Of The Week
Mary McGuire’s Food,
Uncle Louie G’s Ice Cream Are Sure Bets
Kenny McGuire and George Pyle have been friends since they were knee-high, a friendship that carries over to their jointly owned Mary McGuire’s pub and restaurant on Broadway, just off Steinway Street in Astoria. The food is great and the friendly staff will make you feel welcome, whether you come in just for a pint or for a family dinner.
In addition, Mary McGuire’s is also New York’s first restaurant with an OTB betting parlor located in the upper and lower level dining rooms. I had fun putting a couple of dollars on a keno game as I waited for my first course and watched the game live on television monitors. On a recent visit, a full blown happy hour was underway in the bar with a juke box playing favorite tunes while a crowd of smiling people eased themselves away from the stress of a busy work week.
Just beyond the bar two swinging doors lead to a sedate, comfortably decorated dining room where delicious lunches, dinners and brunches are served seven days a week. In addition to the menu, which features steaks, seafood, pasta and hot sandwiches, the chef whips up incredibly delicious daily specials such as chicken and shrimp sautéed with mushrooms in garlic and white wine. This hefty portion of tender chicken and shrimp is served on a bed of linguine and comes with fresh vegetables for the incredible price of $12.95. Another special this evening was slow-roasted loin of pork with fresh vegetables and potatoes.
If it’s too hot to cook, come to Mary McGuire’s on weeknights where you’ll find two-for one dinner specials. That’s right, buy one dinner at $16.95 and get the second one free. Choose among barbecued chicken and shrimp, mixed seafood platter, filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat, fresh salmon steak and other tempting entrees for one low price for two dinners. If that’s not enough to tempt you, how about Wednesday’s "lobster madness," where you’ll get a one-pound lobster with potato and vegetable for just $12.95. You can’t buy it cheaper yourself and who wants to cook anyway?
Start your meal with a platter of chicken wings, which can be ordered, mild or hot. We enjoyed this large portion with creamy blue cheese dressing for dipping. Other starters include baked clams, purchased fresh daily from Point Lookout, Long Island and topped with crispy seasoned breadcrumbs. Tasty snacks such as mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders are available at the bar as well. You’ve got to try the warm artichoke and spinach dip, baked in a crock and served with tortilla chips.
Grill selections include a Dublin broil, top round sliced steak with rich mushroom gravy, for $12.95 and 10- or 16-ounce New York shell steak, grilled to your liking. Our friendly server, Marie, presented us with their famous chicken potpie with a flaky phyllo crust that was out of this world. Authentic Irish fish and chips, the fish coated with light and crispy batter, and homemade shepherd’s pie are also popular choices. Don’t forget their giant, beefy burgers and sandwiches, available tableside or at the bar.
A fabulous Sunday brunch is served from noon till 4 pm and offers many breakfast options like fluffy omelets, French toast, steak and eggs or the Irish breakfast with sausage, eggs and grilled tomato. This fantastic brunch is offered for the reasonable price of $12.95, including unlimited mimosas, bloody marys or screwdrivers. You can skip the booze and pay just $7.95.
Just opened is Uncle Louie G’s Homemade Gourmet Ice Cream and Italian Ices, run by Kenny McGuire’s son, Kenny. This great ice cream and ices parlor can be found at 38th Street and Broadway. If you’ve just had dinner at Mary McGuire’s, just slip out the restaurant’s back door and you’re right there. This new franchise, based in Brooklyn, makes good, old-fashioned gourmet ice cream and ices using only natural ingredients such as fresh cream, fruit and nuts for a great summer time or any time treat. I couldn’t decide among the 60 flavors of ice cream and ices, so the helpful staff let me taste several. If you like nuts and coconut, you’ll dig into the absolute almond joy ice cream. I loved the cherry vanilla, with real black cherries in it. Peanut butter, pineapple cheesecake and strawberry fields are just some of the rich, creamy, heavenly ice cream flavors. The Italian ices incorporate real fruit, nuts and essences to create such flavors as Mint Condition, Lick Me Lemon, Holi Cannoli and Pure Passion Fruit. No wonder there’s nearly always a line outside the walk-up window. One taste and you’ll be hooked, too.
Among the reasons to visit Mary McGuire’s are first the friendly pub atmosphere and the great food at reasonable prices. Second, there’s Wednesday lobster madness and two-for-one dinner specials. Third, New York’s first OTB betting parlor, and now, Uncle Louie G’s Homemade Gourmet Ice Cream and Italian Ices.
It’s too hot to cook, so visit soon and enjoy a great meal. Then stop in at Uncle Louie’s for an ice cream cone or an extra thick shake and feel like a kid again!