Review of Portillo's Hot Dogs in Madison, WI

My wife had a couple things she wanted to pick up at East Towne Mall, so we made a quick run down to Madison shortly after it opened on Sunday. Since it was about noon by the time we were done, I offered to buy lunch before driving home and, since the food court proved to be quite a bit more expensive than we were expecting, we opted to go to Portillo's Hot Dogs instead.

To be honest, we almost didn't eat there because it was our first time at that restaurant and, when we walked in, it took us a minute to figure out which counter we were supposed to use to order our food. Once we did that, however, we did find we enjoyed our experience.

We both wound up ordering chili dogs with a side of fries to share. She also got a peppermint shake to drink. In total, we spent about $18 for lunch, which isn't too terrible.

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Helmer
I thought the set-up inside the restaurant was pretty decent. Basically, you order your food on one end of the counter and wait for them to call your name on the other. I did notice the intercom system they were using was a little hard to understand but we still managed to hear our number despite finding our seat first.

As far as quality goes, I had no complaints. My chili dog was tasty and filling and the fries were OK. I'm not going to go as far as to say it was the best lunch I've ever had. But, it was worth what we spent on it.

One other plus, at least in my opinion, was our ability to find a place to sit down and eat. This hasn't always been the case for us whenever we've tried to dine in Madison, especially around noon on the weekend, and just being able to get our food in a timely fashion was something we appreciated, especially since we had other things to do that day.

Final Opinion: It was a last-second choice this past weekend but we did enjoy our experience enough to make it our first choice next time.

My Grade: A


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