The hot dogs are coming, the hot dogs are coming: Portillo's, a Chicago-based fast casual brand known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, is expanding into Texas, with its first restaurant in The Colony.
It'll open at the Grandscape complex, at the intersection of Highway 121 and Destination Drive. According to a release, it'll open in the fall.
Portillo's is known for Chicago street food, including Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, and chocolate cake. The chain has earned recognition from sites such as Jalopnik, which recently included Portillo's on its list of the Best Drive-Thru Restaurants in America.
"What kicked off in a trailer parked on a Chicago street in 1963 has grown into a well-loved chain of more than 60 locations," they say. Most of those locations are centered around the Midwest, but there are also outposts in Florida, California, and Nevada.
Hot dogs come in regular, chili cheese, Polish sausage, and Maxwell Street Polish sausage which has mustard and grilled onions.
Their Italian beef sandwich features thinly sliced roast beef served on French bread, which is then dipped in hot gravy. You can order it dipped with sweet or hot peppers and mozzarella.
In 2018, they added some "meatless" items which to their credit included a grilled portabella sandwich. Not as much to their credit is listing a tuna sandwich as a meatless option, but this is a Chicago company, and that is really all we have to say about their meatless options.
Like Shake Shack, they do crinkle-cut fries, and that is really all we have to say about their fries.
As with all of Portillo’s restaurants, the 7,900-square-foot location in The Colony will be entirely unique and incorporate elements from the region into its design and décor – including a vintage vehicle that will be located on-site as a nod to the nearby North American headquarters of Toyota.
Portillo's president Michael Osanloo calls Texas "an amazing market," stating that "Texas is the Number 1 state for our shipping business, and we've had fans asking us to bring a brick-and-mortar restaurant there for years. We're investing in the right people and the right real estate to make this restaurant a home run for them."
True to their design style, the Grandscape location will incorporate elements of the surrounding community as part of its décor. That will include a vintage Toyota vehicle on-site, a nod to the nearby North American headquarters of automaker Toyota. Perhaps not a deep-rooted local tradition but definitely preferable to cliches like corrugated tin walls and mounted longhorns.
The 7,900-square-foot restaurant will include indoor seating for 180, plus exterior seating for 80-plus diners on two air-conditioned patios.
To ramp up the fervor, Portillo's is holding a Texas-themed trivia sweepstakes, inviting participants to answer themed questions and be entered for a chance to win Portillo's for a year. The sweepstakes is live at www.portillos.com/colony, and will close March 22.