I had dinner at Standard today. Yes, it *may* have been a bad idea to try a place with predominantly outdoor seating on such a sweltering day as today. I figured I could sweat out the calories as I was ingesting them. (Clever, yes?) Had I not thoroughly enjoyed my pulled pork sandwich, fried pickles, and Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weissbier (I cut and paste that one), I may have complained.
For those that may not know where Standard is located, here’s some help. It occupies the same space as the old gardening/plant store, Garden District. Standard is next to Pulp and near the old Go Mamma Go! (may Mamma rest in peace). Standard’s website describes its fare as “smoked and grilled sandwiches, battered and fried sides, and german and american craft beers by the liter.” Naturally, the words “smoked,” and “fried” caught my attention so I put it on my list of places I needed to check out. After my first dining experience there, I have to say I’m impressed. Standard’s pulled pork is spot on.
Let me just vent for a moment here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed by the quality of pulled pork in this city. More often than not, it’s dry and/or completely bland. To add insult to injury, the dry and bland pork is either served on hockey puck-like bread or on mushy bread that falls apart before I even pick it up. The appropriate carb delivery vehicle should be a bun that is both soft and firm. I’ll explain. It needs to be soft enough so I don’t get tired chewing before I actually get to the meat. Yet, it also needs to be firm enough that it can stand up to the natural pork juices and any sauces or coleslaw I add. Standard’s sandwich hits all my marks. You can taste the smoked meat love in this pulled pork.
On to the sides. The fried pickles were fried to golden perfection and well-seasoned. I tasted my friend’s onion rings and hush puppies. I think they were perfectly fried but needed a bit more seasoning. They needed just a smidge of salt and pepper to bring it all together.
I may wait until some cooler weather hits DC before I visit Standard again, but I encourage those with a higher tolerance for humidity to check it out now. It’s a great neighborhood spot where you can have a cheap, low key, and quality meal with your buds!
Oh and they have homemade donuts that I totally forgot to order tonight. I may go back this week and get some to go . . .