All hail the "Mighty Quinn."
The “Barbecue King of New York,” the brainchild of pit master Hugh Mangum, is now roasting in Manila! Mighty Quinn’s US glory might outshine the barbecue market as it blends both slow-roast techniques from Texas and North Carolina, creating a distinct, “New York-style” barbecue, the first of its kind.
Hugh, who was a musician, hauled a large smoker at a food fair and applied what he learned about traditional barbecuing from his dad, who was Houston-based, and from being a chef.
After becoming an overnight star in Smorgasburg, Brooklyn’s food market, with his meats selling out in 90 minutes and creating packed lines, Hugh’s barbecue began turning heads in the press. Not long after, Hugh, along with partners Micha Magid and Christos Gourmos set up shop in the East Village in December 2012, giving birth to Mighty Quinn’s flagship location.
With almost 500 hungry bellies daily to fill up, nothing beats passion and really good brisket and ribs, plus a full menu to offer. Mighty Quinn’s became well-loved so easily, the media can't stop telling people about them. New York Times even scoring the food joint as the highest-rated barbecue in New York, at 2 and a half stars, a rare feat for fast-casual restaurants. Soon after, New York Times also named Mighty Quinn’s as Most Prized Performer and the Top 10 Best Restaurants 2013.
And now, four years later, Mighty Quinn’s has grown to six locations in New York and New Jersey, and with an international store in Taipei. Excitingly, Mighty Quinn’s is now comes to Manila, at SM Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall.
But with all the fervor and fame they have garnered, they remain a casual dining establishment that's only goal is to serve their famous menu in all it's glory, meaning nothing but meat-purity and specially crafted side dishes, which they also call ban chan.
So, no need to get intimidated at all, it's actually something stepping into a globally-renowned establishment and coming out really satisfied.
So here are what you can expect when you dine at Mighty Quinn's:
Like any cafeteria-style diner, you line up and decide to build your meal.
A single tray of meal consists of meat, your choice of carbs and your choice of side dish which comes in pickled veggies.
You can choose from Beef, Chicken and Pork.
Of course I'd rather you'd start with beef, for they're known for it. They have Brisket, Burnt Ends, and Brontosaurus Rib. You may opt to choose how big the serving of your meat is too - single serve or by the pound, probably good for 3 to 4 people.
For pork, they have Pulled Pork, sausages and ribs.
In my case, I had a single serve of Spare Ribs, a rice to go with it, Burnt Ends Baked Beans and an additional side, Potato salad.
Their sides come in a rainbow of colors - two kind of slaws, mayo based and vinaigrette, cucumber, chilies, red onions and celery. Rice can also be substituted, either have your meat carved and filled in between sliced buns, or have the Burnt Ends Baked Beans or the Sweet Potato Casserole.
Aside from the slaw, you can also have salads as your sides. My favorite is the Potato Salad, I wasn't able to try the Buttermilk Broccoli Salad, but it looks yum as well.
What I love most about the serving is their attention to details making sure your meal experience is worth every peso you pay for it. Imagine a slab, dry rubbed with salt, pepper and a rare mix of paprika then smoked for almost 12 hours.
What's more special about the process of smoking is that they don't just use any kind of woods to burn and cook the meat with. In the US branches, they use oak, apple, and cherry (roughly 90 percent oak; 10 percent fruit wood). It may probably still true here in their Manila branch as there is a hint of fruity aromas somewhere in the meat. They have a commissary to do the smoking for the meat and wrap it in oil-proof paper to be delivered on the site and then stored and reheated before serving.
Flavors of smokiness is elevated with a sauce specially made for Quinn's, the right balance of tang, zing, sweetness and saltiness in a thick and dark consistency. Each table is equipped with a bottle of their bespoke barbecue sauce, nothing like it really, just delight yourself with an ample drippings of it if you like, however, before your meat is served, it is glazed with the same and a quick sprinkling of sea salt.
This is the 6-piece Chicken Wings served with pickled celery.
How the Beef Brisket looks like before serving. I've heard that it's the most tender and flavorful beef any one could have tried.
Behold the Brontosaurus Rib, a humongous serving of prime rib roast.
Now go figure how seriously big a serving is.
If you want something out of the usual meat and carb platter, do get Sweet Corn Fritters, which is served with a different sauce, honey chile sauce.
It's quite easy to love this joint. I've often opine that I'm not keen on gorging meat but this time, it was like I've been re-birthed but then again, I guess, I'd only rely on Mighty Quinn's for that flagrant meat cravings. I'll bet my arm, my family would love them too!
Dessert doesn't have to be missed out even though they only have one-Bread Pudding with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Crossing seas and timelines, Mighty Quinn’s shows that even halfway around the world; there is something to love about the New York-style barbecue, representing Hugh's craft made of several years of smoking meats and copious piles of wood. Mighty Quinn’s slow-smoked goodness transcends countries and cultures and brings them together in a universal love for good, old-fashioned barbecue