I know a lot of people like to eat at Portillo's as the parking lot is always full no matter what time of day it is. So we decided to try it. The parking lot was full and when we arrived, there were tons of people standing around waiting for food and nearly every table taken. I was worried we might be there a while, but was hopeful. You order at one counter, then walk down to another to pick up your food. As you walk down the 'hall' or 'tunnel' as they call it, you can see all the food being made from a mass assembly line of workers. My first thought was that this shouldn't take long. There was plenty of staff busy putting together orders. Once we arrived at the pick up area, we realized this was going to be a long wait. There were lots of people waiting for their food. Up until this point, we had not heard anyone over a loud speaker, maybe a lag in getting orders out, I don't know. Suddenly someone got on a loud speaker and began to call out orders in a very loud speaker system and in a very annoying way. They would call the number and follow with a saying "169 Your time to dine" "178 no more wait" "193 come see me". It was funny the first few times, but then became so annoying it almost makes you want to just leave. My boyfriend said "this is crazy". We waited for what seemed like eternity for our food. At one point there were so many people waiting on food the woman on the loud speaker starting yelling at everyone to clear the 'tunnel'. There was NO place for these people to go! We were already standing on top of each other in front of the counter and half way to the door!
Once we finally got our food, we couldn't find a place to sit. We had to stand around waiting for someone to leave. We finally got a table and now our food was cold. We had burgers, they were good considering they were cold from the long wait and trying to find a place to sit. I think it would have been a great experience had it not been for the very LOUD annoying staff yelling out when the orders were up. We couldn't even speak to each other while eating without yelling across the table at each other. My boyfriend was not impressed and I wasn't either. The biggest problem was the fact that people were getting very annoyed at the long wait, and then almost angry feeling after listening to the annoying loud speaker. We weren't the only ones who were not happy. We heard several people say the same things we were thinking..."this is crazy"...."Never again"...."if she says that one more time.....". I think if we were really wanting one of their burgers, we'd go threw the drive up, but even that was wrapped around the building. I can't figure out the attraction to this place for it to be packed all the time, but they are. We always like to give a place a second chance, but I think in this case, we'll pass. On a positive note....IF you like that kind of craziness and want a unique experience and I presume good food if you can get it hot, then by all means try it...at least once.
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