Portillo’s is the best run fast food joint (& the difference between salad dressings)

June 5, 2015

I went to Portillo’s yesterday.

To buy a halibut fillet sandwich, a baked potato, and a garden salad.
Hold the bread.

What kind of dressing would you like, asked the girl taking my order.

Before we get to that, I gotta tell you about this place.
If you’ve never been to Portillos, you must try it.
I think it’s a Chicago thing. The food is good. But the service is great. Typical American fare of hot dogs, burgers, italian beef. They also have salads, pasta, and a bunch of other stuff.

And they’re packed ALL THE TIME.
Inside and drive thru.

It’s so busy that they hire cops to direct traffic 7 days a week.
It’s so busy that their drive thru has 3-5 people standing outside to take your order.

During slow times, you can use the regular drive thru machine.

Otherwise, as soon as you pull up, a person will come to your car.
Put a piece of paper with a number on it under your windshield wipers. The kind of number you might get at a deli.

Then she’ll take your order.
If you don’t know what to get, she’ll hand you a fresh menu.
Once your order is taken, she will radio it in to the kitchen.

Sometimes there’s another guy who will be standing a few feet away to confirm your order.

And lastly, you’ll pay with cash or credit card to a dude holding an ipad type thing. He will reread your order back to you. The guy takes a look at the number on your windshield to make sure.

The whole time, there’s a huge line of cars in front and behind you.

By the time you reach the take-out window, the lady will confirm your order once again. And if your order is not ready yet, she will ask you to pull in to the side parking lot, numbered 1-5. And someone will run out with your food within a few minutes.

Otherwise, she will hand you your food. And off you go.
It’s a machine. The best machine I’ve ever encountered.

And the food is always on point.
There is never a time when you bite into a chili cheese dog and are disappointed.

Ok, back to yesterday.
The girl asked me what kind of salad dressing I would like.
Normally I say no dressing.
But this time I was feeling frisky.

“What kind do you have?”

She paused for like 5 seconds as if I had asked a crazy question.
As if she asked you if you’d like some water and you said “sure, what kind do you have?”

I realized my mistake.
There are standard types of dressing.
I’m guessing most people say ranch. But I wanted something else.

She kinda huffed.
And said “well we have this house dressing that’s made out of Italian, and we have ranch, and…”

I’ll take house.
I already felt silly and wanted to get it over with.

I got home and wondered,
what the hell is the difference between salad dressings?

Here is the answer.

What is salad dressing?
It’s a fatty sauce with flavoring.

Why?
To make the vegetables taste better.

Why fat?
Because fat (esp olive oil) mixed with vegetables creates a reaction in your body. Something called nitro fatty acids. Short story is that fat + vegetables is a good combination nutritionally.

What about light dressing?
During the fat-free craze, they took out fat and replaced with sugar. Which is probably much unhealthier for us.

There are two types of dressing.
Creamy & Vinaigrette.

Creamy dressings are made from dairy (cow fat) or mayo (egg fat)
Ranch
Blue Cheese
Caesar
Thousand Island

Vinaigrettes are made with oil (plant fat) & vinegar.
Italian
French
Red Wine vinaigrette

You can also use nut fat (cashews, walnuts) to make custom dressings.
Cashew Orange – Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Cashew Caesar – i heard on a podcast this is seth godin’s fave to eat with kale
Walnut Vinaigrette – Dr. Joel Fuhrman

So the next time a sassy drive thru girl asks you what type of salad dressing you want, you’ll know.

It all comes down to what kinda fat you want.
Cow vs Egg vs Oil vs Nut

Or go light/fat free if you want more sugar.