|My friend testing Mighty Quinn's signature barbecue sauce|
The restaurant chain that started as a food festival stand in one of the boroughs of New York City is now in Manila. Mighty Quinn's recently opened at the 3rd level of SM Megamall's Fashion Hall and I trooped to the unconventional barbecue joint with a couple of my buddies for lunch one random weekday. Looking like an indoor beer hall, the fast-casual format of the restaurant is designed to match the type of food that barbecue is about -- smoked on demand for well-kept juice that's not wasted on the cutting board. And you can actually see the whole spectacle upon ordering as you're required to step up to the carving station to commence it, point to a meat of your choice, and order a side or two. This quick-serve setting is something that its pitmaster, Chef Hugh Mangum, envisioned for his slow-smoked barbecue -- high quality food sans the pomp of a full-table service. At the site, the 'cue is the focus.
|Satisfied barbecue lovers|
|Order at the carving station|
|Testing Mighty Quinn's with my Dubai-based friend, John Ahmer Toledo|
Reason 1: Pitmaster Hugh Mangum Is The Rock Star of New York-style Barbecues
|Chef Hugh Mangum|
A French Culinary Institute graduate, he learned the basics of barbecue as a kid from his father who grew up himself learning the Southern craft in Texas where the first barbecue state dinner in the US is known to have happened. His fondest memories of Houston are those that involve spending time with his dad over barbecue. He is also a past champion on “Chopped", a popular cooking competition program on Food Network where chefs compete with each other by turning baskets of mystery ingredients into a three-course meal.
Chef Hugh's belief that patience and a good fire make for a great barbecue is apparent in the taste of his restaurant's slow-smoked meats. This is why his first brick-and-mortar store that remained opened to long lines in 2012 soon spawned four more locations two years later.
|The quick-serve setting also works for families.|
|Carved right before the customer|
For having the most rave reviews online, we ordered the Brisket which saved us the trouble of having to miss a banner option. It came with red onion, celery, chili and other garnishes. Smoked for up to 22 hours (the longest time intended for the line of meats), it's definitely the most difficult meat part to cook. The result, however, is an easy winner in terms of taste. The slices are consistently supple and beefy thanks to the blend of oak, apple and cherry wood used in the smoking process. The texture and sealed-in juices had us convinced that the meat is smoke-kissed and not smoke-swallowed.
"It's deeply smoky and has a hint of interesting salty finish to the ribs which worked well with its slightly sweet glaze."
Our other order of Spare Ribs also stood out in taste. It's deeply smoky and has a hint of interesting salty finish to the ribs which worked well with its slightly sweet glaze. As for the meat, it's so tender that we didn't have to use a knife to tear into it.
|The restaurant wall says it all.|
|The signature barbecue sauce of Mighty Quinn's|
"Foreign customers and locals who have dined abroad can definitely appreciate these side options."
I've previously dined solo at the restaurant and loved my order of Buttermilk Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Almonds, so it's something that I also highly recommend you order. It's the side that will likely satisfy the Pinoy palate. I also enjoyed my dessert of the Bread Pudding, a vanilla ice cream-topped banana pudding.
To make our meal extras complete, we ordered Dirty Rice and a small bowl of fresh-cut fries which were both a fancy complement to the heavyweight orders.
These three reasons are hopefully enough to convince you that a visit of Mighty Quinn's is worth your time. Here's to hoping that your upcoming meal at the restaurant is going to be as tasty as ours!
|Bread Pudding dessert|
Photography By Michael Gracer
Mighty Quinn's Philippines
Official website of Mighty Quinn's
Official Mighty Quinn's PH Facebook fan page
Address: 3rd Level, SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
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