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Travels in Chicago

Last week we talked further about our trip to Chicago, Illinois and a visit to a little restaurant called Portillo’s.  Portillo’s has great Italian beef sandwiches… however, they also have great dogs.  You might be asking yourself at this point just how good is the food at this joint?  Well, I can tell you a short story and you decide.  We went one day to try this restaurant and its great food.  The next morning we planned to eat at a different restaurant after my sister ran an errand.  While my sister was running her early morning errand, a decision was voted on in her absence.  When my sister returned, we explained to her that the breakfast place was a most followed by a second breakfast back at Portillo’s.  Yep, you heard that right… a second breakfast.  That’s how great Portillo’s is to eat.  Now don’t worry, the first breakfast place will be highlighted next week.  But this week, let’s finish up Portillo’s.

They have awesome dogs!  My hub *had* to try an original Chicago style dog.  It came with mustard, relish, celery salt, freshly chopped onions, sliced red tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers on a steamed poppy seed bun.  Doesn’t it look awesome?  Of course we learned really quick that a true Chicagoan refers to this style of a hot dog as “dragging the dog through the garden“.  Fitting huh?

Now, I found fascination in the char-grilled Maxwell Street polish sausage dog.  You can also get this dog filled high with grilled onions.  This day, I passed on the onions and just went mustard and sausage dog.  I couldn’t get enough of these dogs!!  You could hear and feel the ‘snap’ of the casing of the sausage.  That is a true sign of greatness in my book.

It didn’t matter which side you go on these dogs, both of them were great on their own… even if it was a second breakfast of the day – giggles.

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Travels in Chicago

 No trip to Chicago, Illinois is complete without a visit to Portillo’s.  All I can say is bring an appetite!  You will want to try one of everything… and I think we did.  We were visiting for three days and visited Portillo’s twice.  Does that tell you anything about their awesome food?  This place is so busy that the line can be seen during the day out the door!  And to hear people order is a treat in itself.  Some people know the lingo of how to order while me the virgin of ordering just explained what I wanted – LOL.  On the first visit, we *had* to try an Italian Beef – loaded!  The Italian beef comes in two sizes – regular and big.  We went regular this day and still had enough to share.  It’s made with their famous thin sliced roast beef topped with sweet peppers.  And here’s a hint for you – there’s three ways to order it.  Standard with a splash of ‘gravy’; Dipped which means the whole sandwich is dipped into the ‘gravy’; or Dry with very little ‘gravy’.  “Gravy” is referred to the natural juices from the slow roasted beef.  This day, we went dry.  We didn’t want to wear the gravy all day if you know what I mean – ha!  And it was delicious!  The meat was tender, the sandwich was juicy and it felt like we belonged there eating this Italian Beef all of our lives.

The next day – yep the NEXT day – we had to come back and try some more delicacies again.  Since the beef was so delicious the day before, we thought we would try it again in a different form.  This time we split a Beef-n-Cheddar Croissant.  The same thin layers of Italian beef with cheddar cheese all over it on a nice toasted croissant.  Closing my eyes just thinking of this yummy sammy – it was that good!

Which one was better?  It’s hard to say.  Both of these were so delicious…. maybe I need to try both again before I can make a decision 🙂

 

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