Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicago: Portillo's Hotdogs

It was our last meal in Chicago before heading home, and since we had just eaten a somewhat late breakfast, we weren't all that hungry at noon yet, so we had to delay coming here, and thus, our trip back home. Not that an hour made that much difference as far as our stomachs were concerned, but we had heard about Portillo's hot dogs and had as yet been unable to try them on previous trips to Chicago, and we were determined to fit them into our culinary schedule on this trip.

In Chicago, Portillo's restaurants are all over the metro area, and you can't miss seeing at least one. They serve up Chicago-style hot dogs (mustard, onion, pickle relish that has been dyed neon green, dill pickle, tomato wedge, and a pickled hot pepper). As such, you could consider Portillo's a local chain, or a staple of Chicago eateries. Whichever you prefer, with so many locations, undoubtedly Portillo's is a success. Each location has a different theme to it, whether it's 30's prohibition, the 1950's, or the 1920's (the three most common themes in its locations, though there may be another altogether). To tell you the truth, I don't know what the theme was supposed to be at the location we went to. It was easy to imagine this place thriving back in the 1960s, which ultimately may be the experience they're going for, despite what theme each restaurant may feature.

The kitchen area was a little bit confusing when we first walked in, in that we had to go to the opposite side of the restaurant to order, and then make our way back towards the door to pick up the order once it was completed. Of course, to me, you can't go to a hot dog stand in Chicago and order something other than a Chicago hot dog, which was reasonably priced, as well as great tasting. Even if you don't really care for hot dogs, you will probably like these hot dogs. Even still, if you can't bring yourself to order a hot dog, that doesn't mean that Portillo's isn't for you. You can find Italian beef or sausage sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, salads, and burgers here as well.

Portillo's on Urbanspoon

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