When Mighty Quinn’s BBQ opened in New York nearly a decade ago, the city was hardly a hotbed for barbecue. Fast forward to today and you can find some of the country’s finest smoked meats scattered across the five boroughs. ‘MQ’ played an outsized role in that evolution as its footprint expanded. Eventually locations cropped up in the surrounding suburbs (and even Dubai). And thanks to Goldbelly, you can have it delivered to your doorstep anywhere in the United States.
Signature items such as tender, juicy brisket, perfectly charred burnt ends, and the almost comically-oversized brontosaurus ribs, all arrive no worse for the wear. The delivery service specializes in preserving flavors from high-end vendors. Items can make an overnight journey from the East Coast to the Hawaiian islands in cryovac packaging and offer identical flavors on either ends of the flight.
It’s become an increasingly popular option during the coronavirus shutdowns of 2020. But MQ co-founder Micha Magid is interested in providing more than just well-sauced proteins to the masses. He’s looking to help those in need.
Earlier this year he partnered with Dine 11 to get free meals into the hands of New York’s frontline healthcare workers. The non-profit was created this year specifically to support the beleaguered medical community. Mighty Quinn had already been engaged in charitable endeavors, dishing out free sandwiches to medical professionals from multiple locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To date, thousands of meals have been provided without charge.
Like all food service ventures, Mighty Quinn’s has taken a tremendous financial hit. And it happened right at a time when the business was aggressively pursuing a franchise model, with plans for a handful of new locations across the US. Fortunately, they had been working with the Goldbelly for several years prior to the pandemic. So when in-room dining shutdown overnight, shifting to the alternative revenue stream was a less clunky affair. Indeed, for many restaurants with similar name recognition, platforms such as Goldbelly served as the sole lifeline during the first few months of lockdown.
In the case of Mighty Quinn, Magid was able to retain kitchen staff and even transition some front of house personnel into shipping specialists. It was necessary, as orders started pouring in from across the country. Today you can order a whole brisket—smoked for 22 hours—for $209. It’ll be shipped to you for free within 2 days, along with a complimentary bottle of their homemade BBQ sauce. All in all, that’s enough meat to feed a family of five—for four straight nights.
There are, of course, so many sizable hurdles on the road to restaurant recovery. For Mighty Quinn, all of its locations in the Tri-State area remain closed to in-room dining. Takeout and no-contact delivery are the working model for the foreseeable future. Locally based fans are undoubtedly counting down the days until they can pull up a chair and smell the smoker wafting its splendor across the room. In the meantime, it’s nice to know that no matter where you are in the country, you can re-create some of that magic in your home kitchen. And you’ll also be helping to feed a few unknown heroes while you do.