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Nov 20, 2014

Old Standard: More Than Just Standard Fried Chicken

This past weekend my husband and I finally paid a visit to Old Standard. I say finally though the restaurant has only been open for a month because I've been eagerly anticipating eating here since the restaurant was first announced last year. Fried chicken is probably my favorite food, or at least, it's what I usually *say* is my favorite food. My tastes have been veering a bit more towards the sweet and carby side of things since I've been pregnant, to be totally honest. Which is why I ended up really liking Old Standard. The fried chicken is the star, no question, it's even part of the logo, But what really makes this place stand out in comparison to most STL fried chicken places is everything else on the menu.

Old Standard pro tip (yes, I'm a pro after one visit): go on a Sunday. Then you can choose whether you prefer to order off the regular menu or the brunch menu. My husband and I were initially thinking we'd order the chicken and waffles from the brunch menu, but when it came down to it we realized that we wanted a full chicken dinner. It's always nice to have options.

Plus, if you do go on a Sunday, especially a cold, snowy one, there's a chance you might have the restaurant to yourself, like we did.

The wooden booths may look uncomfortable, but they were actually pretty cosy. I also appreciated that Old Standard has plenty of coat racks, one of those little touches that always makes a place feel a bit more welcoming, especially on a snowy day.

Normally, I would have been very interested in the brunch cocktail list, but since cocktails are verboten  at this time, I was glad to find that Old Standard has a great selection of fountain and house made sodas. I love elderflower anything, so I really wanted to try their elderflower soda, but sadly, they were out of it. I got the plum-cherry-pumpkin spice soda instead, at the recommendation of our server. I ended up really liking it, despite the fact that I'm not one of those people who loves pumpkin spice in everything. My hubby ordered the strawberry lemonade which was tasty but also very tart.

We thought about trying a few of the snacks, like the house made pickles, dressed eggs, and pimento cheese, but we ended up going with the biscuits and breads instead. We were not disappointed with our choice. An order includes one fluffy biscuit, one flaky biscuit, one yankee cornbread, and one real cornbread. I think we both preferred the cornbreads to the biscuits, but each was very tasty; the cornbreads are on the sweeter side. You can choose three butters and/or jams & jellies to go with your bread. We tried the molasses-pecan and lemon-honey butters and the burnt orange marmalade. While both of the butters were good, I liked the lemon-honey butter a bit better since it was slightly sweeter. The yankee cornbread with a schmear of lemon-honey butter almost tasted like a cupcake, which I was totally a fan of. I'm not usually a marmalade lover, but the burnt orange marmalade was truly on a another level. I want to know where I can buy a whole jar of it.

My husband and I both ordered the three piece chicken option (one breast, one leg, and one thigh for $12) along with two sides to share, the mashed potatoes and gravy and the sweet and sour red cabbage. At first I wasn't really sure which of the chicken pieces was the breast and which was the thigh, as both were boneless and appeared to be about the same size. Once I started eating, however, the difference became very clear. The thigh meat was perfectly cooked and very juicy while the breast meat was super dry.  I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind deboning the chicken breast and cutting it in half, but both of those things are going to make the breast cook and dry out a lot faster. While the breading on the thigh and leg appeared a bit darker compared to the breast, it tasted about the same on all pieces: very flavorful, heavily seasoned with a touch of spice, and just the right amount, not too thick or too thin.

Both of the sides we tried were fantastic. The gravy on the mashed potatoes had sausage in it, almost like the gravy normally served for breakfast with biscuits. The biggest mistake I made was not getting my own order. These mashed potatoes are too good to share. The cabbage was sweet and sour as advertised; if you are a red cabbage fan you will not be disappointed.

Despite the dry chicken breast, I definitely plan to return to Old Standard. Partially because I want to know if I was just there on an off day for white meat and partially because everything else I had was so good. Plus, I want to try that elderflower soda! Have you guys made it to Old Standard yet? What did you think?
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