Elmhurst Man Blames ‘Over-Staffing’ of Portillo’s Drive-Thru for Price of Hot Dog

Portillo's Pic

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Confounded by a cavalcade of order takers, money handlers, and food runners encroaching upon his vehicle at a dizzying pace in the drive-thru of the Route 83 Portillo’s and bewildered by the introduction of a double car lane that instantly merges back down to one lane, Elmhurst resident Dan Offerman told reporters riding along in his SUV Wednesday afternoon that “over-staffing” is the reason that the fast-food franchise charges $2.99 for a “goddamn hot dog”.

“It’s a miracle that this place is still in business with so many employees out here,” said Offerman, apparently unaware that each Portillo’s unit averages nearly three times the sales of a typical McDonald’s location.  “Why can’t the same person who takes your food order take your payment as well?”

Bitterly staring at the order number now affixed to his windshield which he is certain will not be removed after he receives his food, Offerman read a complicated order for his family of five to a Portillo’s employee wearing a headset and carrying a tablet before inching his vehicle forward to pay a different employee.

“Make sure they pack the cheese sauce for my fries,” barked Offerman, seemingly agitated by the payment processor’s correct recital of the food order riddled with modifications – yet impressed that the teenager is entrusted to walk around outside with a “fat stack of cash”.

Having now reached the menu board nearly 150 feet after his food order was taken, Offerman took a moment to look at the food prices.

“Are you (expletive) kidding me?  I’m paying $2.99 for a goddamn hot dog?” shouted Offerman, who earlier this month discarded a plate full of Parkview brand hot dogs that his wife purchased at Aldi and boiled in hot water.  “These prices are outrageous!”

After a grueling four-minute drive-thru experience from start to finish, Offerman let his emotions boil over when employee Jacob Shields delivered his food.

“Now take that damn ticket off of my windshield, you worthless piece of crap,” yelled Offerman to the Timothy Christian senior honor roll student who works 20 hours every week at Portillo’s and volunteers at the Yorkfield Food Pantry on Saturday mornings.

At press time, Offerman was back at home eating his third hot dog while trying to decipher the hieroglyphic order codes written in pencil on one of the food bags.

Inaugural Coyote Hunting Season Brings Unexpected Issues to Elmhurst

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by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Around-the-clock gunfire, dozens of tree stands erected in violation of building code and scattered throughout parks and neighborhoods, and confusion as to whether carcass disposal calls for a “yard waste” or a “refuse” sticker are just some of the problems the City of Elmhurst is facing after hastily enacting a four-month “Coyote Hunting Season” that began December 1st and runs through March 31st.

Passed unanimously by the Elmhurst City Council last month to alleviate an overwhelming community concern over the increased sightings of coyotes throughout town and to reduce the number of traffic accidents as a result of motorists attempting to photograph the adaptive predator while driving, the inaugural hunting season allows any Elmhurst resident over the age of 10 to purchase a special coyote hunting license and to use “whatever means they see fit” to kill them.

With nearly 500 licenses purchased through Wednesday, coyote hunting season has created multiple unexpected repercussions that “no one could have seen coming”.

“A coyote hunting season seemed like a ‘no-brainer’,” said Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley, admittedly caught off guard by the “endless issues” that have sprung up and baffled by the over-enthusiasm of residents to shoot or trap the animals using an infinite number of weapons including sawed-off shotguns, crossbows and spears.  “We simply didn’t consider all of the necessary regulations that should have been included in the hunting license”.

Two weeks into the hunting season, city officials are scrambling to address numerous complaints from the community like carcasses left near school bus stops, residents shooting at coyotes while riding aboard the Holly Trolley, and whether the frequency of gunfire in North Elmhurst is “normal” or just a result of the hunting season.

Despite the difficulties, Elmhurst residents have embraced coyote hunting season.  “Fresh kills” tied to the hoods of Escalades and Hummers can be spotted throughout town on a daily basis, while local businesses are selling the meat and skin of the animal in a variety of ways.

York Furrier has several coyote fur coats for sale, including an amethyst-dyed coyote jacket featuring a rounded wing collar, straight sleeves and traditional hook and ring closures ($3,900).  Restaurants have used coyote meat as a pizza topping, a soup ingredient, and as a variation to the “Happy Meal”.

Coyote hunting licenses are $5.00 and can be purchased at City Hall, the post office, or Jewel-Osco.