While I realize that owners Alison Wild and Lana Banks intended to honor their beloved Standard Poodle, “The Standard” still seems an odd choice for a restaurant name. It’s analogous to deeming your sex life as “vanilla” or hosting an event touting itself as mediocre. Fortunately, I also believe that sometimes being standard is perfectly A-OK.
For example when you order a $12 salad, you expect it to be ginormous, overflowing with fresh vegetables (and often fruits) and dressed just enough bring all of the flavors together without weighing the greens down. You expect it to be exactly like the arugula, watermelon, Mandarin orange, pistachio and goat cheese salad Anne and I shared that afternoon at The Standard.
You also expect a Reuben to be a hefty beast with corned beef piled high on fresh rye and smothered in gooey Swiss and sauerkraut. Although The Standard slices its corned beef a bit thicker than what one might expect, it was a pleasant alteration on the norm by any means and that goes twice for the substitution of a spicy Remoulade sauce for the typical Thousand Island dressing.
Finally, Anne chose what I consider to be their signature lunch dish, the Goat Cheese Enchiladas. Stuffed with chevre and mango, these corn tortilla-wrapped beauties were nestled in refried black beans and topped with crumbled feta and a spicy mango salsa.
From the huge salad down to the hand-cut fries, it felt to me as if the chef and owners took great pride in serving affordable food that they obviously cared about which is just what we expected … and that’s always a good thing.