You'll never believe what I discovered after I left IKEA!

Portillo's in Schaumburg, IL            Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

 

So..... totes went to IKEA with the intent of buying some window coverings, and all that fun home decorating stuff and left the place a bit tired, slightly hungry, cold (it was 20 degrees outside) and with more than what we intended to buy.

Not much more.

But still more. 

And yes...

.... we bought the window coverings.

Our next mission was to find a place to eat, and since we were somewhat in Chicago (does Schaumburg count?) we figured...

Dogs.

Chicago style dogs.

If any of you are familiar with where the IKEA is in Schaumburg, IL, you'll know that it's centrally located near malls, outlet shopping, and a ton of eateries and chain restaurants.  We  were pretty confident that we would find some place to sample the 'Chicago style' hot dog.  We figured, what the heck, let's go for it, even if it is from a chain place.

We drove a bit and found this gem of a chain restaurant.

One word.

One name.

Portillo's    (Super excited we found this place!)

We survived this revolving door.                                                                                                                                                                     Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

I absolutely loved the vibe at Portillo's.  They had me as soon as I saw the neon 'EAT' sign above the revolving door, which by the way, was the fastest revolving door I ever had to go through.  I'm sure it's not the door's fault, but rather the handful of people before us that rushed through the door.  It was like trying to jump rope... double-dutch rope (which I never mastered).  I'm happy to report that we were able to get through the door with all of our limbs intact. 

Interior decor dripping in neon and vintage love.                                                                                                                                   Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

It felt like I walked through a time warp and straight into a classic '50s diner.  Not only were the floors covered in the nostalgic black and white checkered tile floor, and the tables cloaked in the plastic red and white gingham picnic table covers, but the place was oozing vintage Americana.  My favorite!  

Mark A. Dingess, on-site Customer Service Rep.                                                                                                                                           Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

We were greeted by Mark A. Dingess, their customer service rep (yes they had one on site), who I propose they appoint as the in-house Mayor of the Schaumburg, IL location.  We let him know that this was our first time dining there and he immediately made us feel like honored guests.  

He recommended their Jumbo dog, and pointed out that if we were in the mood for pasta, that Barnelli's was adjacent to the Portillo's stand and would gladly serve up the Rigatoni ala Vodka, a favorite of his, and other customers.  

We took Mark's advice and ordered the Jumbo Dog, some fries, onion rings, chili, and a diet Coke of course, to keep the calorie count low. Obvi.

Order up! Shirt, tie, apron, and newsboy hat uniforms add to the nostalgia.                                                                            Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

For such a busy place, the staff was incredibly swift and efficient.  They entered our order, and took our payment (and they take CCs) in less than 2 minutes. Nice! And, to my delight....

"Ding!"

"Order up! Two Jumbo Dogs!"

I have only seen or heard this on television, nor have I witnessed or heard this first-hand, but when I did... 

It.  Was.  Satisfying.

You're all probably just itching to see what I ate right?  

Well here it is folks!

And while you're at it, go ahead and CLICK HERE and subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

 

As an added bonus, we were treated to a complimentary chocolate shake (Thanks Mark!), and a generous piece of chocolate cake for answering this trivia question:

"Who played Hannah Montana's godmother in the Disney series Hannah Montana?"

Give up?  

Dolly Parton y'all!  Now have yourselves some delicious chocolate cake!

And don't forget the diet Coke!

Free cake on your birthday!                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by Epicurean Chronicles

The verdict?

Portillo's is a 'MUST TRY'.

Not only are the dogs amazing, but you'll love the nostalgic nod to the classic diner that is evident throughout this true-to-Americana eatery.

So make the pilgrimage over to Portillo's. 

Bring a friend or two, and have yourself a good ol' fashioned Chicago Stye dog.

And don't wait until you need to buy curtains.

 

        By Chris Attaway

        By Chris Attaway