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May 5, 2011 06:47 PM

The Standard - 14th St. DC

I just got back from my first experience at The Standard, in the old Garden District space at 14th and S. I was expecting it to be jam-packed, and I wasn't disappointed. Most of their seating is outside, but we came inside as there seemed no prayer of getting seats out there. Inside there are a few seats and a small bar. I got two beers at the bar (Hefeweizen) and we sat down in there. This place is most definitely not for people who can't stand crowds. As the weather gets warmer, this place will only get more and more crowded.

Eventually, my friend went back up to the bar to place our food order. He had to wait maybe 10-15 minutes to get the bartender's attention. Given that, the food came out sooner than I expected, maybe because we were seated inside. We ordered a pulled pork and a BBQ brisket sandwich, hush puppies and onion rings. The onion rings and hush puppies were both WONDERFUL. The large hush puppies had a very crunchy, crispy exterior, but they weren't greasy at all. The inside was almost fluffy and perfect. The onion rings were the best I've had in ages. Not only was the breading delicious, but the onions were thick and not overcooked; I really felt like there were onions in there. I'm always ordering onion rings in places and being disappointed, so this was a real find. Both were piping hot when they emerged from the kitchen. But the sandwiches...the pulled pork (served with slaw) was very good, but the brisket was much better. I LOVED this sandwich! An excellent bun, moist and perfect meat...I was in heaven. And the beer was perfect with it.

Now the bad news...the price. All of this cost about $45, which I think is a lot for two small to medium-sized sandwiches, two beers, onion rings and hushpuppies. But that neighborhood, for that quality of food, I'll definitely go back. Only next time I'll try to get there about a half hour before they open to try to get a seat outside.

What a great addition to this neighborhood!

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  1. That's too much for me to spend on lunch, but it doesn't seem out of the ballpark for a busy restaurant in DC. The beers were probably around $7 each, the sandwiches $9-10 (size doesn't matter), $4 for the onion rings, $3 for the hush puppies, Add the DC tax (9% or maybe more) and you barely have room for a tip with your $45. It's why I don't go into DC for lunch.

    Unless the $45 was for each of you!

    3 Replies
    1. re: MikeR

      It was for both of us and that amount included my tip for beer ... and I'm pretty sure it included his too (for food). It's only open for lunch on the weekends, by the way.

      1. re: woodleyparkhound

        I love this place and think the prices are fair, especially in that neighborhood. Personally, I think the sandwiches are large (I guess size is relative!) and so agree on the onion rings. YUM. It has a wonderful neighborhood feel, and I hope it can succeed. Wonder what will happen in winter?

        1. re: dcandohio

          They have heaters outside, but still...

          The owners may make enough money during the summer that they can close in winter and head for warmer climes!

    2. I stumbled upon this place last week while going to pick up some items over at Cork Market. It kind of flew in under the radar but looks like a nice neighborhood addition. I was there on a Wednesday night around 6pm and it wasn't all that crowded then.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Stopped by here for the first time Sat night unfortunately for me they were out of both the BBQ brisket and pulled pork. My friend and I ordered 2 burgers with a side of fries and two pints of Spatan. I really enjoyed the overall feel of the place the staff was nice and attentive the place was packed the food was good and the beer cold. Its a good hang out spot

      2. I stopped by again tonight for dinner, as I needed to confirm that I loved this place as much as I thought I had the first time. We arrived about 6:15. The place was already about 95% full (they open at 5:00. I couldn't resist ordering what I'd loved before: the brisket sandwich and onion rings. The brisket sandwich tonight seemed HUGE compared to last time. It had about 4 to 6 eight-inch-long slices of brisket on the bun. Each slice protruded several inches out the sides. I folded these slices into the center of the bun so I could manage it, making the sandwich at least 4 inches high. The meat is astonishingly melt-in-your-mouth tender, the bun is warm and soft, and the BBQ sauce was excellent. The onion rings were as good as I remembered: the best I've had in years. Honestly, I had my eyes closed and I was moaning as I was eating. This time, we also tried their homemade, piping hot, cinnamon and sugar doughnuts. Oh my God. The best I've had since Colorado Kitchen closed.

        Oh, also, they had the patio completely covered, so all the seats were in shade. On a pleasant summer evening, there is no nicer spot anywhere near.)

        I truly adore The Standard. The next time I go, I'm going to force myself to order something I haven't tried yet.

        I really encourage you to check this place out!

        1 Reply
        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          I agree with your assessment on the onion rings, which I don't eat much - best I've ever had. I'll have to put the brisket on the list for next time. I had the pulled pork, which was very good, husband had the brat (I think that's what it was) which I thought was just OK. Loved the beer, space, and service, too. It's a neat place.

        2. Finally made it out to this place, and am kicking myself for it taking so long. I think this might be my new favorite spot in DC. Unfortunately, we had to sit inside by the cash register, but it ensured quick (and good) service. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich (had been craving one for a long time, but each place I would order one I would be utterly disappointed), my gf ordered the brisket sandwich (after some convincing - she was going to order the burger), and we split an order of fries and the corn. Both sandwiches were great, and the brisket was overflowing with meat. Tender, smoky meat (which is better than Hill Country's often salty, but still pretty good brisket). Mmmm... The corn was good, though not quite as good as the mexican corn I'd get in LA. The fries were ok, but they looked like they were going to be better. Their beers on tap were also good (mostly German). I also thought the prices were good, esp. for DC.

          This place now negates any need to ever go to Hill Country.

          1. This sounds so good. When I left DC in 1999, 14th and S would have been an absurd idea for a restaurant location, and now there are places some consider too expensive. I wish I hadn't left at times.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jay F

              So true 14th St in 1999 looked nothing like it does today