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Portillo’s Opens in Fishers, Indiana on Sept. 28, 2017 @portilloshotdog

September 26, 2017 1 comment
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Portillo’s Fishers, Indiana location–its 52nd in seven states.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2017, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor
AroundIndy.com, LLC

Today was the soft opening and media day at Portillo’s, located at 9201 East 116th Street in Fishers, Indiana. The restaurant opens for business on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at 10:30 am (and then daily at 10:30 am).

At 9,000 square feet it’s a large facility with seating for 214, the 2nd Portillo’s location in Indiana (the other one is in Merrillville on the south side of US 30 across from Star Plaza Theatre). This is the franchise’s 52nd location in seven states.

Founder Dick Portillo was on hand to welcome his visitors and tell an intriguing story of starting this franchise in Chicago in 1963 in a single mobile wagon called “The Dog House” (at age 22, no less) with just $1,100 in savings. It’s truly a great American rag-to-riches story.

Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness was also on hand to welcome Portillo’s to his city and to wish them well.

Portillo’s is renowned for its Chicago Dogs, Italian Beef, and chocolate cake, among many other menu items. I overheard several guests who said they are originally from Chicago and couldn’t wait for this location to open on the north side of Indianapolis. BTW, it’s on the SE corner of Highway 37 and East 116th Street, next door to the new IKEA outlet.

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The classic Chicago Dog at Portillo’s.

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Hot (spicy) Italian Beef at Portillo’s.

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The renowned chocolate cake at Portillo’s.

I was astonished by the number of employees working behind the counter–more than I could count. It seemed like 30-40, but that may be on the high side. But obviously it takes a lot of personnel to run an operation of this magnitude.

Here are a few photos from media day. The place was packed with visitors today, and I expect it to remain that way for several weeks to come, as Indy welcomes this new restaurant to the culinary scene. If there is one concern, it will be whether there is sufficient parking–the lot was completely full when I left. So please be patient if you visit Portillo’s in the next month or so.

I’d like to thank Marc Trevino and Ana Espinoza from Portillo’s for the excellent hospitality.

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: Portillo’s provided me (and many other invited guests) with free samples of its food and merchandise in exchange for the promotional consideration.

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Devour Indy Aug. 21 to Sept. 3, 2017 @devourindy

August 21, 2017 Leave a comment
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Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant is one of the participating restaurants in Devour Indy 2017. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Sarah Stegmeyer
On behalf of Devour Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Aug. 21) – More than 200 restaurants in the Greater Indianapolis area are serving up exclusive, value priced menus for Devour Indy 2017
Summerfest. Take advantage of these tasty menus from today, August 21, through Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.

Beginning today, participating restaurants will be flaunting their three-course menus and showing diners why Indianapolis has been named the “Most Underrated Food City in the U.S” by Zagat.

Sip on the Mr. Cantarito – the official Devour Indy cocktail at Mr. Tequila’s Cantina and Grill in downtown Indianapolis.

Devour Indy welcomes more than 20 new restaurants to the mix, along with those traditional Devour favorites and an additional dozen hotels offering exclusive Devour Indy room rates.

Experience Indianapolis like never before by taking advantage of Devour Indy offers from various hotels and attractions across the city.

Book a stay at one of Indy’s A List hotels, explore the Magnificent Macaw exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo and cheer on the Indy Eleven at one of their two home games during Devour.

Visit www.devourindy.com to plan your two weeks of Devour Indy today!

Gumbo Cookoff @indycm, Feb. 28, 2017

February 2, 2017 2 comments
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U-Relish is one of the participating contestants in the Gumbo Cookoff.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

By Joe Perin
Indianapolis City Market

INDIANAPOLIS (February 1, 2017) – The Indianapolis City Market is gathering some of the area’s best chefs to help Hoosiers through the end of winter with a family-friendly gumbo cook-off. Ten local chefs will enter their best gumbo recipe to help celebrate Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday: Feb. 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

A 4-ounce sample of each of the 10 gumbo recipes, as well as a slice of French bread with each sample, will be included in the price of every ticket. Traditional French bread will be provided by City Market merchant Circle City Boulangerie. Attendees will also vote for their favorite recipe using green, yellow, and purple Mardi Gras beads. Water, craft beer, and wine will be available for purchase in the Tomlinson Tap Room.

