Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Potato Republic
Austin Street, Forest Hills, in the duplex mall
Review by Susu

We were sitting in a Japanese restaurant and wondered when the shy but snotty waitress was going to take our order. We talked about work. About kids. About Christmas. About friends. Lovers. The Beatles. The Rutles. We waited and waited and waited, then we got up and left. We made sure to tell the hostess the reason we were leaving on our way out, then we went next door to a place we'd often eyed, but never really tried, called Potato Republic.

You might suspect they make good fries, and they do. Hand-cut, unpeeled potatoes are par-boiled in boiling oil, then left on a covered pan awaiting orders. They do fish and chips chips this way in England, Australia and New Zealand, so no qualms there. When an order comes in, a big scoop of fries takes its second plunge into boiling oil, and come out greaseless, crispy and delicious. You can choose a dipping sauce (which they call a topping) from the menu of about 20, including pesto, roasted garlic, bleu cheese (the ones we tried), Cajun, caviar, roasted eggplant, honey dijon, sun-dried tomato, etc. A VERY nice change from the ubiquitous ketchup.

They also have soups and sandwiches. It's really a lunch place, but two bowls of soup are quite a hearty dinner, each bowl about a pint or so of liquids and yummy solids. That night, they had lentil, jalopeño and sweet corn, seafood bisque (which was really a chowder), sweet potato and ginger, mushroom barley, and tomato soups for sale. We eschewed the more common tomato soup and the lentil soup, and tried one of each of the other four.

The soups were indeed hearty and good, although served way too hot. It was a good ten minutes or so of constant stirring before the thermocline leveled out enough for us to taste without scorching. Each soup was accompanied by two pieces of a nice flatbread which bloated nicely when broken up into the soups. They'll even pack it up to go if you can't finish (and we didn't!).

Each soup was $3.95, triple serving of fries/chips $5.50. They have good sweet potato fries too, but we were too full to order those.

On a cold autumn night, it was the perfect indulgence, much better than sushi. The money we saved on not eating at the Japanese place, we spent at the local bookstore across the street!

The ambiance was not really there, mind you, although their bathroom was clean and the people were friendly. There were some chairs and tables in the back of the long, skinny, railway car-style space, tidy enough, more there as an afterthought. Still, a pleasant place to while away the evening on a date with your sweetie (and if he or she whines, what ARE you doing with him or her, anyway???). And what do you expect for about $20 bucks besides a whole lot of good food?

We'll go back again, and raspberry the Japanese place as we pass by on our way to Potato Republic!

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. Enjoy!