A taste of the Windy City will officially arrive this week with the grand opening of Portillo's at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
The restaurant at 295 Coliseum Blvd. W. will be the restaurant's sixth location in Indiana.
Known for its Chicago-style favorites, including hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, the local restaurant features a diner-themed interior with décor inspired by the 1950s and 1960s. A mural pays homage to local history, highlighting the Fort Wayne Daisies – a local women's baseball team that dates back to the 1940s.
In addition to the hot dogs and sandwiches, Portillo's will serve burgers, salad and its famous chocolate cake.
The 7,800-square-foot restaurant has seating for more than 190 guests, a seasonal outdoor patio with seating for 48 and a double drive-thru. Hours are listed as 10:30 a.m. to midnight daily.
Delivery is available online at Portillos.com and via the Portillo's app.
For Chicago fans, there is also a Giordano's location planned for the north side of the city. An application was filed with the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and says that Stuffed Za LLC plans to open a Giordano's at 10180 Diebold Road.
Help for the holidays
Often, I'm sharing information about where to eat during the holiday season.
But there are times when you just want to share a meal around the family table – without all of the work.
Local restaurants and food markets have picked up on that and are offering holiday meal help.
Shigs In Pit will have whole smoked turkeys, maple-glazed half hams and apple-brined smoked boneless pork loin available for carry-out.
Sides and dessert are available, too, including potato casserole and green chile macaroni and cheese.
Orders can be placed at either Shigs In Pit location – 2008 Fairfield Ave. or 6250 Maplecrest Road. Orders for Christmas must be placed by Dec. 17 to be picked up by Dec. 24.
The kitchens at Casa restaurants are closed Dec. 24 and 25. But they are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve for customers to pick up cold pans of lasagna and salad for carry-out, as well as purchase gift cards and desserts.
A full pan of lasagna feeds about 24 people, and a half pan feeds about 12. Orders need to be placed in advance at any of the four Casa Italian restaurants.
Ruth's Chris offers its signature sides, salads and desserts to take home during the holidays.
Sides, which serve 12 to 15 people, cost $34.95 and include garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and au gratin potatoes. Salads are $29.95, and desserts, such as cheesecake with berries, are $89.95.
To order, go to https://fortwayne.rcsidestogo.com.
Zinnia's Bakehouse, 236 E. Wayne St., has cookies, pies and breads available for holiday order. Items include cut-out sugar cookies, challah, cinnamon rolls, dill loaf and brioche dinner rolls. Pie varieties include pumpkin, cherry, pecan and peanut butter.
Zinnia's will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24 for order pickup. The bakery will close for the holidays from Dec. 25 to Jan. 4.
Fresh Market, 6306 W. Jefferson Blvd. offers holiday meals, including main dishes and sides, to be picked up and easily reheated.
Customers can choose from items such as spiral sliced honey ham, fully cooked turkey breast, loaded potatoes and Yule logs.
Orders can be placed online at FreshMarket.com and picked up between Dec. 21 and 24.
Local restaurants: Are you open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Readers: Do you have a favorite dining out tradition on those days? Whether it's going to an ethnic restaurant or Christmas Eve brunch, we want to know your favorite spots!
Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in a future column.
The deadline is Monday.
• Wunderkammer Co., 3402 Fairfield Ave., will host its first-ever international Thanksgiving from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 18. The event will celebrate its new Peace Mural and offer international fare.
• Penn Station East Coast Subs will celebrate National Cookie Day today by giving customers a complimentary chocolate chunk cookie bite while supplies last.
• A Taco Bell is being built at 7719 Southtown Crossing.
• The former Hobo's Bar & Grill, 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., is now a country bar called Redneck Heaven.
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email email@example.com or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.