Chicago-based chain Portillo’s is known for having a cult following. Yes, leave it to Chicago to have a cult around an eatery that specializes in hot dogs. But recently, the restaurant has been newsworthy for another menu item – its lemon cake – after Portillo’s did one diehard fan a major solid and brought back the discontinued dessert.
Back in February, a guy named Ben took to the Chicago section of Reddit with a compelling demand. “I'm putting a $300 dollar bounty on Portillo's lemon cake,” he posted on the social news site. “For over a decade every Portillo's had a lemon cake. Then only a few Portillo's had it. Then it disappeared completely about 5ish years ago.” As a huge fan of this cake, Ben said he’s “been searching for a substitute ever since.” Finally reaching the end of his rope, the lemon cake lover decided to offer up cold hard cash to anyone who “can find me the exact recipe, with instructions, or find me a place that makes an exact copy.”
Luckily for Ben, his Reddit bounty actually got a lot of traction – so much so that eventually he heard from none other than Portillo’s itself. At first, a rep from the brand posted that the company would “make you a lemon cake and tell you how to make your own in the future.” The rep also answered the lingering question of why the cakes we’re discontinued in the first place: “the frosting would cause the cake layers to slide over time, so the cake didn't hold up well throughout the day.”