I have a strong fascination with Portillo's. I've been to two different conferences in Chicago, and both times I convinced everyone in the morning show to go there for lunch.

I almost got them to go to lunch back-to-back days there. If I see a Portillos, I must eat at one. Even if that means driving sixty miles out of the way to get there. I know that off the top of my head the closest one to the Quad Cities is in Dekalb, IL, and it's right about two hours to get there. That is only slightly closer than the Rockford, IL location.

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I was reading an article in the Chicago Tribune saying that one just opened in Normal, Illinois. This is just the newest in their expansion in Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin. Rumor has it that they're in Champaign, IL looking for another location.

What about those of us in the Quad Cities, though? Normal is still right on the edge of the 120 miles of distance away. I've long dreamed of the day when there was a closer Portillo's. Drunken nights have been spent with friends talking about taking a caravan of people to the restaurant to gorge on hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

What if we could band together to get their attention? What if someday I didn't have to make the dumb Facebook joke, "I'll have a Big Beef with Spicy Peppers" that I have to make every single time I see someone post a picture of their succulent, mouth-watering sandwiches. What if we could have one here?

Come on! The Quad Cities isn't THAT far away that delivery trucks can't swing by, right? They're on their way to Wisconsin anyway.

I see every time that White Castle gets mentioned, the QCA blows up with talk about how the Quad Cities demands a White Castle. While I think White Castle is ok, in my opinion it can never compete with the true magnitude that is Portillo's.

A new Facebook page has been started called Bring Portillo's To The Quad Cities. This page was started by a couple of guys that met on a swap site.  They have no connection other than their love of some great American food. Chris Glass and DeWayne Stropes Jr. are new friends, but I have the feeling that they're in for one heck of a journey together. I hope that at some point this page blows up enough that someone in the Portillo's Expansion Department takes notice and considers moving one to the Quad Cities.

Many days has it been since my last Portillo's experience, and I'm hoping that maybe--just maybe we can have one here in the future.

~Klinger~