1800 Drayton Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29307
Hours: Monday-Saturday 4-10PM, Sunday 11AM-3PM
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Perfect for: Date night, work meeting, happy hour, a large-group gathering
Menu: Approachable yet refined – a little something for everyone with good-sized plates.
Bar/Drinks: Amazing and huge bar! They offer top-notch cocktails, but also a nice selection of beer and wine.
Good to Know: It is located in the Drayton Mills. There is a great patio perfect for sitting outside during nice weather. It is family-friendly, but use discretion when wanting to bring young kids as it is a relatively quiet space. Don’t be intimidated – jeans are not too underdressed for this place. The dinner plates are huge so make sure you come hungry!
Parking: There is plenty of parking available across from Bella Latte.
Bathroom: I’d (almost) eat off the floor
Tribe Recommendation: If you love Southern cuisine – the meatloaf and collard greens are delish!
Spartanburg is seriously stepping up its game. From scores of new restaurants and shops, a rapidly growing arts and culture community, and festivals that compete with anywhere in the Upstate, this is a city that sees its potential – and is doing the work to bring it to life. So, when I heard The Standard was opening in Drayton Mills in Spartanburg, I knew the highly regarded Rick Erwin Dining Group saw the potential as well.
When I went for my first visit to The Standard, it was raining and dreary. I had just finished up my last meeting of the day at Bella Latte (a coffee shop worthy of a love affair) and was running to my car when I spied the subtly beautiful brick restaurant. I knew that within those dry walls was a glass of wine waiting with my name on it.
I was right. I mean, it didn’t quite have my name on it, but it was a delicious glass of wine and it was dry inside those spacious walls, so more than good enough, right?
Before I jump into the food, let’s talk a little bit about the atmosphere. Walking in, you’re welcomed by a beautifully designed bar, with warm lighting glowing from the 20-foot ceilings, and large windows opening to their outside lounge patio. It’s immediately welcoming and classy, without feeling stuffy or like I’m going to get a side-eye for my strategically-holed jeans.
I’m early, so the room is quite and I’m one of the hand few of patrons to start. My server immediately greets me and is excited to hear my first time. Here’s what I loved – instead of just jumping into telling me about the menu, etc., he asks “Would you like for me to offer you some suggestions or do you prefer to explore on your own?” It’s a small thing that show’s he’s paying attention but not going to smother me, and I love it.
The Standard has a nice bar menu, with a good selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. I’ve feeling sassy, so I go for the Sparkle City Mule, a mix of vodka, fresh strawberry, and ginger beer, as I wait for my dinner. The Mule is delivered in a traditional mule copper mug and let me tell you – at the end of a long day, it gave me happiness. Just a little sweet, with an effervescent sparkle of the ginger beer. Perfect.
Here comes the food. I started with the deviled eggs. I’m an adult and still can’t seem to manage to make good deviled eggs, so it’s one of my go-to’s if a place has them on the menu. The eggs had a thick, rich filling and dusted seasoning, but a bit too much relish for me – I’m not a cucumber fan. That was offset with a bite of candied bacon after each egg, a flavor party of savory and sweet, resulting in the devouring of all 5 eggs.
Which is a problem, because 5 minutes later my massive plate of meatloaf arrives. Yes, I got meatloaf. On a rainy day when I’m tired and a little cranky, it’s one of those meals that just wraps its arms around me. (Also, the waiter emphatically let me know if I like meatloaf it was the way to go.) The plate is beautifully plated, with a side of red-potato mashed potatoes and a light gravy, topped with some fried onions. Plus, a side of collard greens.
I’m not a collard greens type of gal, but the waiter lets me know it’s one of their top-selling sides, so I decide to give it a go. The first bite was a little hesitant. I needn’t have worried, as I whispered a quiet “yeessss” once the lightly sweet BBQ flavor and heavy seasoning touched my tongue.
Now, let’s talk about this meatloaf. This is the kind of meatloaf that makes me wish I knew how to cook. It’s shaped like two steaks, with a slight sear on the outside and a top coating of BBQ. My fork was plenty to cut the tender meat, and I quickly learned that combining the greens with a bite of the meatloaf was a brilliant move. I wish someone was with me to let them taste the taste combination of comfort and exclaim gently with me.
Clearly, there is no way I’m finishing this meal, so I ask two to-go boxes while ordering the cheesecake. I’m not even remotely hungry at this point, but the Forked Foodie never turns down a good dessert. I mean, we’ve got a reputation to uphold here.
I only get three bites of the cheesecake in, it’s so rich and creamy. A drizzle of caramel and clearly fresh whipped cream beckon me, but it’s so rich and creamy I get just two bites in. But not to worry, the meatloaf and cheesecake made for a perfect dinner the next day.
Before wrapping up, let me spend a hot minute on the bathroom. The ITK Tribe sees a LOT of bathrooms. It’s one of our key checkpoints to decide if a restaurant experience is Forked Foodie Certified-worthy. This one gets a BIG FAT CHECKMARK. First, it’s in the top 10 of clean bathrooms I’ve seen. Second, they have full-length doors. I mean, I know it’s a little thing, but it gives you such a nice, little cozy spot of privacy. It’s one of those small, thoughtful touches that help build a great experience – and this bathroom reviewer is here for it.
I’ll definitely be back. Next time, I’m going with a date (perfect setting) and going on a nice day to enjoy the outdoor lounge. That way, I have someone with me to obsess over the bathrooms together.
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