I had lunch this week at Old Standard. If you’ve not been there yet, hesitate no longer. Ben Poremba’s latest addition to mouthwatering food is well displayed in the old gas station he’s turned into a poultry pantheon across from his flagship eateries: Olio and Elaia’s.
I asked Ben about the menu this summer before he opened, “Why are you relying so heavily on chicken?” He replied, “Because I like chicken.” His success proves that if you follow your heart, you can’t go wrong. There’s no doubt Ben’s heart is in serving Southern-fried chicken, crunchy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside. But it also helps that he begins with stress-free, drug-free chickens raised on an Amish farms and fed an all vegetable diet.
I never thought I’d rhapsodize over the awesomeness of pimento cheese. But Old Standard has captured the soul of this Southern classic. Everything from the crispy pickles to the warm, crusty bread nestled in the paper wrap pair splendidly with the creamy spread.
The side dishes remind me of those served at church picnics in Virginia when I was a kid: creamed corn, red cabbage, biscuits, cornbread, jellies, deviled eggs, greens. I know most people don’t give a hoot for cooked greens, but those who do appreciate them will find Poremba flair for seasoning brings new flavor heights to the simplest of foods.
I’ve been to Old Standard twice now and each time the servers were friendly and thoughtful. When you’re in the mood for well-seasoned comfort food, this is the go to place.
Old Standard, 1621 Tower Grove Avenue. Open: Mon.-Sat. 4:30p to 12. Sun. 11a-8p. OUT OF BUSINESS.