West Chicago’s Gorditas Liselena not worth hype

By Ida Soeholm Bertram, Reporter

Gorditas Liselena is located in downtown West Chicago, near El Coco Loco. Photo by Andrea Hernandez

Gorditas Liselena – West Chicago, IL, 207 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 (630.473.0378). Gorditas $2.35-$2.60; tacos $2.25; burritos $2.99.

Boring menu card. Overhyped. Only accepts cash. Few food options. No appetizers. No desserts. Takes money for water. 

If you have been waiting for a chance to go eat at Gorditas Liselena, then don’t. This restaurant is not worth the hype at all. 

Around 11.00 a.m. on a sunny Saturday, I went to the new Gorditas Liselena restaurant located on Main Street in West Chicago, close to several other Mexican restaurants.

Walking into the hall connected to the little restaurant feels like walking in the wrong place. The hall is beside the restaurant and does not feel as if it is attached to a food place, but something more like a bank or other seriously boring establishments. There is no design to the restaurant’s entryway at all.

Inside the restaurant, customers sit at small, cheap-looking wooden tables with a whole paper towel roll placed upon each table. Huge and empty grey walls flank the tables, accentuated only by two small chalkboards that read “We have coffee” and “Tenemos Cafe”. Disappointing. There is no cozy coffee spirit in this restaurant, nor does it look like other Mexican restaurants nearby, which offer cozy couches to sit in – not plastic chairs – and colorful decorations, including flowers and plants.

Back in 2021, Gorditas Liselena opened in West Chicago, but little other information about the establishment is available. A list of employees and the history behind the restaurant is not published on their website. In fact, the only explanation on the Gorditas Liselena’s website is one about franchising in different cities: despite its new status, the restaurant already wants to open more chains in Aurora, Carol Stream and other nearby cities. 

The restaurant staff should focus more on their own marketing and provide a detailed website before branching out to other communities.

The decor at Gorditas Liselena, as pictured here, is overtly grey and plain. (Photo by Andrea Hernandez)

The young staff behind the counter seemed friendly and service-minded. They explained carefully what the different dishes were and consisted of in terms of ingredients.

Overall, the operation of ordering and receiving food was a quick one that only took 12 minutes.

When the fragrant food came, my order consisted of a steak taco ($2.50), potatoes with Mexican sausage gordita ($2.60) and a shredded chicken gordita in tinga sauce ($2.60). All the food was served on a plate all together and at once.

The steak taco was delicate with its 2 mini fried flour tortillas. The steak was tasty and representative of the Mexican traditional taco with onions and cilantro. However, the options for meat only included steak and marinated pork, and the steak taco was just a basic taco, one you can eat at several other places in West Chicago. I would not recommend unless you are seriously hungry.

Gorditas Liselena’s signature dish is the gordita, and so I, of course, had to try them. There were many options on at the menu card, but I ended up choosing the Mexican sausage gordita, as well as the shredded chicken in tinga sauce gordita. The Mexican sausage gordita arrived in a buttery, fried “pita bread” (a thick corn tortilla) with way too many mashed potatoes squeezed in alongside the almost non-existent Mexican sausage. The shredded chicken gordita was better in that the chicken was juicy, and the sauce had the appropriate amount of spice. The tortilla around the chicken was again fried.

Although there are 25 gordita flavor combinations available at the restaurant, there are few alternatives: Gorditas Liselena offers one burrito filled with shredded beef, potatoes and mayonnaise, one steak quesada, and two taco options, one steak, one pork. The food options are simply too minimal to earn my recommendation.

Overall, you can skip Gorditas Liselena: it is not a cozy place to eat, and the menu is lacking.