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Jersey barbecue freaks prepare yourselves - Mighty Quinn's to open in Clifton

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chowhounder411 Jan 9, 2014 02:31 PM

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releas...

  1. e
    ELA Mar 26, 2014 08:13 AM

    Aside from the Mighty Quinn's discussion -- and you'll see my comments on my experience there below -- the topic of smoked/BBQ is often a debated one. First, I see people (not here on this thread) get caught up in the semantics -- it's not really BBQ, they don't use a smoker, etc. -- and that's all well and good. If you want to call that a discussion of authenticity that's fine. It's like the person who picks out the word "authentic" on an Italian restaurant's website or menu and then picks apart that it's not authentic. Or that there is no such thing as Southern Italian cuisine or Northern Italian for that matter. Or that you wouldn't find any of those items on a menu in Italy! Good for you! LOL. The food and label police have nothing better to do. I don't view it as a discussion of semantics, bait and switch, false advertising -- as much as I view it as a discussion of WHETHER OR NOT YOU LIKE THE FOOD. LOL. That said, that's not the case here -- and thank you for that.

    Second, BBQ, like pizza, steak, and so many other foods is very personal. Some people like chocolate and some vanilla, and some neither, and so on. I don't think there is a great # of smoked/BBQ places in NJ -- but I don't think there is none either. Personally, I find Fink's to be the real deal and overall excellent. Just my opinion. I am looking forward to trying Stickey's (in Hillsdale, and which is being portrayed as "Texas style"). I haven't been to the Blind Boar in a long time, but I went a couple of times when they first opened, and the last time I was there, I wasn't impressed. I will go back soon, but based upon last time, I'd rather go to Bailey's or Johnny's which isn't that far away. I haven't been impressed with any of the other places around Northern NJ. I've heard there are a few "good" ones around other parts of NJ, the shore, etc., and I hope to try them soon. I look forward to trying Local Smoke, and a few of the others.

    Currently, my only go to, top notch place is Fink's. If a friend wants to go to Bailey's or Johnny's because it's convenient, I'll go. I haven't been to Johnny's in a long time, and only once after Fink left, but it was "OK" so I'd have no problem going back.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ELA
      c
      chowhounder411 Mar 26, 2014 11:11 AM

      This is great news, ELA! I have my first customer for Chowhounder411's Grilled Meats restaurant where everything is cooked in the microwave! So what if you wanted grilled meats, this microwaved stuff still tastes good, right?

      1. re: ELA
        y
        yogi70 Mar 26, 2014 01:51 PM

        I would pass on Blind Boar and keep driving. By the time I finally got over there, Lippin was gone already. Meal was barely edible (to put it nicely) and it wasn't just me, the whole group agreed. Venture 10 minutes south to Finks, or 10 minutes north to Baileys for infinitely better Q.
        Next one on my list to try is Bourbon BBQ in Wyckoff. even with the mixed reviews on here, I still want to give them a shot. Others on my "when im in the area" list to try are :

        Hot Rods in Wharton
        Jersey Shore BBq in Belmar
        SuzyQue’s BBQ in West orange
        and as previously mentioned, Stickeys in Hillsdale.

        1. re: yogi70
          f
          fourunder Mar 26, 2014 02:43 PM

          I don't like to knock places...but I've been to Hot Rod's. although it's been a couple of years, I was not impressed. After seeing them on one of those reality shows, maybe Restaurant Stakeout(?), I say it's a long drive to be disappointed.

          1. re: fourunder
            y
            yogi70 Mar 29, 2014 04:06 PM

            thanks for the heads up fourunder - we'll just have to move them down to the bottom of the list lol. One more bbq joint I want to try and forgot to mention above, is the Wood Pit in Montclair.

      2. e
        ELA Mar 24, 2014 11:12 AM

        Went to Mighty Quinn's over the weekend...no offense, but it was terrible.

        I was very much looking forward to Mighty Quinn's -- after hearing the buzz, hearing from other people, etc. I've never been to the NYC location, but I know a few people who have.

