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Portillo’s drives its “Beef Bus” back into town for two weeks of previews – and a chance to try their Windy City hot dogs and beef sandwiches


If you missed the chance to preview the famous hot dogs and beef sandwiches that make Portillo’s a Windy City favorite, you’ve got two more bonus preview weeks to try them.

Portillo’s is driving its “Beef Bus” back to DFW in advance of its late-fall opening at Grandscape at the Colony. The Chicago purveyor plans to set up pop-events to serve a limited sneak peek menu at seven locations in Dallas-Fort Worth between Sept. 13 and 24, making stops in East Dallas, Oak Cliff, Denton, The Colony and Arlington.

An injection of capital spurred the company into a growth phase, which will eventually double its store count of 70 locations. Those restaurants blanket nine states — and Texas is next.

A Portillo’s spokesperson told EscapeHatch the company expects to open more than a dozen restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth over the next few years.

What to order at the pop-ups? You gotta try a grilled hot dog, but hometown fans favor Portillo’s for its beef sandwiches adorned with peppers, cheese and onions. Here’s the Beef Bus LTO menu:

Chicago-Style Hot Dog
Chicago-style hot dog with everything, which includes mustard, relish, celery salt, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers in a steamed, poppy seed bun.

Italian Beef Sandwich
A mini version of Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich. Slow-roasted beef, thinly sliced, served on freshly baked French bread, usually topped with Portillo’s oven-roasted sweet peppers or hot giardiniera peppers.

Char-Grilled Polish Sausage
Char-grilled polish sausage with everything,  which includes mustard, celery salt, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle, and sport peppers in  a steamed, poppy seed bun.

Char-Grilled Maxwell Street Polish Sausage
A grilled Makowski’s Real Sausage topped with lots of yellow mustard and sliced grilled onions. (Maxwell St. in Chicago is where this style of Polish sausage was born more than 75 years ago.)

Here’s the stops on Portillo’s September Beef Bus run:

Tuesday, Sept. 13 + Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10:30am
Dallas Arboretum (Gate 4: 8720 Garland Rd, Dallas); Open for lunch, while supplies last)
NOTE: $10 entry fee for non-members
Friday, Sept. 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Harvest House (331 E Hickory St, Denton); Open through dinner, while supplies last)
Saturday, Sept. 17 + Sunday, Sept. 18 at 11:00 a.m.
Taste of Oak Cliff (221 W Twelfth St, Dallas); Event Hours: 11am – 7pm, while supplies last)
NOTE: $20 event entry fee
Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 4:00 p.m.
Nebraska Furniture Mart (5600 Nebraska Furniture Mart Dr, The Colony); Open for dinner, while supplies last)
Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 11:00 a.m.
Truck Yard (5624 Sears St, Dallas); Open for lunch and dinner, while supplies last)
Thursday, Sept. 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Truck Yard (5959 Grove Lane, The Colony) ; Open for lunch and dinner, while supplies last)
Friday, Sept. 23 at 11:00 a.m.
Truck Yard (5959 Grove Lane, The Colony) ; Open for lunch and dinner, while supplies last)
Saturday, Sept. 24 at 11:00 a.m.
Texas Live! (1650 E Randol Mill Rd, Arlington); Open for lunch, while supplies last)

Here’s how Portillo’s tells its back story:

In 1963, Dick Portillo invested $1,100 into a small trailer to open the first Portillo’s hot dog stand in Villa Park, Ill., which he called “The Dog House.” Years later, Portillo’s has grown to include more than 70 restaurants across 9 states. Portillo’s is best known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads and famous chocolate cake. Portillo’s ships food to all 50 states via Portillos.com. Portillo’s Home Kitchen is the company’s fast-growing catering business.

Portillo’s first DFW location is under construction now at 4560 Destination Dr., The Colony.

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