Neighborhood: 14th Street/U Street
It was our first dinner as official residents of the area, and so Official Friend of DCWD Rajistan and I wanted to celebrate as big as we could. So with it being 5pm on a Wednesday, we decided to head to a place we could normally not get a seat: Standard, the new beer garden on 14th Street.
Standard represents the picture perfect beer garden, not the least of which because it occupies the old Garden District space on 14th Street. Out front and caged in by a tall iron fence is the garden patio space, covered fairly well by umbrellas. Seating consists of picnic bench tables and one high table that sits six across in the center of the space. The inside of the restaurant is vaguely reminiscent of a Belgian bar, with clean white shelving holding the beer glasses, golden beer taps, and bar seating.
The only other time I was in a beer garden was in the venerable though commercialized Hofbrauhaus in Munich. On that occasion, two liters of beer led to a very nice veg out session in the Olympic Park. Emboldened by that past experience, I peer pressured Rajistan into getting a liter of the Hofbrau lager with me... a liter I wouldn't even be able to finish. Weaksauce, Kim.
Standard serves barbecue in addition to its beer, so we each ordered a sandwich and a side: for me a barbecued brisket with hush puppies, for Rajistan pulled pork and slaw with buttermilk onion rings. In many ways, Standard compares directly with fellow neighborhood bar American Ice Company, since they both are beer and bbq purveyors. By that metric, I have to declare Standard slightly ahead, with their buns being just that much more buttery and the barbecue a skooch more flavorful. Of particular note was my brisket, which was very nice with a good tang.
As for the sides, the onion rings were a little more on the boring side for some reason (I don't know that the buttermilk was better or worse than other onion rings) The hush puppies were sort of the same, best described as "the sort of hush puppies one might reasonably expect in the South." I'm sure my Yankee taste buds just weren't too excited about it.
A nice chill place to relax and get beer in quantity... if you can score a seat at all.
Food Rating: *** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Party in the USA
Cost: $ (out of 5) (less than $25 for two)