Please Note – Epic Deli has moved to a new location in the last year and this review is based on that new location.
Epic Deli in the far-north Chicago suburbs is much more than a ‘deli’. As a matter of fact, ‘deli’ in this case is probably misleading.
Epic is better described as an eclectic restaurant serving American-style sandwiches, Tex-Mex meals, desserts and the occasional Asian specialty dish.
The interior of the new location struck me by how it is decorated; it is a style that perhaps is best described as a late 1960s vision of the 21st century. It’s not contemporary, it’s not retro, but it is an interesting combination of both.
One of the things that took me aback on Epic’s regular menu is the Deadpool Changa which is a burrito stuﬀed with Buﬀalo-style chicken and pepper-jack cheese, that is then battered and crusted in Flamin’ Hot Cheeto crumbs before being deep-fried! This creation is served with a side dipping sauce of ghost pepper ranch dressing.
Surely one must have accelerated healing to be able to survive eating such a creation! But a warning, “No one escapes the wrath of the Changa.”
The regular menu lists submarine sandwiches with names such as aPORKalypse, The Skiba (Matthew Skiba is a guitarist for the band Blink-182), The Leo Stotch (the given name of the character ‘Butters’ in South Park), The Viking Quest, etc.
There are also Chicago-style (and other) hotdogs, four diﬀerent kinds of Reuben sandwiches, a huge selection of specialty wraps, Poutine (origin: the Canadian province of Quebec; French-fried potatoes topped with brown gravy and white cheddar cheese curds), loaded mashed-potato balls, deep-fried pickle chips, and both conventional and ‘adult’ milkshakes in ﬂavors such as Dark Chocolate, Boo Berry and Oreo Carrot Cake (to name but a few).
The dessert menu sports a selection of deep-fried candy bars and deep-fried Cherry Kool-Aid balls (whatever that might be) for those adventurous enough to order and try them. A recent Epic Deli weekly specials menu had a delicious sounding Orange Chicken Ramen dish on oﬀer.
There is a separate vegan menu too. On the vegan menu one ﬁnds such things as the Napoleon Dynamite Burger (smothered in nacho ‘cheese’, of course), The High Priests ‘Beyond Meat’ Burger, and Vegan Steak Tacos available.
It would seem that there is something for everyone on Epic’s menu although I am quite sure that the majority of it will increase your cholesterol numbers.
In addition to the previously mentioned ‘adult’ shakes, Epic has a well-stocked bar with local micro-brewed beer on tap and in bottles. I must admit that about half of the names on the taps seemed foreign to me, and I like to think of myself as being at least somewhat hip to the local beer scene.
As you would expect since I am doing a site review, Epic has a well-equipped games area with three pinballs, Super Chexx Bubble Hockey, Air Hockey, driving games and stand-up video games.
The pinball games are serviced by Star Worlds arcade in DeKalb, IL. They are all in quite good condition although I found the free game and free ball thresholds set a bit stingy.
This is the ﬁrst time that I have seen a Ghostbusters Premium in the wild; the Pro model being much more prevalent in my area.
I included the Fast Track Racing interactive vending machine among the pinballs because it has a plunger to send the gumball onto a spiral track to score in one of the out-holes. I didn’t play it so I don’t know any more details, but apparently this is a rare machine because I could only find one reference to it on the Internet with little to say about it other than the on-oﬀer price if anyone is interested in purchasing one.
The gaming area has some nifty Atari logo step stools for the vertically-challenged among us. They look cool and at the same time look quite retro, being cast in a teal color plastic with the instantly recognizable George Opperman-created Fuji and the bold Atari lettering.
It’s also appreciated that they have a change machine nearby for those games that do not have dollar acceptors.
Epic also have a good-sized stage space for live entertainment and they host up-and-coming local rock bands most weekends. Epic charges a ‘cover’ on nights when there is live music; 100 percent of the cover charge goes back to the bands who perform.
During the summer months Epic hosts classic car cruise-ins and I understand, because the new location is located away from residential areas, there may be some outdoor music performances oﬀered in Epic’s spacious parking lot.
I enjoy visiting Epic because of the laid-back atmosphere (on weekdays at least) that reminded me of the small college town vibe, and the vast array of food and drink choices (did I mention that they have Kool Aid in a bubbler? Shades of Jonestown).
The large games area is of course a bonus, but one that I certainly appreciate.