Participating restaurants and chefs include:

The Meridian Restaurant and Bar | Alan Smith

Libertine Liquor Bar | Matt Stum

Rook | Carlos Salazar

Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place | Cynthia Wilson

Pogue’s Run Grocer | Alan Walker

Love Handle | Chris Benedyk

Twenty Tap | Shannon Baugher

U-Relish Farms | Cara Dafforn

Three Carrots | Ian Phillips

Circle City Soups | Angela Osborn

WHAT: Market Gras Gumbo Cook-Off (All Ages)
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
TICKETS: marketgras2017.brownpapertickets.com (Ages 5 & Under: FREE, Ages 6-17: $10, Adults: $20)

Chef JJ’s Corporate Team Building Experience In Indianapolis

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment
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Photo provided by Chef JJ’s and used with written permission.

By Ryan Cunningham
On behalf of Chef JJ’s

Companies looking for the most unique team building experience in Indianapolis, Indiana will find it with an “Iron Chef” competition at Chef JJ’s Downtown and Chef JJ’s Back Yard.

Those who think that team building is only about ropes and ladders will be pleasantly surprised when they step into Chef JJ’s modern, state of the art facility and put on their chef’s apron.

The experience is one that will remain with participants long after the event is over. During a team building event at Chef JJ’s, it is not uncommon to be working together to grill a gourmet pizza or steak to perfection on the Big Green Egg.

The lasting effects of a team building event here include not only making return trips to Chef JJ’s for grilling classes or beer dinners but also taking new skills home to impress family and friends.

If one is to do an online search for Chef JJ’s team building, they will find plenty of rave reviews from fans just like Shani Johnson who had this to say, “We had our team building event here and it was absolutely perfect! It was a pleasure working with the staff beforehand to create an experience that was just right.”

She went on to say “The format of the team challenge had the perfect flow and it was enjoyable for all! We have a couple of finicky appetites, and most of us have little to no experience on a grill, so I was a bit nervous about everyone being able to make something that we would actually want to eat once it was completed!

“The chef managed to teach us about food, seasoning, meats, and the Big Green Egg while guiding us through the process, but yet giving us plenty of room to be creative. The end results were 2 delicious meals (one from each team) to share and enjoy. You’ll be amazed at the ideas that you can come up with when you’re on a time crunch!”

Teams are led by the chefs, through several different challenges that encourage teamwork, creativity, cooperation and organization. Each participant works together with fresh, local ingredients to create a delicious and bountiful meal that will satisfy an entire group, all while grilling on the Big Green Egg.

This is truly a unique team building event that every participant will enjoy. Any company in the greater Indianapolis area would be wise to check this out. After attending a recent team building event, Carol Honeycutt said, ” Amazing place. Had an amazing team event here for work. Would highly recommend anyone going there.”

Chef JJ’s has two convenient locations. Chef JJ’s Downtown is located at 42 West South Street within walking distance to all major hotels, the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium and has a relaxing patio as well as a rooftop garden and dining area.

Chef JJ’s Backyard is located in Broad Ripple at 1040 Broad Ripple Avenue with a beautiful patio overlooking the White River. Both locations feature state of the art sound systems, flat screen TV’s and WiFi.

Founded in 2005, Chef JJ’s is a unique, personal and hands-on culinary experience with a focus on the Big Green Egg®, corporate team building, private events and grilling classes. For more information about Chef JJ’s corporate team building or private dinners at Back Yard or Downtown, please visit http://www.chefjjs.com/.