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Portillo's Giardiniera Stumps Presidential Candidate John Kasich

At least his hot dog didn't have ketchup.

Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich eating at Portillo's.
Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich eating at Portillo's.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Some Chicagoans struggle with pronouncing "giardiniera," but unlike GOP presidential candidate John Kasich, they at least know what the crunchy pickled vegetable mix is that fires up Italian beefs and hot dogs. Kasich, during a campaign stop at the downtown Portillo's Hot Dogs in River North on Tuesday, revealed his lack of Chicago food knowledge to reporters.

Perhaps Kasich is focusing on strong international policy, as the governor from Ohio flat out told a reporter he didn't know what giardiniera was when questioned if he'd like some on top of the hot dog and Italian sausage he ordered, according to the Sun-Times. But hey, give him credit: At least his hot dog was topped with mustard, not ketchup.

While the Italian-American condiment is huge in Chicago, it's not a foreign concept elsewhere in the country. If Kasich, who lags behind in polls, makes it to the White House, he may notice the home of baseball's Washington Nationals — Nationals Park — features a house-made kielbasa with sauerkraut...and giardiniera.

The next stop for Kasich was a more familiar place to most Americans: He and his camp ran across the street to make an appearance at the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's.

Portillo's Hot Dogs

100 West Ontario Street, , IL 60654 (312) 587-8910 Visit Website