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Doggone beautiful news: Portillo's second Minnesota location opens today

Meat me in Maple Grove

Meat me in Maple Grove Facebook: Portillo's

Anger. Frustration. Anticipation. Fear.

We are, of course, referring to the maelstrom of emotions that preceded the Maple Grove City Council's April decision to approve a Portillo's restaurant for the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes mall. The truly historic moment arrived only after nearly 2,000 rabid hot dog fiends petitioned the City Council to reverse its earlier, stupider decision to prevent Portillo's from moving in.

At long last, the valiant efforts of those brave Maple Grove residents will be recognized. Portillo's Maple Grove opens at 10:30 this morning.

What we're saying is: Don't ever let anyone tell you your voice doesn't matter.

And also: You probably want to get in line now-ish, because the crowds were pretty fierce when the Chicago-based chain's first Minnesota outpost opened in Woodbury this July.

Portillo's latest is no pint-sized pup stand. A far cry from founder Dick Portillo's first location, which he opened in a trailer with no bathroom or running water in 1963, this 9,000-square-foot restaurant seats more than 200 and boasts a seasonal outdoor patio, according to a release yesterday. The Prohibition-themed interior is inspired by the 1920s -- a nod to the City Council's wiener reticence, perhaps? -- and if you're not dining in, there's two-lane drive-thru.

But the important stuff, of course, is the food. The menu is packed with Portillo's classics. There's Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, Italian Beef Sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, and -- if you really want one -- fresh salads. There's beer, too.

And if you haven't dug out your car following yesterday's storm, they also offer delivery via portillos.com or the Portillo's app.

Portillo's
12251 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove
763-316-0860