Mighty Quinn's: New East Village Barbecue
A few good slices of brisket, creamy cole slaw, and bread roll will set you back $8.50 -- a pretty good deal where barbecue is concerned.
[Update: While FiTR may have enjoyed eating the barbecue, neighbors upstairs are apparently pissed at the smoke smells that have inundated their apartments, according to EV Grieve, which quotes one: "Our apartments and hallways reek of barbecue, all the way to the top floor -- It's coming up through the radiators, walls and floors." Supposedly, the barbecue revolution we're now experiencing is a result of effective "scrubbers" which can eliminate air pollution from smokers. Apparently not in this case.]
Last Thursday a new barbecue opened in the East Village. One might assume that it would be awful. Au Contraire, it's pretty good. Replacing Dutch bistro Vandaag at the corner of Second Avenue and East 6th Street, Mighty Quinn's is another of those places that make brisket the centerpiece of a seriously smoky menu. In fact the smoker thrusts its nose into the dining room like a locomotive crashing through a wall. In the back, a crew labors over dozens of briskets at once in a glassed-in room. This is a place serious about its brisket.
Mighty Quinn's took the neighborhood by surprise.
In common with Williamsburg's new BrisketTown, the briskets are long smoked at Mighty Qunn's, from 16 to 20 hours. Is there such a thing as smoking a brisket too long? I leave that up to you, but there is something gelatinous about the texture of the fat in Mighty Quinn's brisket. This is not a bad thing, but it does render the cut of meat different from Hill Country's. One of the best things about Quinn's is the price, with small platters of single meats costing only $7 to $9.
The spare ribs are worth ordering, a bit dainty and scented with cumin. Not as good as the brisket, but providing plenty of solid rib pleasure for the price. The only thing I didn't like was the sausage, which is pale and limpid and low on flavor. The beans with burnt brisket edges are spectacular, the creamy and un-creamy cole slaws fine. Didn't try the edamame salad though, nor did I sample the beef ribs, which they were out of when I dined at Mighty Quinn's.
This place -- which evolved out of a Smorgasburg stand -- is destined to be a great dining asset to the neighborhood.
Mighty Quinn's 103 Second Avenue 212-677-3733
The pork spare ribs, with pickles and pickled purple onions
The beans are delicious, the sausage less so.
At work on the briskets in the back room prior to smoking
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to New York dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.