Best Bars: Magnolia Pub & Brewery

bestbars_logo_sm.gifMagnolia has resided in the Upper Haight since 1997, and has already established itself as a local institution for fine brews and meals.

Not too many people know that the namesake of this pub is Magnolia Thunderpussy, a dancer in the sixties who opened an ice cream parlor of the same name. The parlor thrived for a few years before being replaced by a few different restaurants until Magnolia Pub & Brewery arrived in the late nineties, when they built a seven-barrel microbrewery in the rickety old basement of the building at 1398 Haight.

I had patronized the Mag before, but I became more a fan of ’em during Strong Beer Month this past February. They have a great selection of beers regardless of which month you happen to be in. I particularly like the Oyster Point Oyster Stout (no worries, it doesn’t taste like oysters!), and the Cole Porter (I guess I lean more towards the dark brews). Note that pints are only $2.50 on Tuesdays!

The food at Magnolia is a big draw for me, as well. They have one of the best burgers I’ve had at a SF restaurant, cooked to perfection and preferably topped with blue cheese. Served with hot, crispy fries, the meal is complete with a serving of their addictive curry ketchup (you may have to ask for it). The steak frites as well as the pork chop are very good selections as well.

If you’re at the Mag purely for sampling the brews, but perhaps you are a wee bit hungry, the plates for sharing are a good call. Last time I ate there, we shared the house-cured fish sampler which comes with a fresh assortment of local seafood, pickled vegetables, goat cheese and thin slices of bread. It was perfect to go with the couple of pints that we consumed.

Also worth mentioning are their snacks, namely their plate of molasses glazed bacon. Best. Beer snack. EVAR. The sweet yet smoky bacon is cut into bite-sized pieces, ready to share.

I could go on and on about the delicious treats I’ve enjoyed at Magnolia, but you should go and find out for yourself! There are nightly specials as well as seasonal specialities. They strive to use fresh, organic and local ingredients. I’ve yet to come on New Orleans Mondays and try the Bananas Foster that they only serve on that night, yum…

pub_outside.jpgMagnolia Pub & Brewery
1398 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

3 Comments so far

  1. smallerdemon (unregistered) on June 4th, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

    Just FYI, Tuesdays recently went to $3.50. I have to agree pretty much with everything else you say. I spend a lot of cash at Magnolia. :)

  2. Lil G (unregistered) on June 5th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    oops, just to give props where they are due, the Oyster Point Oyster Stout is actually a brew from The 21st Amendment brewers. :) I’m a fan of it myself!

  3. Richard Ault (unregistered) on June 5th, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

    One of the best burgers in town btw. Thanks for the review!

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