First Look: San Antonio eatery Double Standard's $1 martini lunch unleashes diners' inner Don Draper

In what could be a nod to the Mad Men era, the downtown spot now offers a Friday lunch special of quality beef and $1 martinis.

click to enlarge Double Standard's Friday lunch special includes a six-ounce coulotte steak and sides $15. - Nina Rangel
Nina Rangel
Double Standard's Friday lunch special includes a six-ounce coulotte steak and sides $15.

Downtown restaurant Double Standard's new $1 martini lunch isn't a lunch of martinis, per se. But with the classic cocktails on offer for just a buck each, it could certainly become one.

Since we were expected to be productive that afternoon, my lunch companion and I ordered actual food items at the new-ish "American Tavern" concept when we checked out its recently launched Friday steak lunch special.

In what could be a nod to alcoholic, sex-addled advertising exec Don Draper of AMC’s Mad Men, Double Standard last month began offering the throwback meal deal to kick off the weekend. The stars here are its reasonably priced cuts of quality beef and $1 martinis.

click to enlarge First Look: San Antonio eatery Double Standard's $1 martini lunch unleashes diners' inner Don Draper (3)
Nina Rangel
We arrived promptly at noon, when Double Standard opens, but seats at both the bar top and the large communal tables filled quickly. Diners planning on arriving after 1:30 p.m. should probably be prepared to wait for a seat or share a table with other downtowners looking to get their steak on.

While customers have the option of upgrading to a reserve martini for $5, we went with the $1 variety. You know, for the sake of the getting the full experience.

Our drinks were dispensed — ingeniously — from a keg behind the bar. Myles Worrell, overseer of bar operations, told us he’s taken to pre-mixing the classic cocktail and dispensing from a draft system to ease the burden on his staff. 

Seems like San Antonians enjoy getting craft cocktails on the cheap, no matter what time of day it is.

Double Standard's Friday menu features a six-ounce coulotte steak for $15, a 14-ounce prime rib for $25 and a hefty Wagyu New York strip — which feeds two — for $60. All steaks are served with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, but additional sides are also up for grabs.

I ordered the comparatively dainty coulotte, which arrived at a perfect medium-well doneness and generously sprinkled with flaked sea salt. The spud and spinach sides were both fresh, hot and well-seasoned.

At Worrell’s recommendation, I also ordered the asparagus with beef fat hollandaise, which became the star of the show. The hollandaise offered a smoky unctuousness to a meal that — at first consideration — needed no more meaty, umami flavors.

Yet, after finishing my entire serving, I could see myself ordering it again and again.

click to enlarge Double Standard's Friday lunch special includes a six-ounce coulotte steak and sides $15. - Nina Rangel
Nina Rangel
Double Standard's Friday lunch special includes a six-ounce coulotte steak and sides $15.

Other possible accompaniments to Double Standard's steak lunches include a chicken-fried blooming onion with blue cheese dressing, mac and cheese with gooey raclette cheese as well as garlic maitake mushrooms. 

In all, I have dropped more money on meals that were executed with far less finesse. Double Standard's take on an indulgent throwback lunch is worth a return visit.

The restaurant's steak special is available every Friday from noon to 3 p.m. Those looking to hang out later can enjoy a happy hour featuring $1 East Coast oysters, $2 draft beer and $3 well drinks, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. daily.

Find Double Standard at is located at 114 E. Houston St.

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About The Author

Nina Rangel

Nina uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. Her unique culinary background, both in the front and back of the house, supports genuine relationships with food and drink professionals, garnering honest and insightful...
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