        The place looks nice on the inside. If you park anywhere near the place, you are immediately met with the smoke, BBQ, etc. aroma -- so your expectations are already set. Unfortunately for me -- I was in for a major disappointment. Walk up to the counter, order your food cafeteria-style and move down the line. First, my friend ordered the half-chicken -- and I will say it looked incredible! It really did. All around -- color, plump, meaty, you name it, it looked excellent. The guy cut it very well into four nice pieces and added some of their "house" BBQ sauce. I ordered the sausage -- and they also looked very good. They looked flavorful -- very good color. He did the same with the sausage, adding the house BBQ sauce. We then moved down the line, ordered a couple of orders of fries, along with the edamame and sweet pea salad.

        So -- here's the deal -- the chicken was horrible. It was like a piece of boiled chicken, with skin on it, and BBQ sauce on top of that. The chicken had no flavor whatsoever. I kid you not. It was terrible. I doused a piece of chicken in BBQ sauce I got from the counter, and regardless, the chicken itself had zero flavor. I was tempted to return it. This cannot be the norm or else they will never sell chicken to anyone more than once. I just can't imagine a piece of chicken looking so good -- and tasting so bad. Boiled chicken I tell you. Side note -- it was also not cooked through and through. The sausage was not good either, fair at best. While it had good color and looked like it was going to be flavorful -- it was not. Plain, simple sausage, very little flavor, no real nuances, etc. The BBQ sauce was more flavorful the the sausage and in the end it gave off more taste/flavor. The fries were good -- good flavor, texture, seasoning -- but they were all small pieces, like it was the end of the batch or something. Both are fries were this way, so as much they tasted good -- they weren't easy or good to eat. The edamame and sweet pea salad was excellent. Aside from being the highlight of the meal -- it truly was excellent -- good flavor, taste, fresh, etc.

        I saw a neighboring table also seem to be very dissatisfied with their food as well.

        Unfortunately -- I will not go back. I wasn't looking to replace Fink's or the new Bobby Q's, or Bailey's, but I am always looking for a good smoked/BBQ place...and unfortunately, this was not it. I don't know if this was a very one-off or out of the ordinary poor experience, or what, but if this was even close to what they are putting out regularly -- this was poor in my opinion.

        Sorry folks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ELA
          y
          yogi70 Mar 24, 2014 01:30 PM

          wow. how terribly disappointing. i was planning on going in a few weeks so they could get the show up and running smoothly, as i usually do with most new places but... i dont know... normally after an experience like that, i would go back in a few weeks or months and give em another shot, but with a review like that... maybe just skip it all together?

          also heard that Stickey's in Hillsdale is opening up beginning of April, and was planning on trying them (again, in a few weeks so they can workout any kinks). Had Finks on Friday. The bomb as always. For apps, his smoked spicy buffalo wings are perhaps the best wings I have ever had anywhere. Large order of ribs easily make a 2nd meal at home (and reheat nicely too)

          1. re: yogi70
            e
            ELA Mar 24, 2014 01:37 PM

            Just passing along my experience. I hope -- for their sake -- that is not the norm. If it is, they will not last long.

            Give it a shot -- maybe it was an isolated, one off, weird thing, and maybe you will like it. Me, I will stick with Fink's -- my top choice for smoke/BBQ/etc.

            I'll give Stickey's a shot, as I would any new local smoke/BBQ place...but I expect Fink's to remain in the top spot for me.

        2. flourgirl Jan 18, 2014 10:36 AM

          We regularly visit Mighty Quinn's at the Stockton Market. We were there having lunch today and we overheard someone hand the proprietor a business card and said he was from "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and thought Mighty Quinn's would be perfect for the show.

          1. c
            chowhounder411 Jan 15, 2014 11:10 PM

            Just an FYI for everyone bashing barbecue not from states who invented, defined and refined it...Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn had this to say after a recent barbecue sampling trip to NYC: "But a couple of joints - namely Mighty Quinn's and BrisketTown - could hold their own in Texas."

