Dinner Club: Republic Cantina

Yesterday, Monica, Stephanie, and I ate dinner at Republic Cantina, a new Tex Mex restaurant in Shaw. If you’ve been reading TOT for a well, you’re well acquainted with who Monica is ;]—but Stephanie might be new face. Stephanie and Monica actually went to high school together back in Dallas, and last year during the height of my job search, Monica connected the two of us since Stephanie had worked or worked at a few places I was applying. She was so helpful, and gave me some amazingly clarifying advice—and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Networking at its finest!

Stephanie actually also just started a podcast (with our other mutual friend, Sadie!) called Word to the Rise—the first episodes drop later this month. I was actually invited to be one of the first guests, and we recorded my episode last weekend. Since the focus of the podcast is on people still rising in their careers, I got to reflect on my six years in the working world, the best advice I’ve gotten, and how my blog plays into my day job. It was so much fun supporting a friend in this way, and having a forum to reflect on my career thus far.

Monica, Stephanie, and I had dinner on the calendar for a while, but when we saw Republic Cantina was open, we wanted to try it—so off I went to this new hotspot with my two favorite Texans.

I didn’t get a good shot of the actual space since it was packed (!), but they have a great bar area and outdoor back patio that opens up directly off the restaurant via a garage-type door—so it felt very indoor/outdoors. It’s on the smaller side, so it feels very warm, and the decor is very Texas-heavy. Think fun string lights, Texas school pennants, photos of various places in the state. They also have matchbooks, which I collect and always get excited to find. We arrived around 6:45pm, and by 7:15, pretty much every table was full—and this was on a Tuesday. As far as I know, they don’t take reservations yet, so I would recommend going on the earlier side, if you can.

Your first round of chips and salsa is free, but they restocked us a few times, and it never showed up on our bill. (They say refills are $1—which they might enforce once they’ve been open longer!) The house-made salsa had a lot of flavor. I ordered the classic marg with tequila, and it was probably the one “meh” spot of the meal for me since I thought it tasted a little smoky, and I really just wanted that classic lime taste. We also split the queso to start, because when in Texas, and it was really good.

As a surprise to approximately no one in my life, I ordered the fajitas. It was dark by the time they came out, but they served it to me with a really cute condiment/tortilla holder. The fajitas also came with sour cream, cheese, guac, and pico, which is my favorite toppings spread—I am always a little annoyed if sour cream and/or cheese aren’t included, so that was a big win in my book.

We really enjoyed Republic Cantina and would definitely go back—I think this will be a super cozy spot when it’s 30 degrees outside come this winter!

They even have a drink in honor of the founder of Southwest airlines!

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