Thursday, April 18, 2013

Epic Burger

Location: 517 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Epic Burger on Urbanspoon

#MushroomMondays at Epic Burger

Portobello Mushroom Burger w/ Fries

After running through most of the Epic Burger menu (see post below), I began to wonder about how their vegetarian option, the Portobello Mushroom Burger.  "How did it taste, and, just as important, how did it compare to their meat options?"  #MushroomMondays at Epic Burger was brought to my attention, and there it was, a huge portobello burger sitting it front of me.  Served on a whole wheat bun, a huge, well-seasoned mushroom is lightly sautéed and then topped with cheese (I chose cheddar), lettuce, tomato, raw and grilled onions, pickles, and their epic sauce.  Just like their meat burgers, the portobello hangs over the edge of the bun and is full of flavor.  Personally, I thought the portobello was very meaty and had enough substance to fulfill my burger craving.  And at significantly lower calories, it may just be the best choice for everyone.  I did wish the cheese option catered more towards the portobello... maybe an organic goat cheese and some kind of sweet jam option?  I lot of restaurants have been adding a fig jam option which would be incredible on this burger.

Now about #MushroomMondays... starting on April 22 (Earth Day), Epic Burger has decided to participate in the rapidly-growing Meatless Monday movement.  This campaign is targeted towards attacking the problem of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the meat industry.  To help promote this cause, Epic burger will be offering 20% off their Portobello Sandwich combo meals every Monday, indefinitely.  I highly recommend the sandwich and hope everyone will give it a try!  And remember, students get 10% off their menu!

For more information about #MushroomMondays or the Meatless Monday movement, check out:


A Quick Word:
Epic burger is another one of those local fast-food joints that are trying to be more health friendly and less McDonald's like.  They have a smaller menu, but try to make everything on that menu great.  I really enjoy the effort on making their food from all-natural products or organic labeled ones... but in the end, I realized I was still eating a burger and fries which can't be that great for me.  Anyway, the overall experience at Epic can be summed up into a couple phrases:  good food and too expensive.  The price you pay for a burger meal here will set you back nearly $10, especially if you order a milkshake or smoothie.  The amount of food you get is nice and the quality is significantly higher than some other burger joints, but in the end, I decided to give them a 3.5 mile rating, mainly because of cost (which could be decreased with smaller portions of french fries or using student discount).
This is the Streeterville location, but I have been to multiple locations
and they food and experience is the same.
What We Ate:

Epic Burger

The epic burger is their all-natural beef patty served on a whole wheat bun and topped with the typical lettuce, tomato, pickle, and in our case, both grilled and raw onions.  The option of both onions is such a simple concept, but makes the burger that much better.  Also, giving the option of a regular bun versus the whole wheat is another nice touch.  The burger itself is different from the "fast food" restaurants most people are used to.  Instead of being a small, uniform patty, Epic Burger uses never frozen patties that are smashed down into a thin patty and cooked to have crisp edges but still a juicy burger.  When the burger arrives, the patty hangs so far over the edge that you can't even see the bottom bun.  You have the ability to add additional toppings like bacon or a fried egg, but in this case, my brother decided not to.

Turkey Burger

After eating here multiple times in the past, I decided to try the turkey burger.  The turkey patty was similar to the beef in terms of thickness and crisp edges.  The main difference was obviously the flavor... the turkey burger was great because it actually had a thanksgiving turkey-like-flavor, but overall still reminded me of a burger.  It was juicy and just appeared to be less greasy than the burger.  I opted to have a fried egg (over easy) added to my burger.  The egg yolk added an almost sauce-like consistency to the burger and also a lot of richness.  I highly suggest adding an egg to the burger and also recommend trying the turkey burger at least once.


The fries here are better than average but nothing incredible.  They are fresh cut, fried in trans-fat free oil (whatever that really helps? especially when eating a pile of these fries), and topped with sea salt.  I guess they are made as healthy as possible... but remember, you are still eating fries.  These aren't the super crispy fries everyone is used to.  Thick crisp outside, soft inside... and they actually taste like potatoes.  The portion size is way too big for one person so definitely share.  At $1.99 per order, I wish they offered a smaller size at a more friendly cost.

Strawberry Milk Shake

Now the milkshake...  They have different flavors and also a variety of smoothies.  I chose to try the strawberry because I was craving something more fresh and fruit-like.  The milkshake is extremely creamy and thick, but still easy to drink through a straw.  The strawberry flavor was strong and chunks of pureed strawberries were mixed in.  They do use an all natural ice cream but overall I couldn't really tell the difference.  I am still a bigger fan of the M Burger milkshake.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- When first arriving, just check out the menu, order at the cash register and pay.  They will give you a number, choose your seat, and they will bring your meal to you.  They tend to rush a little bit so try to know your order as soon as you can.
- Definitely check out the meal options... it does raise the price quite a bit, but the milkshakes are great.
- The egg is a great topping to add to any burger!
- EPIC SAUCE... definitely dip your fries into it so get the sauce on the side rather than in your burger.
- 10% off discount for students!  Just show your ID!

- Don't add the bacon... it isn't much bacon and doesn't add too much to the burger.

How far would I walk for this food?

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