Republic Gastropub: bringing high end to pub dining
“Wow! That’s a nice tv!”
That was the first thing my friend and I said when we walked into Republic. You can’t miss it. It measures 23′ (yes that’s feet!) diagonally and is powered by a Christie theater-quality movie projector that costs about the same as a well-equiped Mercedes. Now add the other 4 plasma TVs at 6′ apiece and the 20 or so LCD TVs placed all around the place and you have a room perfectly suited for any sports fan.
Oh wait! This is a food review website isn’t it? Then again, we review restaurants, so I guess it’s relevant.
“A contemporary American Public House bridging the gap between beer bar and upscale eatery,” is how Republic describes themselves. Looking at all the steel, glass and high-end video displays used in the restaurant’s design, I agree that this place is definitely a contemporary and modern approach to the typically rustic images of the European pub. The wall display that features bottles from around the world and anchored by the line of taps below it reminds every guest what this place is really all about: beer.
Republic has around 100 beers on tap and if that’s not enough to quench your beer thirst, they also have around 250 beers in bottle form to choose from. If beer isn’t your favorite libation, they also have a nice selection of wines and cocktails. Although Tapworks in Bricktown has a larger selection of beers on tap, Republic is cleaner, cooler and has a much better menu.
“So what exactly is a ‘gastropub?’” you ask. Well the name is a combination of pub and gastronomy and a gastropub concentrates on quality food. With that in mind, let’s talk about the food.
I heard that this place was all about its burgers so I decided to get the Republic Burger ($8). All of their burgers are made with natural Black Angus meat that’s handmade into patties every morning and they are served in on toasted pretzel buns — very tasty! The Republic Burger is made with caramelized onions, apple wood smoked bacon, relish, arugula, blue and gruyere cheeses and topped with a fried egg. “A fried egg?” you say. Yes, a deliciously fried egg.
It was love at first bite.
My friend and I both agreed that this was one of the best burgers we’d ever had. The gruyere helps neutralize the strong flavor of the blue cheese. Towards the last few bites, however, the cheeses became a bit overpowering. My suggestion — if you come with another person, order the Republic Burger and something else like the fish and chips and just split both between the two of you.
Now, for people who don’t have an affinity for foreign cheeses, the Republic Burger might not be the burger for you. So, another option is to stick with the Just-A-Burger ($6), which is the same great burger with more traditional toppings.
Adding to this burger goodness, I tried a side of elbow mac and cheese with bratwurst ($3) and it was equally delicious, though not as hot out of the kitchen as I hoped it to be.
Although I haven’t tried anything else on their menu, I’m looking forward to trying the fish & chips ($12) and their ale braised & glazed ribs ($19) during my next visit.
With so many food and beer combinations I see myself dining at Republic pretty regularly. Although the place has more dining space than bar space (I feel it could benefit from more bar space considering the place is called a pub), the Good Egg Dining Group has done a good job with Repbulic, creating nice, new addition to the OKC dining scene and the developing Classen Curve area. Once the new Whole Foods opens up across the street from it, it will be very hard for me to avoid stopping by Republic every time I decide to go food shopping.
What’s your experience with Repbulic? Leave your opinions in the comments below.