Wish You Were Here: New spring items on Portillo’s menu? Count me in.

Image of Portillo's Hot Dogs

Photo credit: Portillo’s Hot Dogs

by Heather Sell, ShoutOUT®, March 8, 2017

Disclosure: Portillo’s invited ShoutOUT® to participate in a tasting of their limited time spring menu items. They provided samplings in order for me to provide my honest opinion on the experience. The opinions expressed here, however, are entirely my own and based completely on my own thoughts and experiences.

Outside sign BrandonDelicious with a capital “D”! Last week, ShoutOUT® was treated to a sampling of new limited-time spring menu items, as well as a couple of regular favorites at Portillo’s Hot Dogs’ Brandon location. The limited availability Lenten-friendly Tuna Salad Sandwich and St. Patrick’s Day Mint Chocolate shake, plus their regular menu items of Baby Back Ribs, and the Char-broiled Cheeseburger.

Tuna Salad Sandwich on a Pretzel RollMy taste buds first fell into sated bliss when I sunk my teeth into the Tuna Salad sandwich, a perfect marriage of seasonings, minced celery, flaky tuna, diced red onions, chopped hard-boiled eggs and served atop a freshly baked pretzel roll. Then my senses luxuriated in a rich bath of minty creaminess with the Mint Chocolate shake, a vanilla-mint shake blended with chocolate fudge frosting. WOW! I almost jumped onto our table and began swooshing my way through the restaurant with my imaginary ski poles yelling, “Sometimes, I get the sensation…” Amazingly refreshing!

Then, for a peak into the weekly “Monday Rib Nights” event underway, we were served a
½-slab of juicy baby back all-pork ribs. Smoky, tender SAUCY-licious-NESS, gently marinated then glazed with Portillo’s special tangy barbeque sauce and charred on an open grill. You know that great smoky flavor you taste after meat has been cooked in a smoker? That’s what these tasted like. Not only were the ribs meaty, but I’ve never had ribs that I didn’t have to cut or gnaw off the bone. I literally ate them with a fork, pulling the meat from the bone effortlessly! A FORK!!!

Kevin Cruz, Portillo’s Field Marketing Coordinator, did not lie when he said these were the “hidden gems” of Portillo’s. Flanked with a side of creamy coleslaw and crinkle-cut fries, we hit the mother-load!

Photo of Portillo's CheeseburgerLastly, I had been dying to try Portillo’s char-grilled hamburgers and wasn’t disappointed! A cheese-lover myself, I went for the enticing cheeseburger. A 1/3-lb* burger, draped with melted American cheese, topped with mayo, crisp lettuce, red ripe tomato slices, sliced red onions, pickles, and ketchup, on a freshly toasted old-fashioned style bun. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! How about yours?

Things to know:

  • The St. Paddy’s Day Chocolate Mint Shake is only available through the end of March.
  • The Lenten-friendly Tuna Salad Sandwich is offered March 1st through April 15th.
  • Monday Rib Nights” occurs every Monday night at Portillo’s through May 29th. Guests can enjoy a free half slab of Portillo’s ribs with the purchase of a full slab rib dinner and any size drink. Note: Ribs are available on the menu every night, but the special for a ½ slab of ribs occurs only on Mondays.
  • Fast Packs” is Portillo’s newest catering option. Quick, delicious food available to feed small groups of people.

Overall impressions?

Food was amazing! Ribs were to die for. The Tuna Salad Sandwich, especially cradled inside a soft pretzel roll, is one of my new faves. And I’ll definitely be back for the Italian Strawberry Shortcake (oh, yeh! They have that there.)

Only downside or con for me? There’s not a Portillo’s in Pinellas County yet.

For more information on the Brandon and Tampa locations, as well locations throughout the United States, visit: http://www.portillos.com/

Deepest thanks to Kevin for the amazing hospitality and Portillo’s for hosting us for a wonderful, food-filled evening!

*pre-cooked weight


If you’d like to invite ShoutOUT® to an event or tasting, we’d love to hear from you! Please email Heather at contact@shoutoutinc.com

About ShoutOUT

In 2009, I started sharing my experiences, food, travels, and events, along with all of the incredible people and businesses I was meeting and discovering. What began as a fun hobby had such an overwhelming response, in 2010 ShoutOUT was born! I continue to stretch the boundaries locally, regionally, and nationally, discovering, sharing and connecting as I go.
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