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Mighty Quinn's BBQ

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ln the former Van Daag space at 2nd Av. and 6th St. Very friendly staff, very serious smoker (which the pit master graciously opened up to show me the inside).

l tried the brisket, pulled pork and a side of sweet potato casserole with maple and pecans. Despite the apparent seriousness and good intentions of the place, l found it underwhelming: the brisket was pretty dry, with just so-so flavor; the pulled pork, while nice and moist, didn't have much flavor either, and wasn't really sauced. l'm not a tremendous fan of pulled pork, but that's mainly because l'm not crazy about the sauce that it's usually mixed in with. l was kind of excited by the idea of theirs when l saw it, as it seemed to rely on the meat itself. Alas, the flavor missed the mark: it was in serious need of the good quality bbq sauce [sweet, but not too sweet] that they provide in glass bottles on the long, central wooden table.

The best part of the meal was the sweet potatoes, which were terrific: not overly sweet, with a wonderful crunch every time l got some pecans in a forkful. The free pickle accompaniments were very good too, especially the pickled hot red pepper. The brioche bun that came with it was also just ok; personally, l'd prefer a potato roll.

Hopefully they'll improve, as it'd be a shame to have all that high-tech smoking kit putting out only average 'cue. As it stands, l find the flavor better overall at Georgia's East Side BBQ, and the brisket much better at Fette Sau, RUB and Hill Country. One thing they can't be faulted on are the prices: with just water to drink, a filling dinner for two came in at less than $25.

And l do think it's a shame that Van Daag closed, as it was a really nice place to have in the neighborhood.

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  1. unfortunately RUB closed last week.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      Well. That sucks. Another reason to hate the ass that drove thru its window.

    2. Stopped in for some brisket on Super Bowl Sunday. It was pretty quiet and they were out of a lot of items, as I'm guessing they did a bunch of catering orders that day. I enjoyed the brisket overall. We ordered a pound to share. Ours wasn't dry at all. The meat was pretty fatty, though it did need a little bit of seasoning here and there. They actually sprinkle some maldon sea salt on your cut meat before giving it to you, which was a nice touch. Our friend got the brisket sandwich and eventually gave up on the brioche roll.

      Overall, the meat quality is seems slightly higher at Mighty Quinn's than Hill Country, but it doesn't taste as nicely smoky as Brisket Town's. Brisket Town's is my current favorite.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        Good to know, thanks. Nick Solares, from Serious Eats, says the quality has been steadily improving since my visit; l'll definitely revisit it soon.

      2. I've eaten at Mighty Quinn's 7-8 times at lunch and have to say they make the best BBQ I've had in NYC. I've had both their brisket (fatty not lean) and their pulled pork sandwiches and loved them both. Wasn't a big fan of their beans. I've eaten a lot of BBQ having spent time in KC, TX, NC,SC, GA and FL so I'm fairly well versed in what is good and bad bbq. MQ's is pretty good in its own right and is great relative to the local competition. It's a shame RUB closed but I would recommend BBQ fans to give Mighty Quinn's a try.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Fallon

          l tried Shopsin's bbq pork for the first time a couple of weeks ago; it was amazing, probably the best l've had in the city so far. l can't compare it to southern regional bbq, because l have no experience in that area, but man was Shopsin's good. lf you haven't tried it, l strongly recommend that you give it a shot.

          Did you put the bbq sauce that's on the table on the pork from MQ, or did you leave it alone?

          1. re: howdini

            The Shopsins BBQ sauce by the way consists of Frank's mixed with Sriracha, with some apple cider vinegar and black pepper.

            If you like pulled pork with excellent sauce, find Big Bob Gibson's at the Big Apple BBQ every June.

            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks!

            2. re: howdini

              I've eaten at Shopsin's quite often but haven't been since Sandy hit. I've had their bbq pork numerous times, usually as part of an egg/breakfasty dish. It's good, as most of their dishes are, but I've never thought of Shopsin's bbq pork as being real BBQ. I actually assumed they bought it pre made and it was almost an accompaniment to the dishes I've had there.

              1. re: howdini

                When I get the pulled pork sandwich at MQ's, they put sauce on it when they make it so I don't use the sauce from the table. Sometimes with the brisket sandwich, I use the sauce as they don't put any sauce on it. I'm not a huge fan of their sauce it's a little too vinegary for my taste. My favorite BBQ sauce is KC style vs NC style or TX style. Some people find KC BBQ sauce too sweet though which I can understand.

            3. I like Georgia's BBQ ribs a lot, I like Fette Sau's brisket. Hill Country disappoints ( especially the ribs). Too bad RUB closed it wasn't great but it was decent.
              Thanks for the review on Mighty Quinn. I'll wait a month or so, perhaps they will figure out how to make great BBQ

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Those burnt ends at RUB were really good; the one or two times l was able to get there for Monday night hamburgers were pretty enjoyable, too. lt looks like the recent consensus on MQ is that they're doing much better than when they first opened, so maybe now's a good time to go...

              2. Two stars from Pete Wells.
                http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/din...

                1. It's by far the best barbecue I've eaten in NYC. Certainly not the best in the world, but it's a great addition to the neighborhood. I also like the ice tea. Staff is nice, friendly, professional. And it's refreshingly cheap. I normally get the brisket, which is nice and fatty. My minor complaints? They tend to oversalt the sandwiches (I ask them to go light, and I like my food salty) and the bottles of barbecue sauce on the table are enormous and hard to handle with greasy hands. I hope their smoker is not too strained after the Times article. I wish them the best, and I'll take them over Van Daag and their $10 loaves of bread any day.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hungrycomposer

                    l never bought an entire loaf at Van Daag, but l loved their bread baskets, the smoked bread especially. At $6, it was a bit on the pricy side, but it was really excellent, and a very nice variety.

