Monday, August 6, 2012

Standard Market/Standard Grill

While you won't see a restaurant in a grocery store often, it really isn't that uncommon.  Most groceries of any size have a deli section (without a dining area),  and a lot of Mexican grocery stores have attached taquerias.  Whole Foods also has a deli and a bar with a dining area.  In Westmont, there is a specialty grocery store called Standard Market.  From the outside, it looks a little odd.  While it is on the main drag (Ogden Ave.), it looks either like a large white barn or a funeral parlor.  The interior though, looks as one might expect of a specialty grocery with sections for fresh, local produce, cheese, beer, the bakery, meat, and some prepared dishes.  Located off of the produce section is the Standard Grill which features burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas.  They also feature a variety of rice bowls (called Buddha Bowls) for lunch and grilled chicken, pork, fish, and shrimp for dinner.  The order counter is at the front of the grill with the menu above the counter.  After ordering (and paying with a credit card because this establishment doesn't take cash), you seat yourself, and your order is brought to you when it is ready.  The dining room is set up like a nice cafeteria with several round tables and a few high tops.  There is also an outdoor dining area that didn't seem to be open when I was there.  As one might expect of a food establishment associated with a grocery that specializes in local, organic, and artisanal foodstuffs, the ingredients used in the food on the menu is of the highest quality.  The meat used in the burgers is ground daily, the cheese is from local dairies, and the produce is organic and local.  I ordered a Bacon & Blue Burger which other than the very juicy burger, contained Neuske's Bacon, Danish Blue Cheese, BBQ Sauce, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Bibb Lettuce, and Sweet Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun.  The burger came with a choice of French Fries, Cole Slaw, Market Salad, or Sweet Potato Fries which is what I ordered.  It also came with a small dish of honey mustard served on the side.  The burger was light on the BBQ sauce but it was okay because it was juicy and flavorful enough as it was.  The bacon was cooked not quite crisp so it still had a nice chew to it and the blue cheese added a nice sweet bitterness to it.  I did add some of the honey mustard to provide a little tartness to the burger.  As simple as it was, it was still very good.  The sweet potato fries were cut thick and were tasty although admittedly, they were a little more droopy than I like fries.

While this isn't a place that I would go every day, both the grocery and grill are nice with a variety of fresh and artisanal foods.  I will definitely be back when I come to the area.

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