The owner of a Downtown taqueria opened a new breakfast and lunch spot on the Far West Side Monday.
Francisco Gonzalez opened Lola's Cafe, 610 Junction Road, in the same shopping strip as Mr. Brews Taphouse and Gloria's Mexican Restaurant.
Gonzalez, who opened Francisco's Cantina in 2011 at 121 E. Main St., has an aunt who runs Gloria's and another aunt who owns the popular Taqueria Guadalajara on South Park Street.
"We like to cook," Gonzalez said about all the restaurants in the family.
Gonzalez, who owns both of his restaurants with family members, said he won't compete with his aunt and cousins who own Gloria's because he does breakfast and lunch only. He also serves mostly American food.
"I'm just doing breakfast," Gonzalez said, noting that he can still have time off in the afternoons before dinner. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Francisco's Cantina, meanwhile, is open for lunch, dinner, and late nights on weekends.
Lola's is named for Gonzalez's grandmother who died three years ago. "I think she would be happy," he said.
Gonzalez was going to open a second location of Francisco's Cantina in what was a Salad Creations and is now Gloria's, but ended up leasing the 1,500-square-foot space that used to house the sandwich shop Capriotti's instead.
Lola's is in the same corner of the building with Gloria's, which opened in early March. Lola's can seat 65 inside and another 25 people outside.
Crystal Anderson, Gonzalez's significant other, works the front of the house, while Gonzalez is in charge of the kitchen. They developed the menu together.
"The menu is pretty classic," Anderson said, noting that it focuses on breakfast: eggs Benedict, scrambles, omelets, frittatas, and pancakes.
The sandwich menu includes BLTs, patty melts and Philly cheesesteaks. Lola's also offers salads and lunch specials.
"We use all fresh ingredients, lots of fresh fruit and veggies," Anderson said.
The menu is in no way similar to Francisco's Cantina, Anderson said. The only Mexican items are ones that could also show up on an American-food menu: a breakfast burrito and eggs with chorizo.
"It's a pretty diverse menu. We have all of the traditional stuff. We've got avocado toast, which is a new thing that's popping up. We have kale salads," she said.
"It's pretty fresh with healthy options. We have maple syrup from Wisconsin, and as many local ingredients as we can."
She emphasized that Lola's will not only serve regular mimosas with orange juice, but also ones with mango and pineapple juices.