“Portillo’s” brings Chicago to Texas


Saahir Mawani

Chicagoan chain restaurant “Portillo’s” opened in the Colony on Jan. 18. It is located on Destination Dr, close to Grandscape and Nebraska Furniture Mart.

I’ve visited the famous Chicago a few times, and when I’m in the Windy City, “Portillo’s” is definitely a stop I force my family to make. So, when I heard there was a “Portillo’s” opening up less than 10 minutes away from my house, I knew I had to go.

The line stretched all around the parking lot, encased in parking cones separating the drive-thru from the parking lot. The drive-thru was split into two lanes, with employees walking down the line to get orders. They are a cashless drive thru, but that wasn’t a big issue for me.

I wanted to see what the employee felt was the best item on the menu, so I got what they recommended — the spicy chicken sandwich, which was a win for me. Though the franchise started from its love of hotdogs, I am not the biggest fan of the Chicago delicacy.

Once we ordered, it was about a 20 minute wait to get the food, a relief as I had heard horror stories of wait times longer than an hour. While we were waiting in front of the window, the smell hit my nose, instantly making my stomach growl. I couldn’t wait any longer before I ate, and by the time we were back on the highway, I had begun eating.

Before I even got home, I had eaten all of my food. The fries were perfectly crispy, each crinkle perfectly fried. While the fries were plainly seasoned, the crispiness made it one of the best fries I’ve had. Comparing it to another popular fry, the Chick-fil-A waffle fry, I would honestly prefer Portillo’s. The golden-brown color told me all I needed to know, yet the taste blew my tastebuds’ mind.

I would rate the fries a 10/10.

I had already been blown away by the fries, but I didn’t know what was waiting for me in the cardboard box right next to them. Before opening, I expected the chicken to be spicy, not the sauce. The chicken was equally as crispy as the fries, which as I described earlier, was a great sensation in my mouth. There was one bite that I had trouble chewing through because it was cooked somewhat funny, which was a disappointment based on the great experience I had been having. I did overall think it was an average chicken sandwich, and if I compared it to the Chick-fil-A spicy chicken deluxe, I would pick Chick-fil-A.

I would give the sandwich a 7/10.

Overall, I thought the restaurant was good, with some great fry cooks, and I will definitely go back to eat some more of their food. If you’re looking for a well-priced sandwich meal, then “Portillo’s” is the perfect stop.