Derek Eats Food

Experiences at Lincoln, NE restaurants

Places I've eaten

Bad ideas
I eat it so you don't have to

McKinney's Irish Pub

02 May 2014

Visited: 01 May 2014

First impressions

Not too busy around 5:30 on a Thursday evening. The place definitely has that American Irish pub feel, (dark colors, wood, Guinness posters), which I rather enjoy. Heck, at least it’s atmosphere.

Being a bar, it’s a seat-yourself sort of establishment. Not a problem with me, as long as the food is good. They’ve got a garage door that opens to the street, and two levels inside. My dad and I grabbed a cocktail table on the first level.


Our waitress was very attentive, again probably due to the small patronage. I ordered a Murphy’s Stout, since I’ve heard McKinney’s is one of the only places you can get it on tap in Lincoln.


I honestly haven’t had a stout in a while, but this tasted pretty standard to me. Guinness-like creamy head, perhaps a bit sweeter than its better-known Irish brother brew. If you’re a Guinness fan, you’ll enjoy it, but I wouldn’t expect it to convert anyone.

Both of us ordered fish and chips for our entree. I felt a tiny bit rushed by our waitress, but I can’t really fault her since I was messing around with my camera instead of picking out something to eat. In retrospect, fish and chips probably isn’t the best dish to showcase the kitchen, but I wanted fish, okay?

Food came out pretty darn quick, as I’d expect from a bar. I didn’t clock it exactly, but I doubt it was more than 15 minutes.

Fish and chips


The presentation struck me as mono-colored (a la Raising Cane’s Brown Syndrome). I’d like to see some variation between the chips and fish. I can’t deny, though, it does look tasty.

I wasn’t expecting the fish and chips to be baked. In the case of the fish, this meant a mostly soft breading. The consistency was passable, but I’d prefer a little more crisp crunch. The breading had a fairly average flavor, and some parts of the fish seemed over-salted. The meat was cooked to my liking though, still tender and juicy.

The chips were sliced in thick spiral chunks. I enjoyed the texture and seasoning of them for the most part, but did notice some inconsistent salting. Worse, about a quarter of the chips weren’t cooked all the way through, and biting into a part-raw potato chunk is not my idea of a good time. Gotta be a little more patient in the oven with these.

We were served a roll a piece with our meal. Very well done on these. Heartier than typical dinner rolls, but not too chewy. I’m a sucker for warm bread and butter.

The manager (I assume) came out to explain that they didn’t have room for a fryer so everything is baked, and that’s why the texture is different, but it’s not as heavy as fried food, right? I can appreciate that, but I just didn’t enjoy the fish and chips as much as the real deal. I’d like to go back and try the corned beef or Irish stew sometime. Grade: B


The pub is still clean and new, having only been open a couple months. I hope they manage to get their patio liquor license, because it’d be a lot of fun to hang out there in the summer. The tables set up on first level made the place seem a bit cramped compared to most other bars in the area with tables, but I didn’t check out the upstairs.

As I mentioned before, our waitress could have been a bit more patient. We were just trying to chill and catch up a bit, you know? I got the feeling that she just didn’t want to make us wait, so it wasn’t really a strong negative for me.

After meeting the manager, my general impression is that he’s really passionate about growing a killer Irish pub in the Haymarket area. And more power to McKinney’s. It stands out to me as unique in the Haymarket, and has a great casual atmosphere without feeling cheap. I’m just glad to see something different.
Grade: B+


Entrees $9-11. Beers $4-6.

Scores are not necessarily precise, but relative to restaurants in recent memory. I plan to rebalance my scores as I review more restaurants.