Epic Burger

There are a lot of choices these days for burger lovers - from fast food and fast casual spots to family dining establishments to casual pubs. Some get more hype than others and sometimes you stumble across a really extraordinary burger in an unexpected place.
A lot of places have gone the way of thinner stacked patties that cook faster in favor of thick meaty patties. And some of the burger joints of today have a rather simplistic menu - doing burgers and pretty much only burgers instead of the burger being tucked down among a very long menu of diner food.

One burger place that I have heard quite a bit about and had not yet tried was Epic Burger, so I was excited to get an invite to stop in and give them a try.

I visited the South Loop location for lunch recently. They definitely serve a solid burger. You order your sandwich in steps - first being your patty of either beef, chicken, turkey or the plant-based beyond burger. Next is the bun - either a brioche or a wheat bun (or bunless as a lettuce wrap).

From there you move to step three - and it's an extra 99 cents for the cheese options of premium blue, aged cheddar or horseradish havarti. In step four, you can select an addition of a fried egg (99 cents), avocado ($1.89) or bacon ($1.49). Trust me when I say to go for the extras. There was a lot of avocado on my burger and plenty of bacon - thick and crispy just the way I like it. Lastly, you pick your freebies - the lettuce, tomato, pickle, raw or grilled onions and the epic sauce.

I opted for a double burger with horseradish havarti, avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato and epic sauce on brioche.

Epic is known for it's fresh ingredients and use of humanely-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free meats. Buns are baked daily. Shakes use organic milk and all-natural ice cream. The bacon is nitrate-free. The eggs are cage-free. Their motto is "A more mindful burger."

The restaurant originated in Chicago in 2008 and has grown to six city and two suburban locations. It was developed to bring an opportunity for consumers to experience non-processed, all-natural food at reasonable prices.

Along with the sandwiches, they offer fresh cut fries (some of the best I've had) and a sweet potato waffle fry that is served with a honey mustard sauce. Side salads are also available.

There's a number of tasty shakes. I don't often indulge in milkshakes because I can never even finish half of one, but I couldn't resist when I saw they had a Nutella shake. It was all I imagined it would be and I've been craving another ever since I left the restaurant.

My hubby was my dining partner for the afternoon. He got a chicken sandwich on a wheat bun with aged cheddar, bacon, onion, tomato, lettuce and epic sauce. And as much I liked the burger, I may have liked the chicken sandwich even better. I only tried a couple bites, but it was so tender and juicy and had a perfect combination of toppings. Loved the bun, too! I neglected to get a taste of his waffle fries (sweet potato fries actually just aren't my thing) and his Gimme S'mores milkshake.

Epic Burger has earned a place on my top 10 best burger list - and probably lands in the top 5. I'm hoping that when they open their next location, they might decide on the south or southwest suburbs, which are lacking a bit in fast casual, good-conscious, responsibly sourced, quality food options. If there was one closer to me in the south burbs, I'd be a regular for sure.

Oh, and just an FYI...leave the cash at home. Epic Burger is cashless. Cards only!