Standard Foods objective is to reintroduce people to the food, farmers and artisanal production methods of our region. The South’s rich, agrarian history has been lost in the push for mass-production and cheaper, faster ways to bring products to the market. There is a small but burgeoning group of farmers and artisans who have gone back to the old methods – and those who never left. We will seek them out and give them a place to highlight their life’s work. The restaurant and market will showcase the unparalleled quality of their products.
This past Saturday, Big Guy and I had a day date at Standard Foods. I typically wait a few months before eating at a brand new restaurant but I couldn’t wait any longer. Scott Crawford, the chef, is a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef: Southeast” and his previous job was with Heron’s (the restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and bar that has received numerous accolades and awards). Standard Foods faced many delays to opening but at the beginning of October the doors finally opened and they were ready to serve the hungry. They did not start serving lunch until this past week and unfortunately for us, they haven’t started serving their cocktail menu during the day yet. Apparently the prep work for the bar is so intense they arrive at 2:30pm for dinner service prep – JUST for the cocktail menu. Insane.
While we studied the menu, we kicked off our lunch date with a round of drinks. Screwdriver for him, bubbles for her.
The lunch menu is made up of the following sections: snacks, small plates, large plates, sandwiches and desserts.
We started off by ordering two snacks to share.
Crab Deviled Eggs, Puffed Grains
The eggs were amazing – perfect texture and flavor and I adored the topping. The pickle plate took us by surprise but in the end it was a pleasant surprise. There wasn’t one pickled cucumber on the plate. My favorite were the pickled turnips and beets.
Big Guy ordered the Corned Pork Shoulder sandwich (sour dough toast, egg yolk mustard, sour cabbage) and it was insane. The bread is made by a local bakery and the sandwich was grilled to perfection. My one bite was perfection.
Butter Lettuce, Miso Ranch, Radish, Scallion
Butternut Squash Soup, Bacon, Redneck Romano, Pecan-Sage Crumbs
I typically don’t go for the “soup and sandwich” combo but it was rainy on Saturday and I couldn’t resit. Plus by ordering soup and salad, you get to try more food. (Gotta always be thinking about those kind of things.) The salad was incredibly fresh – as in I’m fairly certain the greens were picked just for my salad. And my favorite part of the salad (minus the dressing that I want to drink) was the watermelon radishes. I’ve been on the hunt for these beauties and have yet to be able to try them. They taste a lot like the radish we all know but a little milder and way more gorgeous.
The soup stole the show between the two, though. Creamy, luscious and insanely rich. The best part: that crumble. I’m obsessed with the flavors and texture.
Post-lunch, we stopped by the Grocery part of the restaurant to check out the full-service butcher and to see what items they had for sale. I picked up some local potatoes, thyme and some tea leaves. I can’t wait to go back and visit the butcher.
I also can’t wait to go back for cocktail and dinner sometime in the near future.
Make a reservation and visit for yourself – it’s the “hot spot” of Raleigh right now.