Chicago Hot Dog Chain Portillo’s Credited with Helping Woman Live to 100

A woman who lived to 100 told a reporter during her last birthday party that Portillo’s was the secret to her long life
Chicago Hot Dog Chain Portillo’s Credited with Helping Woman Live to 100

Portillo's

Helen Diekman ate at her local Portillo’s up to three times a week, and lived to be 100.

Helen Diekman, a longtime resident of Elgin, Illinois, died last week — but not before turning a full hundred years old.

The key to her long and healthy life, Diekman often said, was eating at Portillo’s, the popular Chicago-based restaurant chain whose iconic Chicago-style hot dog ranks among The Daily Meal’s list of America’s 75 Best Hot Dogs.

In 2013, the centenarian-to-be even met Dick Portillo, the founder of the restaurant once known as “The Dog House,” at the grand opening of the chain’s Elgin location. A photo of the two was kept next to Diekman’s bedside, according to the Chicago Daily Herald. Since then, Diekman stopped by for lunch as often as three times a week, always ordering the same thing — a hot dog with everything except hot peppers, fries, and a Diet Coke.

Diekman’s 100th birthday, which took place three weeks ago, was even held at Portillo’s. When asked to share the secret of her longevity, Diekman told a reporter “Portillo’s” was the answer, plus “I go to bed early and I eat good.”

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