New York City food historians know that it wasn't so long ago, maybe ten years at most, when this was a one-barbeue town… and that one, usually some chain or fratty bar, was pretty unimpressive. That's all changed of course, and today you can get world-class 'que at any number of spots, led by longtime Glenwood favorite Hill Country, but also including Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem, Fette Sau in Williamsburg, Daisy Mae's on the far West Side, Blue Smoke in Battery Park City, John Brown Smokehouse in Long Island City, and even Fletcher's in Gowanus, Fort Greene's Smoke Joint (an excellent pre-BAM choice), and the underrated Georgia Eastside on Orchard Street. And now please add Mighty Quinn's Barbeque to that ever-growing best BBQ in NYC list. In fact, you can even put it right near–even at–the top.
All You Could Want BBQ
Mighty Quinn's Barbeque is the creation of pitmaster Hugh Mangum and restaurateur Micha Magid, who have transfered their insanely-popular Brooklyn Flea Smorgasburg stand into a full-fledge brick-and-mortar operation in the East Village, complete with a humongous in-house smoker. The BBQ-loving duo fuel their pit with oak, apple, and cherry wood, and because they sell such massive amounts of meat, they can serve up their Texas and Carolinas-inspired barbeque on the cheap. Yes, we mean "cheap for New York City", but still, three of us ate more than half the menu for about forty bucks. Mighty Quinn's Barbeque is set up in classic counter-service style, the seating's nothing fancy but plenty comfortable, and everyone who works there is friendly and helpful. And although we imagine it gets pretty raucous later at night (that stretch of Second Avenue is not known for quiet contemplation), when we ate there right before Christmas it seemed to be mostly a local crowd, happily gorging.
Tasty Tasting of the Mighty Quinn BBQ
There were four meat options on the Mighty Quinn's menu, we ordered "single-serving" sizes of three (it's also all sold by the pound), and were pretty blown away by everything. The Spare Ribs were excellent, meaty and intensely-flavored, plenty moist with or without a dash or three of Might Quinn's BBQ sauce, which is available by the jug at each table. The Mighty Quinn's Brisket was appropriately fatty and tender, and they really get the balance between smoke and sweet and meat exactly right here. And the Pulled Pork was also terrific, charred and chewy without being dry. They gave us pickled onions, vinegary slaw, and soft rolls with our meat, but we also ordered two sides: a creamy, blue-cheesy Edamame and Sweet Salad and a superb cup of Burnt End Baked Beans. This is the type of meal you're already craving as you're walking out the door. For NYC barbecue fans from all over town, Mighty Quinn's is worth the trip.
Experience Mighty Quinn's Barbeque
Mighty Quinn's Barbeque is located on the corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street, and is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and on Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 until 12:00 midnight. For more information and a look at the complete menu, visit Mighty Quinn's online!