For The Mighty Caveman In Our Lives
I initially hesitated to use the word caveman. It is Father’s Day tomorrow, I know, but what about single mothers who act both as mother and father to their kids? Not all families are of the traditional father-mother-child setting.
Cavewoman, then? Or caveperson? But then I look at the humongous Brontosaurus rib – deliciously slow-cooked for more than 10 hours – and the word caveman felt apt.
“I beg you – use your hands and bite with your mouth,” said Hugh Mangum, who turned the spotlight on barbecue when he opened the first Mighty Quinn restaurant in New York in 2012, and hopes to achieve the same cult following in Manila with his flagship branch at SM Megamall.
Patrons order at Mighty Quinn assembly-style: you line up as you do in a cafeteria; choose your meat, which can be ordered in single serving or by the pound and comes with sandwich or with dirty rice; and then choose your sides, if you want any.
The menu is equally uncomplicated: brisket (P495 for a single serving/P1,295 by the pound), burnt ends (same price as brisket), pulled pork (P485/P1,290), sausage (P435/P1,160), spare ribs (P495/P1,295), Brontosaurus rib (P1,450), and spicy chicken wings (P405 for six pieces, P685 for ten).
Named after Mangum’s first-born son, Mighty Quinn started with humble beginnings. Armed with $600, he opened a stall at Smorgasburg, the open-air weekend food market by the waterfront in Brooklyn, and served smoked brisket.
“We were sold out in 90 minutes,” he said. And that is how he started his mini-empire, which now has nine branches, including its first international branch at Ren’ai Circle in Taipei.
“Brisket is essentially what built our house,” Mangum said, describing the smoked meat like it has attitude. “You have to cook it very consistently. It’s masochism on a plate at 18 to 20 hours of smoking. If you are in a bad mood, the brisket knows.”
By Joyce Babe Pañares