Portillo's: Ultimate Chicago-Style Dining In Florida
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Portillo's: Ultimate Chicago-Style Dining In Florida

Love at First Bite.

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Portillo's: Ultimate Chicago-Style Dining In Florida
Portillo's Hot Dogs

Do any of you believe in love at first sight? No, not that kind of love. I'm talking food love. Foodie. Blogger. Duh. We can save the relationship chat for another day…or month…or never. The only relationship I’m even semi-qualified to talk about is the one I have with food--shocker--but our connection is pretty solid if I say so myself. We take the whole “you die, I die” thing pretty seriously. But enough about my nutrition and survival thanks to food, let’s get back to the whole premise of this post: love at first sight, or shall I say, love at first bite? *ba dum tss* Hopefully you saw that one coming. 😉

If you don’t believe in love at first bite, I’m just going to assume you haven’t been to Portillo’s yet. Because let me tell you, true “food love” starts there. You can imagine how heartbroken I was when I discovered that my nearest Portillo’s was over an hour away…but you know I drove it anyways because no amount of distance can keep this foodie gal from her favorite Italian beef sandwich. No sir-ee. You know you’re extra legit when the predicted 1 hour and 30 minute drive turns into a 3+ hour drive, thanks to the Strawberry Festival traffic, with zero bathroom breaks, and you’re still writing a rave review. I may have actually happy danced when we finally arrived.

The second you walk in, or in my case, sped walked since I had to pee like a racehorse and my stomach wouldn’t quit it’s rumbling monologue, you can’t help but take in all the old school décor amidst the buzzing customers. Not your quiet dinner spot, and definitely busy, I was expecting at least a 30-minute wait but we had our food ordered and picked up at the counter within 15 minutes. Solid. 👏

As mentioned before, I just had to have one of their infamous Italian beef sandwiches, served on French bread and splashed with their tasty gravy. You have the option of keeping your sandwich dry or having it dipped in the gravy but I prefer the extra gravy option just because I don’t like my bread getting too soggy. I also topped my Italian beef with sweet green peppers that just melt in your mouth. 😍 I usually do not like peppers but these I could eat all day. My parents opted for Portillo’s spicy peppers instead, also delicious, and of course we all had to get fries because who isn’t a sucker for crinkle cut? Not me, that’s who.

As I told you already, I’ve been in such a strawberry mood lately, and the Strawberry Festival traffic taunted us a bit. Thankfully, we spotted this gem on Portillo's menu. Nothing better than a good ‘ole piece of strawberry shortcake. Super fresh strawberries layered between strawberry soaked cake and whipped cream. I’m in strawberry heaven, it’s fine. 🍓

Confession: I failed to mention that while we were eating all of that greatness ^, we also placed another order to go. 🙈 Yep. I'm not joking. That order consisted of 2 pounds of Italian beef, 1 massive tub of gravy, a whole jar of spicy peppers, 2 full loaves of French bread, and an entire, I repeat, ENTIRE, chocolate cake. I’d say it was a rookie mistake but this wasn’t our first rodeo. You can’t help but want to take a little bit of everything home with you, especially when you’ve driven all that way.

I’ll give you a moment to soak that picture in. This cake 100% tasted as good as it looks, if not better. Lucky for us, we will be eating off of it for the next few months on top of all that beef. I’m one happy camper.

Foodie Fast Facts:

Service: Counter Service

Type of Food: Chicago-style (burgers, hot dogs, shakes, etc.)

Price Range: less than $10 for a sandwich/hot dog and small fry

Menu: http://www.portillos.com/assets/1/31/PHD_Single_42...

Location: Brandon, FL (also in Tampa, FL)

Overall Foodie Girl Rating: 🍟🍟🍟🍟🍟out of 5

Happy eating,

xoxo foodie girl


Food for Thought: "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." -George Bernard Shaw
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