Portillo's treats early birds to taste of Chicago ahead of Woodbury opening

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Portillo's, the famous Chicago eatery known for its hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and chocolate cake, is gearing up for its grand opening in Woodbury.

Slated to open Tuesday, July 11, its opening marks the 50th Portillo's location in the country and the first in Minnesota.

But before opening its doors and drive-thru, several hundred people got a sneak peak at the restaurant during a soft opening on July 6.

While digging into an Italian beef sandwich, Ryan VanByssam of Hudson, Wis. said he had to come check out the Woodbury Portillo's.

The food is just as good as the ones back home in Chicago, he said.

The Windy City chain is known for its Chicago-dogs and Italian-style beef, Portillo's menu also includes hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, shakes, malts and its "famous" chocolate cake.

The Woodbury restaurant will feature a Prohibition-era theme, including images of Al Capone and other 1920s gangsters splashed across the walls.

The 200-seat restaurant also includes double drive-thru lanes and an outdoor patio and will be one the largest restaurant in the city.

A Portillo's restaurant in Maple Grove is also in the works.

More information is available at www.portillos.com/woodbury.