Alicia Butron has been cooking and selling empanadas for nine years.
But for the first time, she’ll be doing it from her own restaurant – in downtown Aurora.
Alice’s Corner, 37 W. New York St., along an area sometimes referred to as restaurant row, is expected to open in the coming weeks.
And it will feature the Bolivian empanadas that Butron and her husband, Oscar, and son, Carlos, have been making and selling at the Aurora Farmer’s Market, as well as the French Market in downtown Geneva, for the past nine years.
The food features what Butron calls “a new concept of flavors” coming from South America, in his case, Bolivia.
It’s a little ironic that his Bolivian cuisine is sold out of the space that previously housed U Samba?, which offered dishes from Bolivia’s neighbor Brazil.
Butron said like U Samba? was closing up shop, she talked to the owner about taking over the space.
“It’s a good place,” she said. “It’s next to the other restaurants, next to the casino, and I saw a lot of people passing by.”
The restaurant is also taking advantage of the growing popularity of empanadas, though Butron said not to confuse his with others in the area. An empanada restaurant in downtown Batavia qualifies as Argentinian cuisine, and a similar restaurant in Wheaton’s qualifies as Peruvian.
This is because Butron said that all countries in South America make empanadas, although they are made a little differently in each country. Argentinian empanadas, for example, are baked; Butron’s Bolivian empanadas are formed and then fried.
She laughed when asked how she would react if someone confused her empanadas with those from, say, Argentina.
“I would say, hey, please,” she said. “But anyone from Argentina wouldn’t want mine to be considered from there. Mine are Bolivian.
Butron said the restaurant is named after her, but has been transformed into the more Americanized Alice.
“Because everyone calls me Alice,” she said.
More information about Alice’s Corner restaurant, as well as its catering business, can be found on the company’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/alicescorner, or on its website, http:/ /www.alicecorner.com/