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowhounder411
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              Lcdsoundsystem Jan 16, 2014 06:38 AM

              I'm not bashing it at all. I've had some of the best BBQ in my life in Brooklyn!

              Vaughn irks me. Mind you, I read his site and own his book, but something about his style of writing. Maybe it's the fact that hes too condescending towards anything outside the Texas staples... Brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs and hot links.

              1. re: chowhounder411
                w
                wblorch Mar 26, 2014 06:05 AM

                Mighty Quinn's brisket can hold its own imho. The coleslaw and beans are good. However, MQ's burnt ends are not even close. You would never find the amount of fat on a real KC burnt end that MQ's had. Overall not bad at all for Clifton, NJ.

              2. l
                Lcdsoundsystem Jan 15, 2014 06:48 PM

                Another pass for a BBQ joint. BBQ is booming across the Hudson (in reality, it's over the east river in bk) but here in nj nothing passes the test.

                Local smoke, brother Jimmy's, jersey shore, et al just don't hack it IMO.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lcdsoundsystem
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                  nizza Jan 15, 2014 10:08 PM

                  Well, I guess we agree to disagree. I've had BBQ in Texas and the Carolina's and in IMO I think that Local Smoke is excellent!

                2. n
                  nizza Jan 10, 2014 10:46 AM

                  I am really looking forward to trying their BBQ.

                  A few weeks ago we were in the Neptune area and stopped in at Local Smoke http://www.localsmokebbq.com/ and it was the real deal. They definitely know what they are doing as their Q was delicious along with the pulled chicken and loved the hush puppies! I would highly recommend you try it if you are down in that area.

                  1. j
                    joonjoon Jan 10, 2014 09:37 AM

                    Am I the only one not blown away by their BBQ?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: joonjoon
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                      LifeGeek Jan 10, 2014 09:47 AM

                      Joonjoon, how many times have you been and what did you order? There are a few things I wasn't blown away by either, but this is the northeast after all. ;)

                      Where is your go to bbq place in the area? MQs does blend regions which could turn off some purists and everyone has their own favorite styles whether it be one of the carolinas, texas, kc, st. Loius, etc. Geez. We do not even want to get into the whole who has the best bbq debate. Trust me, it is painful with no resolution. Maybe because it is so subjective. What are others favorite styles, places, and why?

                      1. re: LifeGeek
                        equal_Mark Jan 10, 2014 10:11 AM

                        My favorite "style" is BBQ cooked by amateur cooks in their backyards. It is better than 90% of the commercial stuff out there because:

                        A) Love.
                        B) Attention.
                        and most notably
                        C) People wait for good BBQ; Good BBQ does NOT wait for people.

                        1. re: equal_Mark
                          l
                          LifeGeek Jan 10, 2014 10:16 AM

                          Amen to that equal mark!

                        2. re: LifeGeek
                          j
                          joonjoon Mar 26, 2014 07:19 AM

                          Hey LifeGeek,

                          I'm not a BBQ expert or aficionado...I've dabbled with some smoking at home and always enjoyed the results. Aside from that and a few BBQ joints I've been to here and there that's about all I've experienced. I'm aware of some broad guidelines on BBQ styles but not

                          I've only eaten at MQ's once, and had both their brisket and PP. Neither were significantly better than any other Q I've had around the tri-state area. Tasty, but didn't blow me away.

                          As for my "go to" bbq joint - I don't have one. :)

                      2. jnk Jan 10, 2014 05:56 AM

                        This is fantastic for the people for northern N.J.. Mighty Quinns does have some of the best BBQ in N.Y. but unfortunately for the rest of us, it's no closer than the East Village location.

                        1. l
                          LifeGeek Jan 10, 2014 04:22 AM

                          Having been to the one in the east village prepare for some good eats. It is better than any that I've tried In the tri - state so far. I just hope adding more locations doesn't detract from the consistency.

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