MacCool’s Ogden Restaurant Review: A Lot More Than Irish Pub Food
This post was most recently updated on March 30th, 2017
MacCool’s goes beyond Irish food. The extensive menu has American hamburgers to authentic Italian lasagna. Much of the food is homemade and when possible, sourced locally.
The biggest misperception people have about MacCool’s is that it’s just a pub with Irish beer and food. The kind of place you go to on St. Patrick’s Day or for a drink. In reality MacCool’s serves gourmet comfort food sourced with local, fresh, quality ingredients, in an authentic Irish pub style restaurant.
People are sometimes hesitant to try MacCool’s. Owner Scott Schlisman says they shouldn’t be. “Once I get them to come in, they come back,” he says. “Our goal is to authentically recreate an Irish Pub,” he said. The barrel tables and the decor were shipped in big containers direct from Ireland. Scott isn’t from and doesn’t have roots in Ireland, except that as he put it, “I drank so much Guinness they dubbed me Irish.”
Scott grew up in Philly and came to Utah to ski. Driving down 25th Street the first time he noted how the brick and shops had the charm of ski towns like Aspen. “It felt to me like I was pulling into a resort town in Colorado.”
“The thing I love about Ogden is how passionate the city is. People were born here, go to school here, and they stay here. You can see that passion in the shops. You can hear it in the way they talk. People care,” he says.
MacCool’s menu is long and diverse. The lasagna is house made with homemade ricotta, marinara sauce, and pasta. The pot pie features a steep slope of puff pastry wrapped around an inside of tender chicken and veggies. You can’t get any more American than the Airline Chicken or the burgers. There are pierogies, humus, and even mussels. There’s an entire menu of just salads.
Every dish has a backstory. Many have local ingredients. Scott is meticulous and wants everything just right, even the desserts. It took over six months of working with Cold Stone Creamery to get the Irish Mud Pie perfected; that’s made exclusively for MacCool’s. The vanilla ice cream is from Ogden-based Farr’s. The apples and peaches in the cobbler come from an orchard in Kaysville.
The most popular item year-round is fish and chips. The fish is fresh Alaskan cod and the batter has full suspension pale ale beer batter from Squatters in Salt Lake. Another favorite is the lamb riblets with a rich blue cheese dressing and fresh green onions. We pretty much dream of the riblets.
On a winter day, MacCool’s servers this hearty split pea soup which I loved. If you love soup, also check out my post on the most popular soup in Ogden where I asked locals what their favorite soup is. This one definitely made my list!
You won’t find meat with antibiotics, growth hormone, steroids, nitrates or fillers in MacCool’s food. Instead they source from high-quality retailers such as Wasatch Meats, Snake River Farms and Niman Ranch.
“We care about our food and put so much pride in it. I pour over the menu, looking for quality, simple, best most fresh ingredients I can get.”
You don’t have to drink to appreciate MacCool’s but it does have an extensive bar. Choose from 17 beers on draft, mostly local brews. Additionally, there are 20 pale ales and 15 bottled beers including draft cast conditioned beer (Tetley’s Guinness in old world style – no carbonation added).
Scott hopes MacCool’s will be known as a great neighborhood place.
MacCool’s caters events, including weddings at the Ben Lomond Hotel, reunions, business functions and holiday parties. They can fit up to 170 people at the restaurant and up 250 at the hotel.
MacCool’s is on 25th Street and has two other locations in Utah: Foothill in Salt Lake and Layton.
Hours are Monday through Sunday 11 am – 10 pm and Sunday til 9 pm. Phone 801-675-5920
To go and gluten-free dishes available.
Online: Facebook, Instagram and at www.maccoolsrestaurant.com