Friday, June 6, 2014

Stressful Dining: Republic


6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912 • 301-270-3000

Dined here for brunch on May 18, 2014

I should have turned around at the door when I realized I was walking into a children's playground. Waiting to be seated, in front of me were 3 adults with 4 kids all under the age of five. Behind me in line was a couple with a baby in arms and a boy of about 4 years of age. Already seated about the restaurant were four parties (two of them large parties) with lots of kids. The restaurant was not full but it was noisy with kids chirping, babies crying and one screaming parent at the only table that gave a damn about teaching its kids proper restaurant behavior.

No matter where we were seated, in the restaurant, we were going to be a near a party with children unless we sat at the bar or took up one table that seated 4 people. We were seated next to a table with 6 adults and 4 bad-as-hell kids, and a couple with a quiet little boy (3 or 4 years) who never left his chair.

Atmosphere aside the service was good. The menu choices at brunch are few but decent enough I guess. You couldn't dine here often for brunch or you'd get bored.

The quality of our meal was all over the place...very disjointed.

Ancient Grain Salad: Mmm, mmm good! Quinoa, wild rice, pistachios, a hint of mint, tossed in pomegranate vinaigrette (truly it tasted like raspberry vinaigrette), topped with crispy shallots.

Oyster Po' Boy: Oyster sandwich with Lettuce, Pickles, Tartar Sauce and Lemon. My dining companion said the oysters were not great but the stuff put on the sandwich tasted good and therefore made this an okay sandwich.

Roasted potatoes: Good, tasty, nice seasoning; a little oily.

BBQ-Butter Shrimp: read below. Egg with Barbeque Butter-Poached Gulf Shrimp, served with greens on top of herb toast.

The food is where things got very bad for me. My egg was cooked opposite of the way I ordered it, it was barely past being liquid yolk. Disgusting! Especially since the waitress said she could control how the egg was cooked if I explained how I liked it. I said over hard, bust the yolk and cook it solid, make the egg crispy and I'd like it. I could not eat that wet, runny yolk so I gave it to my dining companion.

My meal--the BBQ-Butter Shrimp-- wasn't served hot, it was barely warm. I had a few bites and said, "This might be good if it was hot." Then I tasted a few pieces of shrimp and exclaimed: the shrimp is is chemically tasting. I began pushing it aside. That's when I realized most of it was not fully cooked, several pieces were primarily translucent. I had not noticed that initially because the shrimp was buried under the sauce and greens. I ate what I could of this entree leaving the shrimp on my plate.

I did show and tell the waitress about the under-cooked shrimp. I told her "I don't want you to do anything about it except tell the cook so that this doesn't happen again, cooked shrimp should not be translucent." The waitress took that plate and said she would tell the chef. Several minutes later she came back, apologized and stated: We can't do anything about this now but we are giving you a serving of the Ancient Grains to go. [Readers: Remember I said I did not expect anything to be done, nothing to be corrected, my request was to tell the cook who she called chef].

I did get the Ancient Grains to go. I enjoyed it immensely later in the day with avocado.

FYI: The brunch items are reasonably priced but the coffee and iced tea are over-priced at $4.25 and $3.25 respectively.

Would I recommend Republic? No
Would I ever go back to Republic? No

Between the so-so food and the rude pre-occuppied with their smart phones parents and their ill-behaved children hanging out in the aisles, tapping my chair, stopping and staring at us while we ate, Republic was a stressful and unpleasant experience.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

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