Saturday, October 20, 2012


Location: So many to choose from... I have listed a few below that I have been to and they are all great places to try!
Portillo's Hot Dogs (Chicago) on Urbanspoon Portillo's Hot Dogs (Naperville) on Urbanspoon Portillo's Hot Dogs & Barnelli's Pasta (Schaumburg) on Urbanspoon Portillo's on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
I typically avoid blogging about fast food restaurants, but this is a Chicago great!  Portillo's is more of a gourmet fast food joint that makes incredible food for a great cost.  I describe their food as "Like the Commercial!"  Whatever you see on TV, like fast food burgers looking amazing, this place actually lives up to those images.  They make incredible burgers, italian beef, and of course the Chicago Style Hot Dog.  Also, I find them to be one of the most efficiently run in terms of ordering.  They walk to the huge line to take orders or down the drive-thru line to also take orders.  A great concept that needs to be adopted elsewhere.  Try it out for a not-so-fast-food style fast food place!

What I Ate:

Double Cheeseburger

The best way to describe this incredible "fast-food" burger is:  Like the commercial!  Basically, this burger comes out how all the other burgers look like on TV.  It comes with the typical lettuce, tomato, pickle, and red onion.  The bun is great at the start, but it doesn't tend to hold up against all the juices from both burger patties.  The charbroiled double cheeseburger is significantly larger than the regular, so I suggest paying the extra buck for the patty The patty's I believe are 1/3 pound each... making this burger a lot of food, especially for lunch.

Big Beef

Another Chicago classic!  The Italian beef at Portillo's is known by all.  But the big beef is much better because of sheer size.  It appears to be about 2x the size of the regular, and for only a couple bucks more... its a steal.  There are many ways to get your italian beef:  dry, extra gravy, dipped, sweet peppers, hot peppers, or mix it all together.  I like ordering mine with hot peppers and extra gravy.  Sometimes the dipped version is a little too soggy to enjoy.  The italian beef is heavily seasoned and very tender.  People love this place so much that you can even order the catering sized option.

Onion Rings

Just some excellent, crispy, and not too oily onion rings.  They somehow make a perfect crust on the outside (dark golden brown) and the onions usually doesn't come out all at once.  Delicious

French Fries

The typical staple of "fast food" dining.  They do a great job with their fries because they are not over salted.  Making them cheese fries is another idea to try.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Pay the extra couple bucks to upgrade the regular beef to the big beef.  Take some home and enjoy it later on.  It's worth it!
- Do order the Chocolate Cake Shake (Sorry not pictured)... It is an amazing milkshake with at least a huge piece of Portillo's Chocolate Cake mixed right in.  But share it because its extremely rich.
- If you are ordering Water to drink... ask for a couple of cups.  They give super small cups of water and the line to get refills takes way to long.

- I don't enjoy coming during peak hours because of how busy it is.  Luckily, the downtown location has an upstairs floor for more quiet seating.

How far would I walk for this food?

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