CHICAGO – There are two ultiate dishes that are must-eats for anyone who visits this windy city. One is Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza (which I will write about very soon). The other is the Chicago Dog.
I got to try the Chicago Dog in 2008 during my first visit here and I loved it. And of course, I would not allow another trip to pass without having my fill of this treat that many residents and tourists love.
So I went downtown, to the city’s most popular Chicago Dog institution: Portillo’s. They have been operating since the 1960’s, with branches mainly in the Chicagoland area. And what used to be a hotdog stand from a trailer is now a whopping $101 million empire in terms of annual sales! Now, doesn’t this make you want to open your own hotdog stand?
The place, of course, is a very casual one. It’s ambiance is meant to give you a feel of old Chicago.
They restored this clock from the 1800’s.
I had the specialty of the house– the Beef Hotdog.
This Chicago dog usually has “everything on it”, which means it has mustard, relish, onions, and pickles. It came in a poppy seed bun. It’s very delicious, of course. The sausage was just right, considering that they boiled it instead of having fried it.
The serving size was just right. Each sandwich is good for one person. Which means, a very hungry person will need two of this to satisfy one’s hunger. The good news: as of this writing, the sandwich cost only a little over $2.00 plus tax.
For the first time, I also had the Italian Beef Sandwich, which is another specialty.
While I enjoyed the Beef Hotdog, I couldn’t say the same for the Italian Beef Sandwich. The beef was softened to perfection and melted in your mouth. It lacked flavor though, and the ingredients were not enough to save the beef from coming across as a bit bland. It also is a very oily sandwich. Even the bread was greasy when I opened the sandwich wrapper. So, I’ll stick with the Beef Hotdog next time.
Portillo’s has many branches in Chicago. You can visit their website for more details on locations and their complete menu. Make sure to have the Chicago-style hotdogs when you visit the windy city! 🙂