I'd been waiting a long while to visit Magnolia's again. Located in a strip mall anchored by a Food For Less Supermarket, Magnolia's is a little gem, on the Euclid Trolley stop. What hastened our trip was that Magnolia's had been featured on a local news cast, so I had to move it up to the top of my list. We also had our dinner a bit earlier than usual, so there would be no crowds.
The first thing you notice about Magnolia's are the raised ceilings and warm wood seating. The seating in the booths are all cloth lined, giving the place a very warm feel. There are several tables out front and a large outdoor eating "patio" out back. We were greeted with smiles and requested a table outside, it was a really nice, almost fall like day; perfect setting for Southern Cookin'. Looking through the menu with all the Southern favorites we made our decisions.
We ordered fried oysters to start ($8.50). We were served 6 large and very juicy, briny oysters, coated with a thin layer of cornmeal, and not a bit of grease! The cornmeal was nice and grainy, combined with the juicy oysters, this was a real treat. Just a squeeze of lemon and a touch of cocktail sauce and I was in oyster heaven!
Next up was the smothered chicken ($12.50), this came with two sides; and I chose, mashed potatoes and collard greens. The gravy was creamy and nicely complemented the dark meat, however the white meat was a bit tasteless and dry. This was a half chicken, maybe I coulda' gotten all dark meat? The mashed potatoes were the "natural smashed" type and were good. The star of the dish were the Collard Greens; man I haven't had greens this good since I worked in Atlanta for almost a year a while back. At first bite sweet, the middle of your tongue tastes the "green", and there's a slight bitter aftertaste, and the "likker" was wonderful.
The Crawfish Ettouffe($15.00)had a nice level of spiciness, but was not as thick and as flavorful as those I've had in the past. Maybe the purpose was to feature the taste of the generous amount of crawfish in the dish. Not nearly close to the best I've had.
The Fried Catfish ($12.00), as with the oysters was wonderfully breaded, moist, not greasy, and just fantastic with the homemade tartar sauce; which is fairly surprising as we both hate tartar sauce.The hushpuppy's were a bit dense for my taste. The fries were no big deal, just routine, and the cole slaw was much too sweet.
I also ordered a side of fried okra ($2.50), that were not bad, but not "wow".
No room for dessert today, though the menu features such comfort favorites as sweet potato pie and peach cobbler (all $5.00).
The verdict, stay with the heavenly "fried" foods, get a double (or triple) of collards. Sides (lagniappes) such as red beans, candied yams, or black eyed peas are also on the menu.
342 Euclid Ave (Market Creek Square)
San Diego, CA 92114