If you’re staying off-property on your next Disney World vacation or you have the flexibility to venture beyond the resort’s perimeter, there’s an entire world of dining options at your fingertips! We’ve been checking out some of the newer dining options to open off-property, including the brand-new White Castle!
Today, we stopped by Portillo’s, the Chicago-style, rock ‘n’ roll-themed diner at the intersection of Palm Parkway and Daryl Carter Blvd. The restaurant is celebrating its grand opening, so we thought we would take part in the celebration and share our thoughts!
If you’ve never visited a Portillo’s before, this should give you a good idea of what to expect! This rock ‘n’ roll-themed diner has all of the fixings you would expect to see, from the black and white-tile flooring to neon signs. There’s a LOT to take in, that’s for sure!
Make sure you look UP to catch all of the details in this place! This place is practically oozing with Americana.
This restaurant has more of a quick service-style vibe to it. You order and pick up your food at a counter and then bring it to your table!
There is a large seating section that includes both standard tables as well as booths.
Now that we’re seated at our booth, let’s dive into some FOOD!
The claim to fame here at Portillo’s is their hot dogs, but you can also dine on chicken dishes, burgers, and more if hot dogs aren’t your cup of tea. But, when in Rome (or in this case, Chicago), you order their star food item!
We ordered THREE of those featured items to be exact. First up was the Italian Big Beef Sandwich for $8.69! Portillo’s calls this their most famous item on the menu and it shares a fun anniversary with Disney World. Both Disney World and this sammie are turning 50 years old this year!
This sandwich comes with Italian Shaved Beef served on French Bread. We ordered ours the “Portillo’s Way” for an extra $1.40, which added Hot and Sweet Peppers on top as well as extra Gravy! This was an excellent sandwich — the meat fell apart as we ate it and the roll held up really well, even with all of the gravy!
It’s a massive sandwich that will easily fill you up. Watching your carbs? Don’t worry — you can order the sandwich bunless as a bowl! We also picked up the Jumbo Hot Dog for $3.99.
We ordered ours will ALL of the toppings because that’s how we roll here at DFB. That means this traditional Chicago-style dog comes loaded with mustard, chopped onions, BRIGHT green relish, sliced tomatoes, sport peppers, celery salt, and topped with a kosher dill pickle spear on a poppy seed bun! That’s a LOT of toppings! This was another home run for us! Even with all of those ingredients, we didn’t find it to be too salty.
The third sandwich we ordered was the Maxwell Street Polish Dog for $4.99! This is a real Polish sausage grilled and topped with lots of mustard and grilled onions. It was a favorite of Portillo’s founder as a boy!
This was also super yummy! The best part about this sandwich to us was those onions on top. The sausage on this sandwich had a nice snap to it, and we could really pick up on that char-grilled flavor.
We also ordered a small side of French Fries for $2.29…
…and a large side of Onion Rings for $3.49. Both are the perfect accompaniment to any hot dog or sandwich!
Oh, and did we mention…you can order a side of melted cheese (umm…is that PLASTIC CHEESE we spy?!) for an extra $0.89 to dip your fries in!! Yep. You’re welcome.
For dessert, we picked up a trio of sweet treats: Portillo’s Famous Chocolate Cake (heads up — you can get this blended into a milkshake!), Strawberry Shortcake, and the Chocolate Eclair Cake.
All three were solid dessert options, depending on which flavor you enjoy the most! Our personal favorites were the Chocolate Cake and the Strawberry Shortcake. The shortcake is made with mascarpone cheese and angel food cake, making it almost like a fruity tiramisu!
They’re all pretty rich and might be difficult to eat after your heavy meal, but they’re good for sharing! Of the three, the Strawberry felt lightest, despite its huge portion size.
And you can’t forget about the drinks! Portillo’s serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. We ordered the Chicago-based Goose Island 312 Beer Urban Wheat Ale for $5.99. You order at the catering counter and it comes in a 22 oz. chilled goblet.
Nosh or Not
You should make the trip to Portillo’s if…
- You don’t already have a Portillo’s in your area. This Chicago-style chain isn’t available everywhere (in fact, the locations are more limited than you might think), so you may want to take advantage of its close proximity on your next vacation!
- You’re craving a good-quality hot dog or Italian style sandwich. It’s their specialty dishes for a reason!
- You have a car and can easily leave Disney World property. You’ll be shocked to see how much the price of a meal goes down once you step outside the Disney World perimeter!
You should SKIP Portillo’s if…
- You aren’t into hot dogs. While other food items are available on their menu, it’s probably not worth the effort to leave Disney World property if all you’re going to order is a cheeseburger (head to D-Luxe in Disney Springs instead!).
- You can’t easily leave Disney World property. Unless you want to pay for an Uber to take you here, you might be better off sticking to on-property dining options.
- You’re looking for healthier dining options. While there are a few salads on their menu, the common theme here is MEAT.
As excited as we are over new dining options to open in the Disney World parks and resorts, we’re just as thrilled to see great dining options pop up off-property as well. Sometimes your Disney World vacation will take you beyond the resort’s perimeter, whether you’re checking out other Orlando theme parks or you simply want to escape that Disney “bubble” for a few hours. Hopefully this gives your family a new option to check out next time you’re driving around the area and want to try something off the beaten path!
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Do you typically leave Disney World property during your vacation? Let us know in the comments!