyva, who has labored in Chinese language, Mexican and American kitchens and works part-time at a Hibachi enterprise on the South Facet, is mates with one of many Volcano Categorical homeowners. After they reached out to her asking if she needed to take over the Portage Park spot, she thought it an excellent alternative to develop.

“We noticed a chance to open a small enterprise new to the realm,” she stated. “I don’t learn about different folks, however while you work within the trade, you all the time assume that perhaps you’ll be able to open your personal. So I needed to open this as a result of I need to strive one thing new … and to present folks an at-home really feel.”

Along with Mexican gadgets, Gwacamole’s menu has an avocado sandwich, a steak sandwich, salads and birria ramen.

Leyva, who lives in Archer Heights, hopes to get to know the neighborhood and that extra folks help the native enterprise.

Gwacamole is open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-8:40 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9:40 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 12-8:40 p.m. Sundays.

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