1801 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Monday – Tuesday (closed until the weather warms up)
Wednesday – Thursday 5:30pm to 1am
Friday 5:30pm – 2am
Saturday 12pm -2am
Sunday 12pm – 1am
With new restaurants opening every single week in Washington D.C. you would imagine it takes something unique, something different to really stand out. But Standard on 14th street bucks that trend. Instead the founders Tad Curtz and David Rosner have combined a backyard barbecue with a Bavarian beer garden to create something truly special.
At Standard simplicity is more so the rule than the exception. Located on the corner of 14th and S Street NW, the restaurant is actually quite unassuming. There is no sign indicating you’ve arrived at Standard. The feeling that you’re in a cozy neighborhood establishment really resonates. The menu – despite still being in its early stages – provides a good choice of quintessential barbecue staples. Furthermore, though short – with about 10 beers, 5-6 on tap – the beer menu has a few distinct microbrews both domestic and international for a relatively cheap price (between $5 – $10 for a liter). I ordered the Kostrizer Schwarzbier, a German black lager that’s been produced at the Kostrizer brewery since 1543. It was smooth and reminded me of a Guinness but without the heftiness.
Once I was situated at one of the long communal beer garden tables I ordered the barbecue brisket sandwich and a side of battered and fried half-sour pickles. Though I had to wait longer than usual due to the kitchen not being ready at the time of my order, the wait was well worth it. The portions were quite small but with the sandwich costing under $8 and the side under $4 this made relative sense. The brisket was cooked to perfection and was slathered on a sesame seed bun. The bun served as a sponge that absorbed all the delicious juices and sauce. Warm and moist, the brisket was seasoned just right, with the barbecue sauce never masking the smokiness of the beef. Moreover, the marbleized fat – with all its intensity – melted with every bite.
The half-sour pickles were whole pickles lightly battered and fried. The sharp flavor of the pickles cut through the outer fried shell and were at first a tad bit disappointing. As I had more though I began to realize that with semi-thick beer in one hand and the rich sandwich in the other, the relatively bare pickles were a refreshing aspect.
Each course is embodied by the individualistic tone set at Standard. Despite being simple dishes, each is created with the utmost quality and really drives the point home that food – and your enjoyment of it – is at the core of Standard and not a gimmicky afterthought. You can almost taste the devotion this place has to cementing its attempt at a barbecue place mixed with a beer garden. I was really happy with my meal and thoroughly looking forward to what else is in store for Standard in the coming months as the weather improves.