A little love for Republic
I never see Republic mentioned on the boards, but I had dinner there on Wednesday night, as the snow fell over Union Square, and I thought the two dishes I had were rather good. I started with the fried wontons, which were perfectly fried and not greasy, served with an addictive sweet/hot chili sauce. Unfortunately they have discontinued the fired calamari, which was even better. Then I had a bowl of spicy duck curry noodles, perfect for a winter night, which was curry noodle soup with pieces of shredded duck. The duck was okay, but the broth was delicious and spicy, and definitely fortified me for the snowy walk after i ate.
I'm curious if anyone else has any thougths about this place.
Republic is passable and reasonably priced, and there's not a lot of other food options right on union square that can say the same.
However, I don't think it gets mentioned much here because it's not really that notable or particularly authentic, and not worth going out of your way for. If you're in the Union Square area and have to get a quick cheap bite, it's certainly an option. If you have the luxury to walk a few blocks away, there are much more interesting options available.
I've been choosing Coffee Shop over Republic for my cheapish Union Square meals of late, not because I don't like the food at Republic - it's good enough for me - but because it's so freaking loud in there. And the benches are uncomfortable. And the menu hasn't changed in 47 years. Other than that, it's fine.
Plus, there's a place on 12th with (a lot of pretty decent) free food at happy hour.
If Republic was in Des Moines it would be great but in a city full of very good Chinese, Japanese and passable SE Asian, Republic is barely passable.