213 Chestnut St
It took me a while to finally pony up to this place, as I have mentioned before, I don't get out in Old City too often. But alas, a friend and I were to meet for lunch, and this was well within walking distance of the rendezvous point.
I am ALWAYS in for some well cooked fries, and to be honest, it's a tough thing to find more often than not. This place is known for their fries or frites, so I was interested off the bat. When I found out they have over twenty dipping sauces, well, there was no stopping me.
As we are both students, a budget friendly lunch is certainly smiled upon, and the combo meal advertised above was about as good as it gets. Seriously, you can't get two slices and a soda for $6.95 in Center City. I went for the spicy grilled chicken and goat cheese wrap, and the European ketchup for my dipping sauce. I was told it is a blend of ketchup, mayo, and onion which brought back fond memories of my fry sauce addiction during my college days in Utah. The wrap was nothing special. It was more of a "look I am eating something healthy with my fries" sort of thing, but it was a welcome respite from the usual burger and fries lunch that puts you down for the entire afternoon.
And now for the fries. Oh those fries. They were a bit thicker than I usually like (hence frites), and served in a traditional paper cone. The outside was golden, perfectly cooked to a crispy crunch, and actually tasted like a french fry should, probably because they don't fry thirty other things in their oil like a lot of restaurants. The inside, however was the real winner. Most places that make their fries crispy, do so by overcooking them. This renders the delicate starch inside flavorless and mere filler. At European Republic, the inside was light, fluffy and well, wonderful. These are some serious fries, no matter what style you prefer. My dining partner opted for the roasted garlic sauce and the mozzarella chicken wrap. The sauce was great, the wrap was good, and likewise the fries were perfect. Although I prefered the European ketchup dipping sauce, there are still many, many, variations to try, and I am sure I will make my way through a good portion of them.
The portions were adequate, and the value was outstanding. The service, although a bit confusing on the actual food delivery aspect in the cramped quarters, was friendly and helpful. They also take cards, and did so on a $7 order with out so much as a blink of an eye. That's what I like to see.