Monday, June 08, 2009

I work here

"Did you order the large fries?"

"No, you did."

"No I didn't. I had the regular."

That's me and Jim the IT Guy, sorting out our weekly lunch at Portillo's last Friday when an older, dark-haired man sitting at the next table stands up and interrupts:

"Excuse me, I work here, did we miss something from your order?"

"No thanks," we explain. "We're just arguing over who ordered the large."

Amazing. He works there.


Turns out, the guy who said "I work here" is Dick Portillo, the founder of Portillo's restaurants - a veritable institution here in Chicagoland.

Of course it's fast food. But it's the tastiest, freshest and FASTEST fast food on the planet.

Sure, they're known for overly verbose table signage.

But visit their drive-thru at noon on any Saturday and you'll witness a highly efficient, borderline militaristic operation designed to move move move hungry customers through as quickly as possible. It's a wonder.

It's coming up on 20 years that I've been living in Illinois.

I had my first Portillo's Chicago-style hot dog ("What the hell? I didn't order a salad, I ordered a hot dog!") about two weeks after moving here.

I've NEVER been disappointed by the food or the service. Never.

Anyhow. Now I understand why Portillo's does what they do.

It's all because of the guy who works there.
I am listening to: Divine Design with Candice Olsen
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Sorta back


Susan's Snippets said...

Hedy -

NOW you are totally talking my language!! In 1963 my family moved to Lombard, right on the border of Villa Park, the same year that a young, ambitious guy opened a little "Dog House" in the parking lot of the Big "R" on North Ave. in Villa Park.

Dick Portillo started his business in that little shed serving up traditional Chicago hot dogs wrapped in white paper WITH the fries!

I was hooked. I have probably spent an entire YEAR's salary over the years (at least) on Portillo's food.

always in the mood