Move over, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches. Chicago dogs are the new kid in town.
Portillo's, the Chicago-based hot dog and street food chain, opened its first North Texas spot in The Colony early this year. On opening day, the line was hours long as lines of cars waited for dogs dragged through the garden and Italian beef sandwiches.
Portillo's reports that in the first 15 days of business in The Colony, they served more than 80,000 customers. That's around 5,333 customers a day, which is 444 customers an hour, 12 hours a day. How's that possible? Seven people every minute?
Anyhoosie. We haven't braved the lines at the new spot yet, but Chicago native Hank Vaughn was able to visit Portillo's food truck last summer to see whether Chicago food tastes the same in North Texas. (Pretty much.)
Portillo's is quickly expanding, opening new restaurants in several states, and it now has more than 70 in 10 states. The company has announced two more stores in the works locally. One will be near The Parks Mall in Arlington, just north of Interstate 20 on Cooper Street. This spot will be 7,800 square feet, will seat 180 customers and will have a drive-through lane. The plan is to hire for managers and shift leads "soon." Visit Portillo's careers page if you're looking for a new gig.
Allen is also getting a Portillo's, just south of the Allen Premium Outlets. This spot is 7,700 square feet and will have a double drive-thru lane.
There's no opening date for either of these spots, other than sometime this year. We'll keep you posted, as we know it's a big deal for many people.
If you're a huge fan, you can sign up for a sneak peek "training meal" prior to the grand opening in Allen at Portillos.com/AllenTX and with the Arlington restaurant at Portillos.com/ArlingtonTX.