It isn't surprising that Eppel's has been in business for over forty years. The South Loop restaurant seats about 120 and still manages to maintain all the appeal of a down-home diner. Green lighting fixtures that look like the perfect fit for a poker room bring just enough lighting to the restaurant's everything-you'd-expect-a-diner-to-be interior. Booths covered in flowery textiles create cushy nooks for couples sharing heaping plates of pancakes and smaller two-tops for those going at it alone with their morning coffee. And just in case the coffee isn't kicking last night's drinking endeavors to the curb, Eppel's keeps a stock of pain pills for sale behind the counter.
If you're trudging in for lunch, check out the taco salad. This pile of greens is served in a lightly fried flour-tortilla bowl bigger than your face (and probably bigger than your appetite), but tasty enough to throw carb-counting out the window. The menu lists over 18 omelets (average $6), all made with three eggs and served with toast and a side choice of grits, hash browns or rice. Those who like to start off the day with a thick slab of steak will want to go for the New York strip, served with two eggs ($10). Eppel's also offers waffles, pancakes and pastries.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden