One of the most iconic Chicago-style eats is the Italian beef. Why it’s taken the staple sandwich so long to get its own weeklong celebration is anybody’s guess, but Portillo’s has, at last, announced the launch of Italian Beef Week, scheduled for May 21 to 27.
The fast-casual Windy City chain’s signature Italian beef is in the spotlight during the new food holiday — a complementary springtime counterpart to National Italian Beef Day, started by another Chicagoland dining favorite, Buona, in 2015.
Throughout Italian Beef Week, customers can nab two regular Italian beefs — that means peppers and cheese aren’t included — for $10 from Portillo’s, which operates outposts locally in Brandon and at Tampa’s University Mall. The sandwiches are regularly priced at around $5.89 a piece.
Beef-loving wordsmiths are also encouraged to compete for the chance to win free Portillo’s for a year. A nod to the rhymes that the chain’s staff shouts from the pick-up counter when each order is completed (“No. 7, you’re in heaven,” for example), the inaugural Rhyme Time Challenge tasks patrons with penning their own jingles, then submitting them online, during Italian Beef Week.
The first-place winner scores the coveted freebie, and the victorious Rhyme Time Challenge ditty will be recited by employees in all Portillo’s locations nationwide. As for second and third placers, they receive a swag bag of merch and a $25 gift card.
Oh, and here’s one more thing for customers taking advantage of the Italian Beef Week promotion to keep in mind: A third sandwich purchased is full price, unless a fourth is bought for a combined $10. Happy beefing!