I’m a big fan of a good burger — so much so that I won’t be bothered with the fast food variety. On the other hand, I’ve been known to order burgers at high-end restaurants (the burger at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco remains one of my favorites).
A slew of burger-only places have opened in the last five years or so: Five Guys, Graffiti Burger, Flip Side. I like their style and their commitment to just good burgers. I was lucky enough to try another one recently: Epic Burger in Chicago.
I hadn’t done my research about Epic. I went because it was convenient. We’d been moving my stepdaughter nearby. But it’s now a place I’ll seek out when I have a burger craving in Chi-Town.
First up, I loved the food. Thin patties of meat on a brioche-style or wheat bun. Even plain Jane, they’re good stuff.
From there, customers can order it how they like: grilled or raw onions, an array of cheeses (including blue), bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle and Epic sauce (a ketchup-mayo-relish concoction). Or go extra-special with a fried egg on top. Big appetite? Order a double. Don’t eat beef? The restaurant has turkey burgers and grilled chicken. Vegetarian? Have the grilled cheese.
Now I could nitpick about the fries. They’re skin-on, but seem to lack the double-fry technique to get them really crispy. They’re more in the soft-style of In-and-Out Burger, the one fast-food chain I will order a burger from when I’m in SoCal.
What I really like, though, was the philosophy: The burgers are made from humanely-raised, drug-free animals. The eggs are from cage-free chickens. The buns are baked daily. Nothing is frozen — except the ice cream for the shakes, which is also organic.
Epic may be an overused word, but I think it’s rightly applied to this spot.