Epic Pizza & Subs - Soulard, MO
My pizza quest continued on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, with a typical Midwest summer temperature on the thermometer. There were four small metal seats and a narrow counter along the storefront, though at close to 100 degrees outside, I choose to sit in the air-conditioned dining room.
Ordering at the counter, I opted for the Caprese salad (pictured below). On the Epic menu, it's simply titled, Tomato & Mozzarella Plate. Not typical of a lot of pizza places in St. Louis, this pizza joint gives you the option to order by the slice. When I inquired about the size of one, I was directed to look at the wall. There was a paper plate tacked up that held a representative slice made of red and black tape. Genius!
Oftentimes, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and it was great to be able to check out the portion size before ordering. I went with one New York cheese slice and a Budweiser draft. I've heard St. Louis described as a "Drinking Town with a Baseball Problem" and it always strikes me as funny, but it's no joke that St. Louis has a rich brewing history, along with new players consistently coming on to the scene. At Epic, I noticed that a few Cardinals themed items adorned the walls, along with the current MLB schedule.
In addition to draft beer, their other beverage options included bottled beer, Pepsi products and a local favorite, Fitz's Root Beer.
Upon paying, I was handed a playing card, a 6 of clubs, to put on my table, so they could match me with my order. I loved it! With the space being a narrow, revamped garage, this is a super cool alternative to yelling out names when orders are up, which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. When I turned the playing card over, I saw that it was actually a branded deck, with the Epic Pizza logo on the reverse side, which also coincidentally fit right in with my current obsession with online poker. But I digress...
My Caprese arrived quickly. I was thrilled to see that it was simply a gorgeous plate.
It spilled over with generous slices of springy mozzarella and beautiful, fresh, thick tomato slices. Adorned with basil, marinated shallots and a wonderfully sweet balsamic reduction, it was a lovely presentation. A thick balsamic vinaigrette accompanied it (on the side), which I later discovered was perfect for dipping my pizza crust in.
I must say, if I were wearing socks when I dug in, they would have been knocked right off! Each bite was more delicious than the next. Bring your appetite if you order this salad; I ended up taking more than half of it home with me - and it made an awesome evening snack, btw.
A slice of home
So on to the slice. Four and a half out of five stars for being sooo close to east coast pizza! Just the right amount of mozzarella topped this thin, wide, triangular slice. The sauce was proportionately balanced and the flavor was mild, yet appropriately sweet.
Since they bill themselves as making east coast style pizza, and since I devoured many east coast slices over two plus decades on Long Island, aaand since I tend to be nit-picky about food, especially when it comes to pizza, I have a few minor constructive criticisms to offer:
- There was no discernible flour on the bottom, as is typical for east coast pizza
- The large dough bubbles should be popped early on in the baking process to avoid becoming craters later on
- Not consistent across the slice, the hand-tossed crust was a bit too thin in the middle and a bit too thick at the edges
Kudos to the staff!
They were not only polite, but helpful. I wanted to get a head-on shot of the oven and an employee offered to grab my phone and take it for me; her shots were terrific. Another one saw me taking a pic of the menu board and asked if I'd like a paper menu to take with me. It was so refreshing to come across such a great team of people.
Though I dislike that they nickel-and-dime for extra toppings, I'll definitely go back and try other menu items, including their subs. I did feel it was a little pricey overall, comparatively for a pizza joint, though Epic Pizza was a great representation of east coast style pies.
As I type this, my mother is visiting family on Long Island and I'm hoping I can talk her into bringing a couple of slices back with her! Having had a taste of east coast pizza, I'm craving the original.
Yo, try a pie
Though slice availability changes daily, they offer the following pies:
- NY Cheese
- Chicken Pesto
- The Bradley (parmigiano reggiano, red onion, rosemary, pistachios)
- Buffalo Chicken
- Epic Supreme
- Hot Hawaiian
- Toasted Ravioli (awesomely St. Louis!)
- BBQ Chicken
- Pizza of the day
TIP: Join their e-mail list to receive special promotions and important information about Epic Pizza and Subs.
Epic Pizza and Subs
1171A South 9th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104