When I showed up at Republic Seven Corners for Sunday's airing of #2ndBrunch, I pictured a couple of scenes where I'm rubbing my nose in the background or bare-handedly wiping my face clean -- you know, proper yet irrelevant scenes. Instead, I had cameras on me a lot.
Whether or not that translates to actual air time, I figured I'd better give them something besides on-air panicking and a facial off-day ... so I built a Bloody Mary mushroom cloud using three other menu items. The end result was a 2ndBrunch that left the hostesses themselves hot and bothered (I'm assuming).
I know I just did this two weeks ago. I promise I'm done after this one.
The Basics: A drink isn't hard to find at Seven Corners; Town Hall Brewery is across one street, the Corner Bar across the other, and Bullwinkle's at the kitty corner. BEWARE! The parking ramp is a trap: Three hours had me $13 lighter, against $0 if you park on the street. Make an educated decision, people.
You can find Republic, and get more information about their other location, on the web here.
Republic is plain in appearance, but small Plexiglas panels make the renowned beer bar look churchlike inside. Otherwise, unadorned brick walls and limited sun intrusion tend to keep your eyes on their formidable tap roster.
You'll see how much fun you can have here as a party when the video is released tomorrow, but Republic is a fungible hideout if you just want to loaf alone. I was at the bar drinking water for roughly an hour before the crew arrived. I got no fuss from the bartender, and his attention didn't slip in that span.
The party entered. I then proceeded to get especially twitchy while trying on a jacket eight sizes too small, and spent a few seconds getting smothered by plush dead wrestlers. Also, I ordered the brunch menu's brightest-looking highlights and piled them onto the top of a glass. Off the top of my head, I'd guess eight sticks held this together. NOTE: This is not something they will make for you.
Let's outline this monstrosity piece-by-piece:
The bacon cheeseburger: After going a month without cheeseburgers, I hope this is as close as I ever get to tasting freedom after a long prison stay. The smooth bite and greasy gushes put shades of the Perfect Burger on this cheddar-and-bacon sensation. This little sub-meal was consumed with vigor, never making its way to the mixture.
The B.E.L.T.: I'm not sure there was bacon on it, but bacon was coming at me from every direction so it's hard to say for sure. The egg yolk oozed onto everything and gave my structure a pleasing shine, but it was a well-buffed Le Car in the presence of that bacon cheese. Bad? Absolutely not. It paired well with the Mary, but nothing was topping that cheeseburger.
The side of bacon: There was nothing fancy about it: No candy coating, no chicken-fried breading, no blanket of pepper, just bacon and it rocked my world thoroughly. It was almost as if the cooks looked at the bacon and said, "I bet this would taste good if we just cooked it as is." Well played, Republic. You don't understand how many restaurants have abandoned that concept.
The Bloody Mary itself: I had the bacon mix both times, and it was imbibable bacon done right. Bacon bits hid in the zippy concoction, and would occasionally clot up the straw. A triumphant suck would send the offending meat bit up and into your throat with an eager burst of Mary behind it. I hope that sounded uncouth and racy, because it tasted uncouth and racy -- and I mean that in the best way.
I ate it all. Go ahead, act like you're not impressed.
The bloody bar at Republic is tame in presentation, with little cubes of meat and cheese with the usual greens, but the quality of the mixture makes it a must-do at $5. The girls were correct in using Republic to feature a Bloody Mary bar. It turned me from someone who's "meh" about Bloody Marys to someone who will beeline to a good Bloody Mary.
If you want a good place to start liking bloodies, make it Republic. You can stay under the top, or go over the top, and enjoy a Sunday afternoon here either way.
Seriously, though, why would you ever stay under the top? Do it LIVE. Bring $30 and make some artwork.