Editor’s Note: As of late March 2017, Republic of Sandwich is Capitol Sandwich, a trailer at 2308 Hancock Dr.
Serious about sandwiches? Like, Kevin James in King of Queens serious? Look no further than one of your newest neighborhood sandwich shops, Republic of Sandwich. Owners Pete O’Donnell and Thomas Gardner have brought some unbelievable recipes to the city, available at their brick and mortar on the corner of Hancock and North Loop Blvd.
The first time I stopped in for a bite, I knew they knew what they were doing, and I knew I would be back soon.
I’ve had both their Jive Turkey and the Summer Swine, and I can easily say they are two of the finest sandwiches I’ve had in recent years. The Jive Turkey is overflowing with meat and fresh cherry pepper tomatoes, and the pesto and pepper jack cheese add a balanced spice.
Their Summer Swine contained a ham rillette unlike anything I’ve tasted in the area, topped off with fresh arugula, juicy watermelon (which I had never had on a sandwich before), balsamic and feta cheese.
I’ve also had the kimchi brussel sprouts as my side twice, because they are perfectly seasoned, full of flavor and nice and spicy.
I’ve also heard wondrous things about their breakfast tacos, which are served daily until 11 AM. They offer everything from the El Bandito (bacon, potato, pico de gallo, monterey jack cheese) to the Steve (pastrami, potato, provolone cheese). I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never had pastrami on a breakfast taco. I intend to try it.
On my last visit, though, I stuck to the lunch menu with my buddy Joey.
While I was dining, Pete the owner came out from the kitchen to ask how our meal was. He was nice enough to talk with me and lend me a few minutes of his time, even though they were near closing time.
I asked him why he went with sandwiches. “It actually gives us the largest blank canvas to operate from. If you do a certain style of food, it can be tough to throw in another one without alienating your guest,” O’Donnell replied.
I also asked Pete what he had enjoyed most about the shop. He couldn’t decide on only one thing: “The freedom to explore the ideas that pop into our heads…and this neighborhood’s been awesome for it. They’ve really received things well, they’re very open and some of the crazier things we’ve paired together don’t scare people off. They ask a lot of questions.”
I couldn’t leave without finding out Pete’s favorite sandwich on the menu, as well as the customer favorite. He told me, “Mine is going to be the 215. It’s my area code in Philadelphia and people in Philadelphia don’t eat cheesesteaks that often. That’s more of a tourist thing. The sandwich everyone eats is actually a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone and I’m really proud of bringing that flavor here.”
As far as the customer favorite? “The Reuben, customer-wise, is probably the most popular. Our pastrami is just awesome…I think our Reuben is unique in its flavor and an awesome example of a Reuben.”
After talking with Pete, I know the Reuben is next up on my list to try at Republic of Sandwich. I also want to snatch the breakfast tacos if I’m ever north that early in the day. But what I’ve tried so far has been more than enough to bring me back to Republic of Sandwich again and again.
2320 Hancock Dr – Website
@mattchampionatx wants to know:
What is your favorite sandwich at Republic of Sandwich?
The Reuben at Republic of Sandwich is a classic and a stand-out creation at Republic of Sandwich. Thomas and Pete really do a great job smoking, curing, brining, and roasting all their own meats in-house. Kimchi sprouts are incredible.
My first time in to Republic, I tried the Reuben. It was so much better than any other Reuben that I had ever had, it was my first choice from then on. One day, my buddy from Houston was with me, and he selected the Jive Turkey. We split half and half, and I must admit, that turkey was very darned good. So right now, I have two favorites. And I have not tried anything else on the menu.
Nice! Thanks so much for sharing about your visit, @disqus_hW0FfIgELB:disqus.