Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For Good Noodles, Go "to the Republic for which It Stands"

As the expression goes, time flies when you're having fun - especially when a lot of that time is spent eating your way through the Big Apple! Last week marked the 6th anniversary of me moving to NYC - hard to believe it's been that long. Six years ago, MP and I arrived a few weeks after graduation, with no job and no real place to live. We had 10 weeks in the NYU dorms to get our lives figured out. But, before we dove straight into job hunting, we wanted to celebrate our first night in the city.

Since this was pre-Miss Menu, we wandered over to Union Square and looked around for a restaurant, and ended up at Republic. Right then and there, I declared to MP that a tradition should be started of returning to Republic every June 1st to celebrate our anniversary. It seemed really cheesy at the time, but 6 years later, I always look forward to this dinner!
This year, we walked downtown to Republic on an iffy day weather-wise, but hoped to score a table out front. Lucky for us, there were two open when we arrived, and we were seated right away. The tables outside are pretty cramped, but if you've ever dined inside the restaurant, you know there's a good chance that you'll be seated at a table with total strangers. So, I'll take the former option any day!

Although I'm usually not one to order the same dish every time I go to a restaurant, I do so at Republic. Guess it's part of the tradition! As usual, I got #31
- Pad Thai, with rice noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, egg strips, garlic,carrots, scallions...hold the peanuts. The menu has some interesting appetizers and salads, but I love their pad thai, so there was no messin' around.


The flavor was great, with just the right amount of heat. On some occasions, the chicken has been somewhat overcooked and flavorless, but this year, it was moist and flavorful. They always go a little overboard with the bean sprouts, but it adds such a nice crunch to the dish. The portion was huge, but it was hard for me to put the chopsticks down!

MP changed it up this year and went with #21 - Chicken broth noodles, with glass noodles, shredded chicken, watercress, bean sprouts, wood ear mushrooms, and shallots. She thought it was a great flavor, but heavy on the salt...and that the watercress was a little too bitter.

If you are looking for super-authentic noodle bowls, Republic is not for you. It's more of a trendy take on a classic. Apparently the restaurant has caught wind of that and hiked its prices since last year. A bowl of pad thai for $13 is no bargain. It was definitely more like $8 when we started going there. But, I guess that's the price you pay for livin' in the big city!

We weren't sure if it was because the waitress was so crazed, or if it's just more relaxed dining al fresco, but we weren't rushed out at all. Usually they will drop the check off before you ask for it and hover waiting for you to get up from your table. But, we were able to enjoy the nice weather and reminisce about all the crazy adventures we've each had and those we've shared in the past 6 years. It's been a wild, fantastic ride, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for me, for us, and for Miss Menu!

Republic
37 Union Square West
b/t 16th & 17th Streets
website
Menu Pages listing

1 comment:

Marisa said...

i cannot wait to celebrate 6 more years with you!!!