This Beloved Chicago Chain Is Taking Its Burgers & Italian Beef Across the U.S.

Courtesy of Portillo's
Courtesy of Portillo's

When I left behind my hometown, a suburb west of Chicago, for life in New York City, I said goodbye to those I love most: my family, friends, and... Portillo's. But now, the iconic Chi-town chain is bringing its beloved Italian beef sandwiches, crinkle cut fries, and chocolate cake shakes across the United States. 

That is, Portillo's is taking its food truck, officially dubbed the Beef Bus, on the road and asking fans to vote on its next stop. 

"We have a roadmap for this country that every party will find delicious. Whether it’s a big city or small town, swing state, or hungry state, The Beef Bus has a full tank of gravy and is ready to travel nationwide," the company said in a statement this week. "The smell of opportunity is in the air, and we relish the chance to come to your town." 

While the food truck menu won't feature the chain's entire lineup, it's got all the classics: Italian beef with sweet peppers, hot peppers or mozzarella cheese; hot dogs; those heavenly crinkle cut fries; and cheese fries, Senior Vice President of marketing Nick Scarpino told the Chicago Tribune

"We receive thousands of messages each month from our fans across the nation asking us to bring Portillo’s to their city," CEO Michael Osanloo said, according to the outlet. "Through our new Beef Bus voting campaign, guests will be in the driver seat. Whether you’re a former Chicagoan living in Louisville, or a fan looking to put their town on the map, your vote will count."

Voting is open through April 30 -- though, you only get one entry a day. Trust me, I've tried. The Tribune reports Portillo's had already received 4,000 votes on Monday, February 3, citing Miami and Seattle as potential contenders.

h/tThe Takeout

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 Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @MegSchaltegger.