Founded in 1963, Dick Portillo opened his first hot dog stand in Villa Park, Illinois. Today, this Chicago icon has a few locations outside the Chicagoland area with 2 in California, Arizona and Florida. The Buena Park, CA is only 15 minutes from my home, and it’s always busy. This visit on a Saturday afternoon was no exception. We arrived just at noon, and we were lucky to be able to quickly place our order.
Stephen ordered a Portillo hot dog (that’s a Chicago style hot dog with mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, peppers, and of course, a pickle) and also a chili cheese dog. I ordered another popular item, the Italian Beef sandwich, dipped in the au jus sauce. We added an order of onion rings, and 2 diet cokes.
After you place your order, you move down the line to pick up the food. While you’re walking down the queue, you can watch them make the food. While Stephen waited for our order, I went to hunt down a table, and found one in the outside, covered patio.
The food is served inside a paper bag, yet they still put the bag on a tray. Stephen’s chili dog was just too messy for a photo, but his Portillo hot dog came out beautifully. My Italian Beef was incredible, but also messy. The onion rings were crisp and perfect as well. I really could not say anything bad about our lunch.
This place is not the best place for large groups, especially if you try to come at peak times. A group of businessmen tried to find a table for about 15 of them, and had to be very patient in securing tables so they could all sit together. If you have patience, go for it. Otherwise, finding a table for 2 was irritating enough.