Smile Politely

Here’s how things looked and tasted at the new Portillo’s in Champaign

With the new Portillo’s location opening in Champaign, there is a ton of clammering to get the first bite by many, many people in the community. That much is to be understood, and when we got our golden tickets to visit on the first “sneak peek” day of sorts, we were excited. The restaurant doesn’t properly open until May 23rd, but we paid a visit today to check out the action.

Upon entering — as expected, people were lined up around the entire place, exchanging their golden ticket for a limited/random menu (for training purposes, per the employee mentioning why some menus were different than others). Understandable, and as everything is complimentary — this is how it works for an opening as anticipated as this one.

We were able to order some standard Portillo’s menu items: italian beef (dipped, with hot peppers) and a bacon cheeseburger, plus one side of cheese fries and another side of onion rings. The woman next to us was kind enough to lend us her chopped salad for photo purposes. The food was good, of course — pretty standard Portillo’s fare if you’ve ever eaten at one. We were a little disappointed we couldn’t order a Chicago style dog, having a poor luck of the draw with our “random” menu.

No worries though, we were glad to get to taste Portillo’s here in Champaign-Urbana.

Overall, the food was good, and we were in and out of there in fairly quick fashion — it’ll be interesting to see things once they get up and going, functioning during normal days.

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