**Regular Go To**
I love Republic because it’s inexpensive, consistently good and it has the kind of menu where anyone could find something to eat. It’s the kind of place that is usually full, but there’s never a wait, and it is perfect for both a large group, as well as an intimate, one-on-one dinner. What I find particularly special about this spot though, is that while you have classic options like Pad Thai or Chicken and Vegetables, there are also more creative dishes that you can’t find anywhere else. My favorite dish here, falling into this latter category, is the Curried Duck Noodles, which I’ll review below. Though I’ve branched out and tried other options, this is the dish that keeps me returning to Republic time after time, making it a regular-go-to spot!
Pad Thai: This is a standard, flavorful Pad Thai: rice noodles, tamarind, bean sprouts, egg, garlic, peanuts, carrots, tofu, radish, carrots and scallions. If you’re not feeling adventurous and/or you want to go with a classic this is a great option.
BBQ Pork: Cold rice vermicelli with pork marinated in a garlic and soy sauce, bean sprouts, peanuts, scallions, pickled carrots and daikon. This was really delicious and different from what I remember (it has been awhile since I tried this specific dish). I remember liking the flavor of the pork and thinking it had a nice contrast with the cold vermicelli noodles.
Curried Duck: Egg noodles with duck, carrots, celery, scallions, bean sprouts, curry, shallots, garlic and cilantro. This is one of my favorite noodle dishes in the city. The curry is a thick sauce that is bursting with flavor. The large chunks of duck are cooked just right and are the perfect, fatty complement to an indulgent and rich curry sauce. I also think the dish has the perfect balance of duck to noodle to vegetable ratio; sometimes noodle dishes don’t have enough of the protein. Like I said above, this is the reason that I have made Republic a regular and frequent stop – I constantly find myself having an itch for this noodle dish!
Seared Marinated Salmon: This comes over curried rice with raisins, lemongrass, pickled carrots and daikon (I asked for no raisins). As you can see from the photo, the salmon that I got was way overcooked. The waitress asked me how I liked my salmon, a question I’ve actually never been asked, and my response was that I liked my salmon cooked the way it is normally cooked. My friend insisted that she ate salmon well done… so that was how I ordered it… and that was clearly an error. Nevertheless, I did see this dish ordered on another table and the salmon was just as overcooked there, as well. I would keep this in mind if you decide to order this. As for the rice, while it had a great flavor, and I ended up clearing my plate, I would say that there was a dryness to it. The rice had the curry flavoring, but I think it would have been interesting to see the dish in the same curry sauce that they use on the duck noodles. Overall, I thought there were better things on the menu.
For your food porn pleasure:
Peanut Noodle Salad: Cold wheat noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, peanuts, mint, fried shallots, jicama in a peanut sauce.
Glass Noodles: Sautéed chicken, green & red bean noodles, carrots, celery, bean sprouts, onions, sesame seeds and a ginger dipping sauce.
Spicy Beef (Under Broth Noodles): Wheat noodles, rare beef, garlic, onion, lemongrass, chili peppers, bean sprouts, scallions, fried shallots and cilantro.
Republic: 37 Union Square West New York, NY ($-$$)