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Notes From the Field: Standard

Our critics give new restaurants a quick look and report back with their first impressions.

Standard's fried pickles, left, and the "dachshund in the grass," a hot dog covered in slaw. Photograph courtesy of Sam Vasfi.
On an unseasonably warm March Friday, I was waiting to get inside Standard, a new beer-and-barbecue restaurant at 14th and S streets, Northwest—and the latest Logan Circle obsession. It was 7 PM. Something about waiting outside to sit outside seemed wrong, but something about the place had to be right if everyone else was doing it.

Turns out there are lots of things right about Standard, which was the plant store Garden District in its former life. The patio buzzes with the feel of a German beer garden, and the barbecue is, at least in the context of Washington’s barbecue options, very good. The pulled pork stuffed in a sandwich was full of mustard and acid, a he-man-size beef rib was full of smoky flavor, and a bratwurst had a great snap and vinegary kraut. Sure, the servers haven’t quite figured out how to manage the crowds, and the onion rings are a tad bland. And the line for a beer—there are six on draft—can get frustratingly long. But on 14th Street, lines are never a deterrent.

Standard, 1801 14th Street, Northwest; no phone. Open Wednesday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner.


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