European Republic. A shop tucked away at the corner of Strawberry St. and Chestnut St. Intersection of food! I got there at 11am, but they weren't open until 11:30, so I walked around town a bit. I entered promptly at 11:35, and there was already a guy ordering. From then until around noon, around 7 or 8 customers had purchased some sort of wrap and/or fries.
The only reason I wanted to check out this spot was that I had a small amount of hope that there would be cheese curds and gravy flavoured dip for my fries. A.k.a. poutine. A.k.a. something I've been wanting to try since I found the snack on Wikipedia! In retrospect, it doesn't make sense that a store called European Republic would sell something Quebecois. I went anyway, because I wanted fries. Oh delicious potato fries. Chips.
Unfortunately, no poutine on the menu. Ah well, at least they had fries! I liked the way the guy at the counter spoke. I ordered the large fries so that I could get two dips, but out of 22 choices, I really didn't know what I wanted! So, I stood there awkwardly, mentally crossing out dips that I was certain that I didn't want - olives, lemon dill, honey dijon, jalapeno cheddar - all the flavours you can get at a grocery store or another restaurant.
I asked what the European sauce was, and he said that it was mayonnaise. European ketchup was apparently mayonnaise, ketchup, and onions. Well! I decided that I'd have to try European ketchup then! I also was debating between the Jamaican curry and the avocado dip. The guy at the counter said that once my fries were out, he'd let me sample them. That was really nice, because I'm really indecisive.
The fries took about 10 minutes to make; I'm guessing they make these from scratch. There were tiny grains of salt lightly sprinkled on my serving (Okay, I believe this is probably 4 or 5 "servings" of carbs and fat. So delicious!). For $4.05 (including tax), I was very satisfied. I was afraid that I'd have some dip left over, so I severely over-dipped during the first half of my serving. I was out of dip near the end :(.
The fries: Thickly cut, extremely potatoey, and slightly soggy, these remind me of "diner fries". They're delicious, of course, but maybe I am conditioned to enjoy thinner crispier fries. They were very hot, and stayed warm in the paper wrapper. I don't think I love them to the point that I'd go out of my way to come back here.
The European Ketchup: I've had mayonnaise and ketchup together before, and I've been indifferent to it. With a hint of finely chopped/blended onions, however, the whole dip becomes much better! I really enjoyed this slightly sweet, slightly tangy dip.
The Jamaican Curry: A splendid green colour, with visible spices, this vegetarian dip was simply amazing! The creaminess helped ameliorate the spicy flavour, but it did get a tad too spicy (after chugging half the sauce in a few super-coated fries). I would eat this dip with everything! The best!
The Avocado Dip: I sampled a big blob of this one, and it was really mild and creamy. I mainly tasted mayonnaise, and didn't taste or smell any avocado at all. Therefore, I didn't decide to pick this dip.
Overall, it was a mouth-watering, satisfying meal. I'm not sure why I would come back though, because there are so many other places that sell equally delicious fries, and there are a zillion restaurants that I've yet to try in Philadelphia.
Something I'm confused about, though, is how the wraps relate to Europe.
213 Chestnut St.