Seeking The Best Food in South Carolina The Standard, Spartanburg
What’s up With Meg?
I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.
Why This Stop?
Tasty Tuesday – This stop falls in the category of seeking the best food dishes SC has to offer.
The Place/The Buildup
The Standard – With a motto of “Our collection of award-winning restaurants promises you the best dining experience of your life.” And “A refined kitchen, sophisticated, polished, cultured”  Rick Irwin Dining Group is owned by Chef Rick Erwin. With eight restaurants to his kingdom and one on the way, The Standard comes with a pedigree.
The Standard of Spartanburg is located in a larger complex.
A former SC textile mill that has been restored into luxury apartments.
The Visit – I had the good fortune of living in this historic mill and my how it has grown in the past year to now include my favorite area pizza place, Pi-Squared, a medical clinic, a brewery, a local coffee place, a coffee roasting business, burn boot camp, and of course The Standard. Because the pizza place and brewery were not yet opened when I lived there, I ate at The Standard frequently, and more often than not, I carried out and ate in my apartment so I could be with my adorable dog.
Oddly, they have this killer patio that has comfortable furniture and cool fire tables, but they still don’t utilize this awesome outdoor space, where potentially, I and the Drayton folks could bring my pup. Think Paris dining al fresco.
Walking in, the staff greets you, and you are welcomed by the interior that is pretty swank. With 20′ high ceilings, a bar area, and a large dining room. The décor is comfortable and fresh with overscale art of the historic mills on the wall. The tables are set with cloth napkins and set tables and banquettes. Even the bathroom is above par, and who doesn’t like that.
The bar is dimly lit with modern lighting, and modern decor, and happens to have a really great bar menu.
Two surprises are on the appetizer menu. I did not take photos since I was with a large group.
The deviled eggs made with candied black pepper bacon, dill, and capers. I loved them, but hey, they are 6 bucks! The second appetizer was Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls with Horseradish sauce. I thought for sure that I would not like these spring rolls, I was wrong, they were really delicious and a bit different.
Fish of the Day-took up less than 1/2 of my plate.
Stuffed flounder with six spears of asparagus. You are pretty but are you delicious?
MEGastars 3.5 *** 1/2 great ambiance, nice staff, great appetizers, and drink menu. Not even close to the best meal of my life on this visit nor any of my prior visits.
I chose to visit with my group because the restaurant was open on a Monday when my other choices were not. And, the place does have a comfortable and interesting atmosphere, friendly staff and an upscale menu with variety. However, I have to say that I have been underwhelmed with my food on past visits. The menu in the past has not been available on their website in the past. Today, when I checked for a menu, there was one in place. I noticed that it was not a complete nor daily menu ie desserts and the brunch menu.
There was no standard. It seems to me that they are trying to find their groove and just quite don’t have it yet. It’s almost as if they do not have a clear mission statement, a sense of belonging in Spartanburg or South Carolina. To me without that, it’s like watching paint dry on a wall.
Here is was I can recommend if you decide to visit The Standard. I think that this restaurant would be a fun place for people to gather and have cocktails and appetizers.
After dropping their lunch, they are apparently going for cocktail hours and a higher end menu and Sunday brunch. This makes sense to me with a new brewery nearby and a pizza place. Which brings me to my next point. Looking at my photos, you will notice the smaller portion sizes. To me, that is fine if everything is perfect, but for $27.00 I do not want to leave hungry because I did not chow down on the bread or purchase a $12 appetizer? With the apartments adjacent and a growing population in Spartanburg, these dudes should definitely call me to up the Spartanburg game.
If I remember reading correctly, they put in a pizza oven, so why not have some dang craft pizzas on the menu? Why not get some al fresco dining and an outdoor bar area? Plus, the dog thing. Spartanburg is known to be pet-friendly, and with so many young professionals in the apartments who work long hours and come home to a pet, this would be a plus. I could go on and on, but overall, they need to bring their game for the best meal ever.
- The Standard website has great photos of the place and the food. The Standard
- If you are a meatloaf lover, they have one on the menu.
- Do get those Philly-Cheesesteak Spring Rolls. A bit pricey at $12 but they are surprisingly delicious.
- Read the reviews before you bring a group. Check Trip Advisor.
This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.
Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina, as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way.
*I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab. I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”
Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”
I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.
I use a 5 MEGastar system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience. I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry. I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.
- *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or, the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina. This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
- ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
- *** good but not outstanding or unique.
- **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.
- ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.