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Restaurants & Bars 5

A rainy day at Portillo's

obscuro | Oct 17, 200507:10 PM

I had heard the radio ads, read the testimony from various chowhounds. I set out today for Buena Park; the wind howling and a hunger in my belly for Italian beef. On arrival; the parking lot was busy, but not full (must have been the rain keeping people away). The restaurant was packed; so was the patio. I walked to the back of the place; where a double queue formed. A young woman took my order in advance writing it on a take out bag. I ordered a Big Beef (on advice from Chowhounds who went before me), a combo beef and sweet Italian sausage, a chili dog, cheese fries and a coke. After placing my order I watched the assembly line working furiously behind the glass; they use a clever trolley when preparing their hot dogs that rolls on the counter. I waited for about ten minutes for my order to come up. Being that it was lunch hour. seating was limited so I retired to the comfort of car.

I started with the Big Beef; which is truly a big sandwich (I ordered it dipped and was sopping with Au jus). Thin slices of beef, stringy and a little chewy with a hint of Italian seasonings. Next up the Combo; this is amazing; the beef really compliments the sausage (grilled with a snappy casing). Then the chili dog; great dog, tasty covered in chili with beans and onions on a poppy seed bun. French Fries are crinkle cut; quite delicious.

Total for this Chicago feast $20.

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