Food & Drink

Southern indulgence, SoCal-style

Pulled Pork Carnitas Sandwich with in house made mustard bbq sauce and guacamole.

Southern cuisine has a reputation for spectacular unhealthiness, so it's not surprising to see downtown's Magnolia Tap and Kitchen give its take on comfort food the occasional slightly healthier SoCal twist, like the slather of guac on this pork carnitas sandwich with mustard BBQ. But, hey, fundamentally it remains a BBQ pork sandwich -- you still won't have trouble giving Paula Deen a run for her money. Or insulin.

Mac and Cheese Souffle at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

Or take this mac & cheese souffle, which is big enough to share and packed with longhorn Colby, Monterey Jack & sharp cheddar, and topped off with some fried onion. For veggies.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with bacon, tomato and fried onion at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

In case you want more cheese with your cheese, there's the grilled cheese with bacon, tomato, and fried onion, melted between Texas toast by even more of that aforementioned cheese trio.

Braised Short Rib Sandwich with house bbq sauce at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

Sink your teeth into this BBQ-sauced braised short rib sandwich that, like the grilled cheese, comes with fresh-made potato chips, which'll make it harder and harder for you to get lays.

Homemade Pecan Pie with bourbon whipped cream at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

Finish off your meal with sweetness like a slice of homemade pecan (pronounced pee-can) pie sided with some bourbon whipped cream.

Grandma's Porch at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

This isn't like the tea granny brewed, unless your grandmother is Lucille Bluth: the Grandma's Porch is iced tea spiked with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Grand Marnier.

Vieux Carre at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

Vieux Carre means "old square", not to be confused with the people boozing it up on grandma's porch. It's made with rye, cognac, Benedictine, bitters, and sweet vermouth.

The Outlaw at Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

About as dangerous as a pink drink can get, The Outlaw is a blend of gin, Creme Yvette, liqueur d'orange, lemon juice, and mint.

Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is an installation of lit steel magnolias -- the literal metal kind, not the inebriated Olympia Dukakis kind.

Magnolia Tap and Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

The place takes its name from an 1887 saloon that sat right on the corner of 6th and E Sts, and goes for a cozy-Southern-plantation-with-hardwood-floors-and-bookshelves vibe, with a bar stocked full of whiskey and a faux fireplace … after all, this is still SoCal.