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Epic Systems

Verona WI

1979 Milky Way, Verona WI 53593
tuesdays, lunchtime

Epic Systems (Annapolis MD)

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Rating: 75
Price: $$

The To-Go

A long-awaited trip to Epic Systems systems provides excellent beverages and desserts, mediocre tacos, and a sense of awe.

The Sit-Down

In honor of business associate and total taco freakzoid Caroline's last week as an Epic employee, business associate Erin & I took advantage of a Taco Tuesday falling on the renowned Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo to visit the campus and sample the dining hall's taco offering. Showing up in a light drizzle, we parked under some solar panels, wandered around like lost sheeple until we found our guide, and were quickly ushered us inside the facility via a subterranean access port.

After strolling past displays of fake ice cream stands that are actually full of juice and popcorn, we reached a large dining hall full of young people enjoying various pork sandwiches, tofu noodles, Big Salads, and other fare at well-subsidized prices. Informed that the tacos were actually in a separate, smaller cafeteria (uh-oh), we kept right on walkin' until we hit taco central - identified in a salmon-like manner by the streams of people walking in the opposite direction with to-go containers featuring large taco salads . All appeared to be as it would on a totally normal Taco Tuesday, and we were confronted with a user-driven taco distribution system. All Mexican entrees are treated equally (taco salad, burrito, hard/soft shell tacos) so the customer chooses a shape, a filling which determined your price (chicken, beef, vegetarian), and a type of beans (black or pinto). You then head over to a salad-bar style system where you can add lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, a couple salsa options, and squeeze-packs of sour cream.

I went with the intermediately-priced chicken taco option ($3.50 for 2 tacos on flour tortillas), while making a pre-order agreement with business associate Erin to do a 1-for-1 swap with her slightly-more-expensive beef option ($3.75), and piled 'em up with a pinch of lettuce/tomato and ample cheese, salsa, and sour cream. After an unfortunate and unintended complete taco inversion in which I knocked my tacos over while reaching for a butterscotch bar, my tacos looked a bit worse for the wear, but the toppings mostly stayed where intended - thank goodness everything is served in a to-go box! Finding seats in a nearby and unused conference room, we hunkered down and dug in.

To sum up the review in a simple sentence: the tacos were fairly nondescript, of the classic middle American variety. The tortillas were simple and boring. The filling quantity was not large, but not skimpy. The ground beef was good and salty, but nothing spectacular; the chicken the same. The salsas were both fine, but not very spicy. The cheese was pretty tasteless. The glass of chocolate milk was delicious. After seeing other people stroll by with their taco salads, I became more and more convinced that that was the superior choice - both more fillings and more room for add-ins, and a nice crispy exterior shell that can be converted to nachos at the end. Overall, though the tacos were fine, so much of the food at Epic looked so much more delicious at a comparable price that it left me feeling ripped off, despite these tacos ranking in line with other average tacos on the overall scale.

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