Road Trip

I’m driving to Chicago tomorrow from Florida and am looking for somewhere to stop for lunch/dinner. Does anyone here have a shop that’s very close to I-65 between Tennessee and Indiana? Plus I’ve already gotten some recommendations for pizza in Chicago but am open to others if you know of any “can’t miss” places.

The Lou Malnatti’s in Naperville is in a historic Firehouse. I got to tour the whole building which was really cool - I told em I was in the pizza business and they offered it up to me.

I know you’re covered for pizza in Chicago, but don’t forget to grab a beef sandwich somewhere! Any local spot will probably do, or go to the mother of all hotdog stands, Portillo’s.

Portillo’s is going up for sale by the way… and it came out that they did over $300 million last year out of 38 locations o_O

One location doing $8 million is quite the feat but 38 locations averaging $8 million is crazy. I’ve never heard of them but I will absolutely make a point to eat there, not because of the beef sandwich but to see what’s obviously a very well oiled machine.

love Portillos! but they are not the best, just the best around. and they do crazy business you should see them work the dinner drive-thru line…its a sight to behold.

No matter where you’re going in Chicago you should be relatively close to one. Of the 38 locations I think 34 of them are in the Chicago area.

Yeah I totally agree… not the best beef sandwich in the city, even though that’s what they’ve become known for. Probably not the best hot dog either… but by far the most amazing operation. The drive-thru is ridiculous and I don’t know how they pull it off on top of a 7,000 - 8,000 square foot restaurant. The one closest to where I last lived in Chicago (on 159th and Harlem) had a double barrel drive-true and there was never a time each line wasn’t at least 10 cars deep. And there’s no window or speaker that you order from… they come up to your car while you’re in line and punch your order in on a remote terminal.

A few other interesting facts that came out in the news about the sale: Dick Portillo still owns the whole damn thing - not one investor. They have 4,400 employees. And he said he also owns the real estate in 90% of the locations.

Not bad for what stared as an $1,100 investment for a hot dog shack with a garden hose hooked up to it for water.

Where are you staying in chicago? For deep dish in chicago(which native Chicagoans rarely eat btw) downtown I would go with pizzeria due, not uno but make sure due. For thin crust chicago style I love pizanos pizza on Madison. The best hot dog in chicago is at hot Doug’s, but that’s a little away from city center so portillos is still good and their service at busy times is a thing to behold, also get the cake shake. For more upscale experience osteria nico is amazing, and green street BBQ has the best brisket and pork ribs ever, just skip the sides. I work at the chicago board of trade if you want to come see the trading pits in action just pm me, I’ll take you for a beer downstairs afterwards. My trading hours are 9-1.
Enjoy, it’s a great city.

Yes great Italian Beef and Hot Dogs at Portillos too!

if ya wanna stop in the city i suggest going to Eataly…just to check out the operation. its Mario Batalli’s place and its massive! pizza was amazing. rest of the food was hit or miss.

This thread is making me homesick…

Sorry I’m not familiar with I-65, but in Chicago, I think Piece Pizza and Pequods will give you some interesting tastes of great pies in Chicago. Piece is New Haven style with a brewpub. Pequods is an experience (burned mozzarella in the crust SOOO good). Those may not be the absolute best, but they’re less touristy than Uno/Due/Giordanos, etc. Or you could day trip to Kansas City and have some of my pizza :slight_smile: Either way, Chicago is such a great city that you’ll have a blast no matter what you do. #welcometothemidwest


If you want a real treat while in Chicago, visit David Burke’s Prime House, Dry aged prime beef, aged in excess of 45 days. (a little gamey IMHO once you exceed 45 days) He also makes a spectacular Wagyu carpaccio served on a block of pink salt. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Pizza? Truthfully, I believe Milwaukee is a level above & beyond to anything i’ve eaten in Chicago
Fun lunch food in Chicago; The Billy goat tavern on lower Michigan, SNL did a skit on them back in the Belushi days. Hub’s Gyro’s in Skokie was another SNL skit, but Nick Gyros is spectacular, best i’ve had.

3 minutes from I-65, indianapolis

Rock star, are you open Monday? We will be driving south in the evening and would love to stop by.

Going to try portillos today.

Yes from 11–9pm what time do you think you will be passing through?

I really wish I could see the pits but I have an event today. I’m stuck relatively close to Hyatt regency O’Hare as I’m here for a dart tournament and events are scheduled throughout each day.

Not sure yet but should have a better idea tomorrow.

Let me know, Monday is always our slowest day so I should be around!

Sorry rockstar, we are behind schedule and won’t be able to stop by. Next trip for sure.

no problem, hope your trip went well