[Maple Grove, MN] Portillo's - The Iconic Chicago Dog (and More)

The first time I had Portillo's was years ago in Chicago. Then, I was abroad in Seoul when Minnesota got its first Portillo's. I was finally able to get my hands on another Portillo's dog very recently and I cannot wait until the opportunity presents itself to get another AND some more of those onion rings!

I went with the classic Portillo's dog (regular size) with all the toppings (because that's the way it should be eaten).

The best thing about Portillo's is that it uses an all-beef hot dog. Just kidding, the best thing about it is that there's no ketchup to be seen...anywhere. Every order is prepared to order and you can customize the toppings.

I get order fatigue and then basically just shout out random words when I finally get to my order after finalizing my order in my mind while I wait a long time (case in point, I ended up with a choco banana crepe in Harajuku one time and I don't like chocolate or bananas). It's always safer for me to just order the way the food is listed with no substitutions.

The toppings are tomatoes, mustard, onions, pickled peppers, and a pickle. The bun is a poppy seed bun and it's so, so fresh! Each bite is perfect and, surprisingly, not messy. The bites with the pickled pepper are my favorite, which is so unexpected for me because I despise pickled jalapeno peppers more than pickled cucumbers. The other thing I really liked is that the hot dog had the nice "snap" when I bit into the hot dog, which is so great.

I forgot how much I love onion rings. When I saw them on the menu, I knew I had to order some. These are one thing that you just can't make at home as well (or maybe it's a Meredith problem). These were so crispy and perfect. Sometimes when you bite into an onion ring, you know how the onion all kind of just comes out with the first bite and then you're stuck with just the breading...well, that didn't happen to me at all.

So, highly recommend both of my choices. I had buyer's remorse (or orderer's remorse) because I saw that the #2 ordered item are two hot dogs. I was having second thoughts and considered maybe adding a second hot dog, but that would have been too much food for lunch.

On your first visit, definitely recommend checking it out (or scroll down to see the other top 5 orders at Portillo's).

Two members of the family ordered some very unphotogenic food, so you won't find a picture here.

My mom ordered the Maxwell Street Sausage (just scroll down to the full menu picture because there is a far more photogenic shot of it, but you can basically just use your imagination for what it looks like). She was less than enthusiastic about going to Portillo's, but she tried something new this time and quite liked it. The sausage is very flavorful and the bun is so fresh. Even though it's not photogenic, it's not one to miss. She said that she will probably get the Italian Beef next time and she's a little more enthused about going to Portillo's after this trip's experience.

My dad got the Portillo's dog...completely plain. So, he doesn't get a chance to give an opinion. But, if you want to literally just have a hot dog in a bun, know that it is an option for you. But, again, not photogenic, and you can imagine a plain wiener in a bun.

Marissa got a Char Broiled Burger, which happens to be the #3 famous item. She also got a side of fries. She was so amazed that the burger was so flavorful and cooked perfectly. It's a hand-formed burger, so it got some crispy edges as it was broiled. She also commented that the lettuce wasn't "sad" or wilty because that sometimes happens with iceberg lettuce on a hot burger. The fries at Portillo's are crinkle cut fries, for you crinkle cut lovers (I'm partial to a shoestring fry or curly fry).

Just look at this menu! It's so expansive! You can get a hot dog, chicken parm, and a slab of ribs all at the same time...that would be crazy heavy, but the world is your oyster!

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