Chicagoan shares 7 things you must try at Portillo’s

Orlando location opens June 15

Chicagoan shares 7 things you must try at Portillo’s
Chicagoan shares 7 things you must try at Portillo’s

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando location of Portillo’s opens Tuesday.

The restaurant is known for serving Chicago-style meals and the new location will be in southeast Orlando on Palm Parkway.

I’m originally from Chicago and have been counting down the days until the opening of the Central Florida location.

[RELATED: Portillo’s new Orlando location set to finally open in June]

I have been getting my “Chicago Fix” by traveling 81 miles to the location in Brandon.

The convenience of having a location much closer is extremely appealing.

Here are seven things to try at Portillo’s:

Hot Dog

Make sure to order it Chicago Style. It comes with mustard, neon relish, onions, tomatoes, pickle, celery salt and sport peppers. No true Chicagoan will put ketchup on a hot dog.

The Char-Grilled Maxwell Street Polish

This sausage is grilled to perfection with mustard and grilled onions.

The Italian Beef Sandwich

You can order it with hot or sweet peppers or both. If you want to order it like a Chicago veteran, you can order it dry, wet or dipped.

  • Dry
    • The beef is pulled from the juice with tongs, most of the juice is allowed to drip off, and it is put into a roll. No juice is added and the sandwich is about as dry as it can get.
  • Wet
    • The beef is pulled from the juice and immediately put into a roll, leaving the beef “wet”.
  • Dipped
    • The beef is pulled from the juice, stuffed into a roll and then the entire roll is dipped into the beef juice, making a soggy, delicious sandwich.

Combo Sandwich (Italian Beef with Italian Sausage)

This is the Italian Beef sandwich with a grilled piece of Italian Sausage added. Order this as described above (dry, wet or dipped) and add hot or sweet peppers to your liking.


The burgers are delicious. You can add bacon, cheese, mayo, crisp lettuce, a red ripe tomato slice, sliced red onion, pickles and ketchup on a freshly toasted old-fashioned style bun to customize to your tastes.


For those looking for a lighter menu, the salads are very good! The restaurant offers a chopped, Caesar, Greek or garden salad.

Side Items

I’m going to cheat here with sides. The french fries and onion rings complement the meal nicely, and I can rarely pass up a Chicago Tamale.

Bonus Item: Dessert

If you can possibly save room after your Chicago feast, enjoy a slice of Portillo’s Chocolate Cake. It’s delicious.