Restaurant: Republic Gastropub
If you listened to our podcast with OKC OVER EASY, you would know that Republic Gastropub is one of mine and Ed’s favorite restaurants. He eats at Republic for lunch probably twice a week without fail, and I join him there for dinner at least once a month too. Their food is consistently fantastic, they’re incredibly accommodating of my vegetarian modifications and their bartenders (and drinks) are top-notch. Republic is someplace we’ve taken our out-of-town family and friends many, many times, and it’s basically our default option when we don’t know what to eat. It’s our hang-out, for sure.
Republic offers two straight-up vegetarian entrées: the Chickpea Burger and the Black Bean Tostada Stack, both of which are excellent. But like I said, they’re also incredibly accommodating of modifications to their other menu items. I even ordered an off-menu grilled cheese one time and they gladly made it for me. They’re that good, people.
Republic’s Chickpea Burger—100%, without fail, forever and ever, amen—is my favorite vegetarian burger in OKC. It has incredible flavor, and it’s not overly dry or chewy like a lot of other veggie burgers I’ve encountered. And the chefs don’t char it into smithereens, either, which is always a plus in my book.
If you order the Chickpea Burger straight off the menu, it comes equipped with cucumber raita, field greens and sliced tomato; I’m not a fan of cucumbers or tomatoes, so I don’t tend to go this route. My go-to is a Chickpea Burger on sourdough with avocado, grilled onions, bleu cheese and a fried egg, but I also like to order the Belle Isle Burger (grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and beer-cheese fondue) or the Classen Burger (white cheddar, porter-hickory sauce, lettuce, chopped pickles and mayo) with a chickpea patty substituted. They’ll also do any burger served on a bed of lettuce if you want!
Case-in-point regarding the deliciousness of the Chickpea Burger—last October, Ed’s aunt and uncle (who live in Worcester, England) and four of their friends visited Oklahoma en-route to Las Vegas. We took the group to Republic for dinner; one of the men was a vegetarian, and he ordered the Chickpea Burger. Unprompted, he said it was the best vegetarian burger he’d ever had. This burger is straight-up universally beloved, people! ORDER THIS BURGER. DO IT. ORDER IT.
(MODIFIED) PULLED CHICKEN NACHOS
It’s pretty hard to beat a good plate of nachos, don’t you think? Republic makes theirs with large chips that are essentially half the size of tortillas and assembles them in a “deconstructed” manner; rather than presenting you with a pile of chips where only the top layer is covered in cheese and toppings, Republic gives you six chips that are literally perfect in every way. To make them vegetarian, order them without pulled chicken but add black bean puree. Prepare to be obsessed!
(MODIFIED) GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD
To end up with a full-sized vegetarian salad at Republic, you’ve got to do quite a bit of modifying (I will say, however, that their Little House Salad is excellent and comes with goat cheese and carrots, among other toppings). A great place to start is with their Grilled Shrimp Salad: Brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, spinach, red onion, crispy salami, smoked gouda and horseradish vinaigrette. Order it without shrimp and salami but add avocado and egg, and you’re all set.
I’ll also sometimes do the Beef Cobb Salad (bleu cheese dressing, grilled beef tenderloin, egg, avocado, fried green tomatoes, white cheddar, scallions and smoked bacon) because their fried green tomatoes are incredible. With this one, I’ll do no beef or bacon but add red onion and spaghetti squash. In both cases, Republic will charge you for a “salad without meat,” but they might end up charging you for the extra toppings. Either way, the price you pay won’t be more than what’s listed on the menu.
HOMEMADE PUB PRETZEL
This one’s kind of a “duh,” but I love, love, love their Homemade Pub Pretzel. Their beer cheese fondue is liquid, golden crack, and their serrano-honey mustard needs to be bottled and sold, stat (I always order a side of it with my chickpea burgers). The actual pretzel is certainly no slouch either!
BLACK BEAN TOSTADA STACK
The black bean tostada stack is tasty, filling and a perfect option for when I’ve craving the flavors of Republic’s nachos but am not in a “splurge-worthy” food mood. For this dish, they stack four crispy corn tortillas with black bean puree, mixed greens, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, cilantro crema, avocado and queso fresco. I always order this with no tomatoes, and sometimes I’ll add sautéed mushrooms instead. The salsa that comes with this (it’s the same as what comes with the nachos) is obviously homemade and has truly great flavor. Like I said, the Tostada Stack is certainly filling, but I usually finish the whole thing and feel full, not stuffed. Highly recommend this as a great option with little to no modification required!
Two locations in OKC (but the Classen Curve location is way better). @republicokc