Sunday, November 7, 2010

Post-A-Day: The Missing Noodle Conspiracy

I've been eating at Republic in Union Square for years, and this has always bothered me. Take a look at the wall of photos that adorn the wall inside the restaurant:

Which one of these photos stands out from the rest? Take a minute and see if you see it too (and enjoy this experience, because it's what I put everyone who accompanies me to the restaurant through). Find it?

Republic is a noodle restaurant. That's their specialty. I'm a big fan of their lime chicken soup, which contains a hearty helping of some stringy, starchy goodness. Every single picture on their walls - and this includes at least 5 more than aren't pictured here - has noodles in it. Someone's eating them, someone's wearing them, someone's filling the empty void in their life with them, you get the idea.

But the last photo you see here - the one with the guy on the beach running with an umbrella, is decidedly 100% noodle free. Why? WHY?

Now, some blogs would stop right there. Post a question, or the complaint about the lack of consistency in Republic's decorum, and be done with it, chalking it up as one of life's mysteries. But not this guy. I've got some THEORIES!

Reasonably Sound Theories For The Noodle-Free Photograph In Republic:

1) There's an old obscure NYC law that is to this day heavily enforced that forces restaurants to keep their decor no more than 95% noodle-related. Coincidentally, this law also applies to pictures of shirtless men.

2) The man in the photograph, while PERFECT for what Republic was looking for, happened to have a severe noodle allergy that was not discovered until the day of the shoot. Also, the photographer was only available that day.

3) The restaurant owners conceded that while their noodles were great, they hadn't quite perfected their recipes yet, and until such time as they did, the picture would remain on the wall as a constant reminder/mark of shame of their failings.

4) The man in the photograph is actually the (presumably adopted) son of master noodle chef Phun Yun, who only agreed to work at Republic under the condition that his boy - his second greatest achievement - be proudly displayed alongside his foremost achievement in life (noodles), which would naturally be featured 9 times as prominently.

5) There was a screwup in delivery and right now an Abercrombie & Fitch in midtown Manhattan is featuring a single random photo of an unnaturally fully clothed gentleman with a hat made of buckwheat noodles. Because of a longstanding fight between the proprietors of each establishment over what started as a casual game of cricket, neither side has ever initiated the swap.

One of those has got to be true, guys, trust me. It cannot just be a random oversight.


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