I happen to end up at Portillo's just after Christmas in a round-about kind of way. I had some gift cards that were given to my husband for Chick-Fil-A at a First Responder Appreciation Event at SkyZone. I noticed that they were going to expire on December 31, so we drove about 25 minutes out to Merrillville all ready for some chicken sandwiches -- totally oblivious that it was Sunday, the day of the week that the chain closes. 

So, we sought out somewhere else nearby to eat. I didn't want quick fast food. I wanted to sit down and eat it at a table - not in the car. Portillo's was just down the street and I realized that I had never dined in a Portillo's. The handful of stops I've made there have been to pick up food at the drive thru. So, in we went. It was very busy and took me a few minutes to figure out the flow of where to go. The boys grabbed the only empty table we could find and I ordered the food. By then I was hangry and it took a little bit for our order to be filled with the big crowd. But, once it was done, my beef was worth the wait. I think I had once over a decade ago tried some of their beef at a party, but the other visits were for hot dogs or burgers. I like the hot dogs and the beef was impressive.

I'm not the only one who thinks so. Portillo's was recently named Best Fast Casual restaurant in the county by TripAdvisor.

I love that a local place that started in the Chicago area and now people across the country are still enjoying food from this chain that originated in 1963. For more info, visit portillo's.com.