Standard Foods, Raleigh NC – Review, photos
The only certainty in life is change so those of us who follow the Raleigh restaurant scene were really curious when Chef Scott Crawford left Standard Foods in 2016 to start his own place. What would happen to Standard Foods after they lost their main man? And we would find out pretty quickly, Chef Eric Montagne was recruited from the Boiler Room Oyster Bar in Kinston to head Standard Foods. And master sommelier Fred Dexheimer was brought in to lead the beverage program here. And funny, but I’ve had a couple of friends tell me that even with all the changes, the neighborhood ended up with two even better dining options in Oakwood! So it was time to find out myself how Standards Foods was doing after this reboot…
What caught my eye about the new Standard Foods was their announcement for a Saturday and Sunday brunch. It’s hard to find a good brunch, period but a good Saturday brunch? Bring it on Standard Foods! First of all, if you haven’t been to Standard Foods, understand that they have a market next door selling meats and local goods. The market has extended hours and is open seven days a week so don’t make a mistake on the restaurant hours if you intend on dining here. Currently Standard Foods is doing its brunch from 11am to 3pm on the weekend.
My friend and I grab some bar seats and the interior hasn’t changed too much. The space is simple and spare with slightly retro seating with a farm-house feel. It all feels casual even if the menu here at Standard Foods is anything but. For brunch, there’s a short list of 10 or so items with some sides, cocktails and beers, brunch on Saturday and Sunday now means you get to enjoy an adult bevvy before noon time, can you give me a woo-hoo?!
We decide to order some canneles (French pastry) and on my end I’m going with the duck confit benedict with a side of scrapple. What’s scrapple you ask? Well according to Wikipedia it’s a pan-fried patty of pork trimming favored by the Pennsylvania Dutch, what the heck! Our canneles come out first and they are different looking. A dark brown molded pastry with a dimple on top, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Cutting it open reveals a creamy, dense inside similar to bread pudding. But the thick, slightly caramelized plays off well with the soft interior making for a delicious starter!
My benedict is out next and Standard Foods does another interesting twist, here. There’s plenty of savory duck confit on top but they’ve replaced the usual muffin with some seeded rye bread toast, nice! Given the richness of the eggs, hollandaise sauce and duck, the darker rye bread holds up well on this dish. And let me say that the hollandaise sauce here is EXCELLENT. Super buttery and creamy. And while the scrapple is a nice generous portion of browned pork parts, it’s not my favorite for the meal so I may pass in the future after this one time trial.
My friend’s steak and egg looks excellent, a generous portion of tender sliced beef with chimichurri, nicely fried egg, black beans and rice. Our food at the bar is paced really well and my glass of cava is a wonderful beverage for a surprisingly good meal. Lunch service has also recently been added to Standard Food’s schedule and I was able to try a lovely French dip sandwich with a side of chicken salad. Very fresh, very tasty eats and reasonably priced.
I admit that now I’m tempted to come back for a third visit to see what they can do for a dinner service but I’m pretty impressed already given brunch and lunch. And I’d have to agree with friends that even with the change in chefs at Standard Foods, the neighborhood now has TWO very good dining options to offer the residents of Oakwood-Mordecai. Rock on Standard Foods, keep up that great work and those delicious eats in the kitchen…