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updated: 11/8/2019 10:11 AM

Hot dog! Portillo's Experience opens in Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall

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  • Katelyn Collins, 9, left, of North Aurora and her sister Isabelle, 10, enjoy the moment as their brother James, 15 months, hugs a plush hot dog toy Thursday at the Portillo's Experience in Woodfield Mall.

    Katelyn Collins, 9, left, of North Aurora and her sister Isabelle, 10, enjoy the moment as their brother James, 15 months, hugs a plush hot dog toy Thursday at the Portillo's Experience in Woodfield Mall.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Katelyn Collins, 9, of North Aurora rides an Onion Ring Swing Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience, the restaurant chain's first pop-up shop. It's at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season.

    Katelyn Collins, 9, of North Aurora rides an Onion Ring Swing Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience, the restaurant chain's first pop-up shop. It's at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Portillo's seasonal employee Dave Jorgensen offers chocolate cake to passing Woodfield Mall shoppers Thursday afternoon. Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield in Schaumburg for the holiday season.

    Portillo's seasonal employee Dave Jorgensen offers chocolate cake to passing Woodfield Mall shoppers Thursday afternoon. Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield in Schaumburg for the holiday season.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season. The Portillo's Experience will be open through Dec. 31.

    Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season. The Portillo's Experience will be open through Dec. 31.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Chanse Johnston, left, of St. Charles and Lauren McGuire of Elgin check out a scratch-and sniff wall featuring pickles on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience. Portillo's first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall is open through Dec. 31.

    Chanse Johnston, left, of St. Charles and Lauren McGuire of Elgin check out a scratch-and sniff wall featuring pickles on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience. Portillo's first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall is open through Dec. 31.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Lauren McGuire of Elgin reacts after getting a whiff from a scratch-and sniff wall featuring pickles on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience. Portillo's first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall is open through Dec. 31.

    Lauren McGuire of Elgin reacts after getting a whiff from a scratch-and sniff wall featuring pickles on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience. Portillo's first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall is open through Dec. 31.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Chanse Johnston of St. Charles examines a chopped salad photo booth on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

    Chanse Johnston of St. Charles examines a chopped salad photo booth on Thursday afternoon at the Portillo's Experience in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Kalen Carroll of Yukon, Oklahoma, takes in the scent of chocolate cake at a scratch-and-sniff wall on Thursday afternoon. Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season. The Portillo's Experience opened Wednesday and will be open through Dec. 31.

    Kalen Carroll of Yukon, Oklahoma, takes in the scent of chocolate cake at a scratch-and-sniff wall on Thursday afternoon. Portillo's has opened its first pop-up shop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg for the holiday season. The Portillo's Experience opened Wednesday and will be open through Dec. 31.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
 

"It's sour!" said Katelyn Collins, 9, through a scowl.

"It's juicy and delicious," said her sister Isabelle, 10, with a shrug.

Opinions, it seems, differ for the pickles on a scratch-and-sniff wall featured at the Portillo's Experience, a pop-up store that opened Wednesday at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

The siblings from North Aurora meandered through the store along with their 15-month-old brother James and their grandmother, Pam Gleich of Elgin, on Thursday afternoon.

The pop-up -- a first for Portillo's -- features merchandise designed from the Portillo's 1963 clothing line specifically for sale there, as well as interactive exhibits ripe for photo opportunities.

"The Portillo's Experience is really a great way for us as a brand to start engaging with our customers with a larger-than-life, hands-on experience," said Lindsay Bentley of the Portillo's field marketing team.

Also part of the adventure is a French Fry Room featuring an ornamental cheese sauce ceiling. Separate booths allow visitors to settle into an oversized bowl with salad ingredients dangling from above, or slip into a hot dog bun with condiments (no ketchup, of course) for a photo opp.

Visitors can dream of fried goodness while swaying gently on a giant Onion Ring Swing or take a rest from holiday shopping by smoothing out a wrinkle on the hot dog couch.

Guests may also purchase gift cards, arrange for catering or buy one of the eatery's famous chocolate cakes at the location.

The Portillo's Experience will be open through Dec. 31 at the southwest corner of Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.