Is Portillo's overrated?

The time is 5 pm. It’s getting close to dinnertime. Mom is getting ready to ask the question she’ll soon regret, “What do you want for dinner?”

Five year old Janie wants a hot dog…plain. She might eat tomatoes with it, but they need to be on the side, not on the hot dog.

Her eight-year-old brother Jake wants a burger. His is plain, too. No ketchup, no onions, no cheese. He also wants onion rings. Janie is starting to cry because she hates onion rings and wants french fries. Btw, why does Jake make a big deal about no onions on his hamburger, but must have onion rings?

Mom is starting to freak out. It only gets worse when Dad says he’s been thinking of ribs all day.

See, I told you she was about to be sorry she asked the question. But, then she thinks, all she really wants is a salad. Is there one place nearby where she can get all of this?


Hot dogs, burgers, chicken, ribs, salads, Italian beef, Italian sausage and more. It’s your go-to place for the family that can’t decide what they want for dinner. It’s the go-to place for somewhat upscale fast food.

But, just because you can get it all in one stop doesn’t make it great. Yeah, it’s pretty good; much better than your typical fast-food restaurant, but is Portillo’s overrated?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Portillo’s. I’m there at least twice a month. But, almost everything they have on their menu, you can find better versions of elsewhere…and usually near-by to your home.

If you’re skeptical, here’s an item by item list:

Burgers, Fries and Onion rings: While good at Portillo’s are much better at Hackney’s. Italian Beef and Sausages: While good at Portillo’s are better at Al’s or Johnnie’s. Ribs: While good at Portillo’s are much better at Carson’s. Even a simple Hot Dog: While good at Portillo’s is better at Michael’s, Superdawg, Gene and Jude’s and a dozen or more locations.

But…but…but…what about their cakes?

I admit their cakes are delish. The chocolate cake is super moist. The frosting is especially rich. The lemon cake is simultaneously sweet and tart, Once when the lemon cake was off the Portillo’s menu, a friend told me she would do an unmentionable act to anyone who could get her a single piece…ANYONE!!! That’s how good that cake is!

So what we’ve…errr….I’ve determined is the best thing about Portillo’s is you can get a variety of decent food in a single location. Basically, they’re the Old Country Buffet or Golden Corral of the fast food genre. To me, that makes them overrated. Maybe go elsewhere for lunch or dinner and come to Portillo’s for some cake?

But, back to that lemon cake….it’s now on the menu, although it may be a seasonal thing. Does anyone know how to find my lemon cake loving friend? Thanks in advance.

Related Post: Would you consider the Olive Garden for your Easter meal?

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: humor, Satire

Tags: Fast food, Portillo's

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Howard Moore

    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

  • Tags

  • Categories

  • Advertisement: