Chow Bella's 10 Biggest Food News Stories of 2013

Portillo's opened its first Arizona locations this year.
Portillo's opened its first Arizona locations this year.
Heather Hoch

What were we doing a year ago? We were waiting on news about that second restaurant from Citizen Public House owners Bernie Kantak, Andrew Fritz, and mixologist Richie Moe. And we didn't know it yet, but were headed for a cold snap that would cost local farmers and restaurants thousands of dollars in winter produce.

And those weren't even close to the biggest stories to hit our local and national food scene this year.

See also: Shout-Outs to Those Who Made Our Dining Critic's Year Especially Interesting

Arizona's First Portillo's and Steak N' Shake

2013 was a big year for Midwestern fast food. On February 26 Arizona's first Portillo's opened its doors to hungry customers who waited 45 minutes on opening day for an authentic taste of the Windy City. The 8,721-square-foot restaurant at at 10574 North 90th Street in Scottsdale, was joined quickly enough by a second location at Tempe Marketplace. And it took us all of five seconds to get completely addicted to their Chocolate Cake Shakes.

It wasn't until September that we found out we'd also be welcoming Steak 'n Shake to our dining scene. The diner-style restaurant chain is a Midwest favorite -- nay, institution -- known for serving Original Steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. Sadly, the first Arizona location, which opened in October on Mill Avenue, failed to impress our Midwestern transplant.

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