Last night a few (nine) friends came up to the city to surprise a friend of ours for his 23rd birthday. Since our friend is a little obsessed with brewing his own beer, his girlfriend decided that a pub that makes it's own brews would be a great place to share a birthday dinner with his friends and family. We went to Magnolia Pub and Brewery in the Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.
While we patiently awaited the arrival of all of our extremely late friends (come on, it's a SURPRISE party!!! What do you not get about being on time?) I sipped on a Prescription Pale, which was nice and medium bodied, but as an inexperienced dark beer drinker I switched to the Spud Boy IPA which I thoroughly enjoyed along with the majority of the table. It was lighter, thus more easily consumed, along with a slightly higher alcohol content (6% rather than the Prescription's 5.5%) that gave the entire table a nice buzz. A few others got the Hefeweizen which was filtered and also quite tasty.
Once the surprise was executed flawlessly we decided to munch on some munchies!!! We ordered their home made beef jerky, pork nuggets, and buttermilk fried spring onions. The home made beef jerky was really good, had a nice flavor and was paper thin and crisp, I almost wanted it on a salad. The pork nuggets were a little intimidating, three golf-ball sized cubes of pork deep fried come out with a spicy honey mustard aioli dipping sauce. We were pleasantly surprised at the juiciness of the pork while the breding on the outside was quite tasty and a nice contrast to the wonderful piggy goodness inside. I mean you really can't go wrong eating any fried pork product. Most people really like this dish. Last and my favorite was the spring onions that came with a really nice bell pepper romesco. That dipping sauce was soo tasty, I wanted to dip the pork nugget in it as well. A few friends got the "Devils on Horseback" which was a date stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon, and fried that came with arugula and a nice sweet sauce which I think had molasses, however my friend thought that it was reduced maple syrup. My only problem with this "munchie" was that there were only 2 to an order, would have liked a few more so I could have tasted them, love the name though.
Next came the entrees. I got the Prather Ranch Hamburger with Swiss cheese. A lot of my friends got the Fish and Chips which had some tasty Cod and a great tartar sauce. Another one got the Carbonara which I enjoyed the most. I had a nice smokey flavor from the bacon and came with a poached egg on top that oozed out when you broke it. A few also got the Sausages and the 2 sides that come with it. Everyone got the Sauerkraut, but I heard that the cheese grits were fantastic.
Overall, it was a fantastic dinner. A many thanks to those who came and were able to surprise our friend. Great meal, great people, great brew.