Thanks to Portillo’s Hot Dogs, I no longer have to travel to the Chicago area to get the awesomeness that is the Italian beef sandwich. Portillo’s began in Chicago in 1963, and opened its first California restaurant in Buena Park in 2005. The second California location opened in Moreno Valley in 2008. The first time I ate here was for lunch… and I went back for dinner on the same day. I think I was just making up for lost time since I hadn’t visited the Chicago area in about 6 years. Since that first day I’ve tried to moderate my Italian beef sandwich consumption, but we’ve been back to Portillo’s many times.
As the name implies, Portillo’s is known for its hot dogs. If you are a Chicago-style hot dog lover, this is your place. The hot dogs are served on a steamed poppy seed bun, and come loaded with mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle and peppers. My kids like the hot dogs, but they just stick to mustard or ketchup.
I think this place should really be called Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwiches. Thinly-sliced, seasoned roast beef dripping with juices, piled onto baked French bread that is perfect for soaking up the juices. What more needs to be said? To get the terminology correct, what many people would call juice, Portillo’s calls gravy. Whatever you call it, Portillo’s lets you control the juiciness factor. You can order the sandwich dry (very little gravy), extra gravy or dipped (yes, they dip the sandwich in the juice – messy, but awesome). You can also order sweet and/or hot peppers, but I order it plain because I don’t want anything getting in the way of the flavor of the beef.
If all Portillo’s served were hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, I’d still go. But they serve much more. Some of our other favorites include the Char-Grilled Italian Sausage, Beef-N-Cheddar Croissant, and the cheeseburger. If you want something lighter, Portillo’s also makes great salads. In fact, they have a separate salad counter where you can watch them make your salad.
As if the other food isn’t enough to fill you up, Portillo’s also serves desserts including Chocolate Cake and Strawberry Shortcake. I’m not big on cakes, but the rest of the family loves these desserts.
Go to Portillo’s.
12840 Day St
Moreno Valley, CA