Peaches and Cream of the Crop
McGinty’s remains one of the biggest surprises of my career, a pub-food revelation up on high in Divide. The Friday night fish-and-chips special ($7.95 small/$12.95 large) is a highlight, earning a weekly waitlist. Owner Tracy McGinty and chef Scott Coulter won’t share recipe details, other than to say theirs is based off a recipe from Tracy’s father.
What we do know: It’s Irish ale-battered haddock, beautifully fried to a fluffy texture with a crisp exterior. An accompanying tartar dip is delicious, as is a smoky house chowder and unique slaw with red onion bite and citrus zest. Well-executed steak fries complete the perfect pub package.
MS – Colorado Springs Independent
Divide and Conquer
Of all people, food critics are hesitant to use the word “best” often, if at all. But there I was, biting again into a tartar sauce-dipped, gorgeously fluffy beer-battered haddock that comprises the heart of McGinty’s Friday night fish-and-chips special ($12.95), thinking that I couldn’t recall a better rendition anywhere: the Northwest, the Northeast, Florida — hell, even Ireland and England.
And there I sat, in effin’ Divide.
Hitting its one-year anniversary on Nov. 1 – and launching a new dinner menu in celebration, featuring items like pizza pot pies, smoked pork chops and Guinness-stewed beef tips. McGinty’s has somewhat quietly earned a loyal following in both neighboring mountain towns and Colorado Springs. I found a 25-minute wait when I pulled up on that Friday.
I also found flavors that quickly hinted at true skill and creativity in the kitchen. Every element of that fish-and-chips plate was spot on: a rich, smoky cup of chowder; a unique cole slaw brightened by red onion and orange-y citrus notes; and thick fries with a nice firmness and crisp skin. Our Fields of Athenry salad ($8.95) sported Brie wedges, pear slices, dried cranberries and candied walnuts; we enjoyed it both with the suggested honey mustard and alluring blackberry horseradish dressings. I sipped on a light and pleasant Red McGinty ale blended specially for McGinty’s by Bristol Brewing Co. (It’s a 50/50 mix of Red Rocket and Mass Transit, meant to mimic the Irish style.)
Frankly, I was shocked – so surprised by the unexpected gourmet touches and flawless execution that I greatly looked forward to a follow-up phone call to learn who was in the kitchen.