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The Magnet

Now, this is a spot I can get behind, with no plans of moving.

Three Magnets’ brewpub is a bit of a roller-coaster, with high-quality food and beer, and a consistent snail’s pace service. It has been severe enough that Fish has become our brewpub of choice, even only for their service.

Now The Magnet has taken over Darby’s old spot, giving Three Magnets a second eatery in the same building. It’s hard to believe the same team runs this brunch spot. Getting a table might take a while, but once seated, the service is rapid and professional. It’s night and day when compared to their other restaurant. And the food? We’ll go out on a limb and call it Olympia’s best brunch.

You’ll be happy right from the start with the cheese curd beignets. These come stuffed with local Tunawerth Creamery cheese curds, and hopberry jam on the side. (I was not aware one could make jam from hops, but there you go.) The bite is good, and the beignets come lightly fried, with the cheese being just gooey enough.

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The main courses are various takes on brunch classics, often with creative twists. Take the carnitas hash: The beer braised pork butt is as flavorful as any pork I’ve had, with a mild hint of hops. Nothing too overpowering, but it’s there, as it should be. Thematically it fits well for a brewery.

The pico de gallo and poblano give the palate a generous dash of spice, and the tortilla strips are crunchy, avoiding the too familiar soggy-trap. Add an over-easy egg on top, and you got yourself a brunch dish worthy of embraces and reverence.

In the name of science, I also gave a vegan hash a shot, in this case, a jackfruit variation. This fruit has gained a bit of a following lately, with a reputation for being a vegan version of pulled pork. While I’m not sure you’d mistake one for the other in a blind taste-test, there are similarities. If anything, I feel the jackfruit should be allowed just to be a jackfruit. Ignoring its distinct zest would be a disservice to yourself.

The barbecue sauce (something I’m often ambivalent to) maintains a balance between spicy and sweet. The combination does make the dish a valid alternative to pulled pork. Alternative. A jackfruit and barbecue pairing is its own thing, one any omnivore will appreciate without feeling you have foregone the pork.

Add some solid homefries, and the result is a little different than what you might be used to in all the right ways.

I would argue The Magnet could have held its own in Portland, a city known for its brunch. Their menu is as creative, and the ingredients are as fresh as anything we’ve had there. We fully endorse The Magnet’s focus on local, and we fully endorse The Magnet in general. Consider it one of our Olympia favorites.