Our buns were warmed by the 1,200 stories our top dog Portillo's fans submitted for the Portillo's Holiday Tales Sweepstakes! Our holiday season was an extra big dill thanks to everyone who shared stories, real or fake, of their families, friends and Portillo's fantasies.
Some Portillo's fans' tales had tails, like this story from Jolene Polyack, and others were simply just happy to have a Portillo's nearby to hide from the stress of entertaining the in-laws, like fan James Deckinger from New York, NY.
The grand prize winner of the sweepstakes has won a catering party for 20 friends, and will have their story submission animated and shared on the Portillo's social media accounts (animation is coming soon)! Our runners-up will each receive a Portillo's swag item and a Portillo's gift card. Read our winning stories below!
Grand Prize Winner
Kevin Wilde, Racine, WI
It was the night before Christmas and a feast was in store, but our favorite Portillo's was open no more. So up through the chimney I climb just to wait, to tell good old Santa that I just couldn't wait. We hopped in his sleigh and off we both went to gather our feast at the restaurant in haste. Santa used some magic to gather it up, and back home we went as fast we'd come. When the children woke up to gather their gifts, the true gift from Santa was safe in the fridge. Our feast would be grand and soon we would taste, a feast for a king from our favorite place. Merry Portillo's to all and to all a good night.
Laura Baker, Orlando, FL
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house Portillo's food wrappers were strung all about. They were hung from our tree window sills too and sticking out of our stockings for Santa to view. Even though our tummies were full we still craved more of Portillo's Famous Specialties. The Italian Sausage Italian Beef and Chicago Style Hot Dogs were a real treat! We managed to leave a piece of their Famous Chocolate Cake for Santa to take.
Elizabeth Garlich, Des Moines, IA
My mom was in a memory care facility when the pandemic hit. There was a long period of time when we couldn't see her other than virtually however as soon as visitors were allowed again we were able to see her on the patio of her place. Mom hasn't been able to eat independently in a while however has always had a love of Portillo's Italian beef sandwiches and milkshakes so we grabbed her a milkshake on our way to visit. Mom held the milkshake all by herself and drank it all in a matter of minutes. When she was done I held the cup and she kept grabbing my hand and pulling it back to try to get the last sips. It made us all smile and I am so grateful for that memory!
John Langman, Greenwood, IN
We moved to my wife’s hometown of Greenwood, Indiana, near Indianapolis, in 2018. I am a Chicago native and a lifelong Portillo-holic. One of the things I missed the most was stopping in to my local Portillo’s for my typical lunch order- a Big Beef, dipped with no peppers, a large fry and a chocolate shake! I went to church and lit a candle after I moved—the next day I read a story in the local newspaper that made our transition complete: a Portillo’s was to open new restaurant near Greenwood! That Christmas, we had a friend’s Christmas dinner to attend. We brought Portillo’s beef and buns to share with our new neighbors. To say that it was the hit of the party would be an understatement!!! Thank you for coming to my new hometown Portillo’s!!