                    1. re: howdini

                      I may have had bad luck with bad attitude at Van Daag, but I wasn't sorry to see them go after my limited experience with the staff.

                      1. re: hungrycomposer

                        Van Daag never got back on their feet once their chef left. Service became comically bad, they couldn't pull off the menu, and even the freshly baked bread wasn't always getting baked fresh. The place became a ghost town the last year and a half it was around, so yes, it's good there's fresh blood in the space.

                  2. Finally ate from MQ again last night. l had the pulled pork, baked beans and pea salad delivered to me at work. What a difference from my previous visit! The pork had a depth of flavor that just wasn't there that first time, along with that excellent juiciness. They provide a generous pile of extras in the container, too: the various pickles and slaw. Getting a couple of pickled red peppers on the same porkful forkful is an absolute treat.

                    Aside from a couple of inedible chunks of fat, the baked beans were excellent too. The pea salad was good, with the peas and beans nice and crunchy.

                    Now l must go back to order that brisket again [fatty this time, please!], and l'll try the ribs, too.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: howdini

                      The spare ribs were excellent. Havent had the beef rib yet but I usually prefer pig to cow anyway.

                      The pulled pork and the beans were really good too. Hopefully they won't be too crowded after the NYT article

                      1. re: MVNYC

                        Does Miighty Quinn's serve dessert?

                        1. re: Scott_C

                          I didn't see any when I went, so I guess not.

                          1. re: Scott_C

                            I don't eat dessert so I didn't look. If not there are plenty of options nearby

                        2. re: howdini

                          interesting, i want to try this place soon, its so close to me

                          sounds delicious

                          1. re: howdini

                            Recently had a sampling of stuff at a birthday party. While the pulled pork was very good and spare ribs were terrific - great, peppery rub - I thought the beef offerings were what really shone.

                            The brisket was outstanding: smoky and juicy with a great bark. And the beef rib...wow. Unbelievably tender and had a great charred flavor, not to the point where all you could taste is burned meat. Definitely matches the beef rib at Daisy Mae's, it might even exceed it..

                          2. The only thing they're missing is some good greens. Imagine collards cooked with a pork product that they smoked in house. That would make a meal there perfect.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hungrycomposer

                              Hear, hear!

                            2. Had the brisket delivered tonight: night and day difference from my initial experience. Fatty, moist, juicy, delicious. Sweet potatoes excellent as well.

                              1. So much talk of barbecue made me go back. The place was packed after the NYT review, but they were dealing with it very well. The food has improved, and it was pretty damn good to start. It was the first time I tried the short ribs (lucky since they ran out shortly afterwards). Delicious, and made of excellent quality pork. The brisket and pork were a notch better too - more delicious smokey bits. I asked about greens, the owner said that there's limited room for hot side dishes, and they wouldn't hold well. Good call, I imagine. The line was not too long and moved quickly, a table opened up as soon as we needed it. Good to see the quality isn't slipping with all the demand either.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: hungrycomposer

                                  l told my son [who'd been with me at that first, disappointing visit] about how much they'd improved, so last night we stopped by at about 9. Joint was packed, and we were told that...they'd run out of meat! Ha!

                                  We ended up going to Rubirosa, which we'd never tried before, and were not at all disappointed by the Rubirosa Supreme: the combination of roasted garlic and excellent sauce made for a really excellent pizza.

                                  1. re: howdini

                                    Let's all remember them after the NYT rush dies down. And they're open between lunch and dinner, so an early dinner/late lunch is a good way to beat the rush in the meantime. We got there about 6 last night (Thursday) and got one of the last servings of short ribs.

                                    1. re: hungrycomposer

                                      Yeah, it's pretty rare that l go out for dinner at prime time; generally l'd much rather eat closer to six, to avoid the madness. And MQ is right around the corner from my gf, so lunches will be had!

                                2. Went to M.Q.'s thi past Saturday night and while they were busy, they were handling the crowd nicely. Great selection of beers both on tap and in bottles and very plesant people working there. Had a abeer while we were waiting and hung out at the back of the restaurant by the window to the kitchen. Watching as the briskets were being prepped for 2 days later. One of the pwners was telling mw that they prep the meat 24 hours before it goes into the smoker and then another 18 hours in the smoker. I really enjoyed the food, we had the pulled pork and the spare ribs along with the baked beans and the sweat potato casserole. I enjoyed the salt and pepper rub which made a very nice bark, but my one complaint (way too strong a word) was that their meats are very mildly smoked. The texture was great on both cuts but for me there could have been a little more smoke flavor. I loved the beans and the sweet potato casserole was a nice cooling flavor to offset any spice (mostly pepper). All in all we'll definitely go back.

                                  1. MQ is probably my favorite new addition to the NY food scene, it's a real gem. It really deserves all the praise. Best BBQ I've had in NY, and the beans even might top RUB's beans, at their best. I hope they can keep the consistency going or keep improving.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      Just had their brisket and sweet potatoes about two hours ago: delicious, again. l've never been happier to have been proven wrong.