McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub

McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub is the 9th location that I’m judging food at for the 2016 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event.

This is my third year of judging for this event.

Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, the IRA staff, and members from both the SoyandBeefCouncils.

During the next couple of weeks, leading up to the October 6, 2016 event, we have 10 different restaurants to visit. These restaurants are all across Iowa.


McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub

front door of McCarthy and Bailey's Irish Pub in sioux city


Check out some of the seating option in the pub! 

mccarthy seating


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The Chef at McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub



Chef Nick Gunn, along with his wife Sarah, is the owner operator of McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub, The Big Snug, and Pearl’s. Chef Nick started out as the Executive Chef of all three operations under the previous owner from the time the pub opened its doors to the public on June 6, 2011. Learn more about his endeavours and experience

The Meal

Rules: With this event, each competitor will prepare a main entrée recipe utilizing Braveheart Black Angus Beef Short Rib, donated by Performance Food Group (at least six ounces of cooked beef must be used). Additionally, each competitor will prepare a Tofu (soft-silken or water packed) side dish or sauce (at least a 1⁄4 cup of tofu must be used).

Main Dish

The main dish was Irish spiced country spare ribs with champ tofu gnocchi with an Irish whiskey cream sauce with tofu. This has been one of my top dinners on this culinary competition. Gnocchi always get me though, it’s one of my favorite entrees. It was because it wasn’t overly soft since had it had been slightly fried to give it a more chewy texture.


The spare ribs were smoked beautifully. A pink outer edge and a tender middle was apparent. The ribs were smoked fat side up and cooked for two hours. Every 20-30 minutes, the ribs were sprayed with Guinness.


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The flavors in this dish were outstanding. It’s something I would order off the menu if I saw it on the menu. I’m sucker for gnocchi and creamy Irish dishes. It was put together nicely and I’m looking forward to others sampling this dish at the Grand Tasting Gala.

About Nick Lucs

Nick is the founder of Des Moines Foodster. He was born and raised in Des Moines and has always had a passion for being creative in the kitchen. Des Moines Foodster has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Juice Magazine, amNY, Travel Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau blog. He believes that coffee and craft beer make the world go 'round .

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