I lived in St. Louis for 4 years and travelled across the American Midwest/ South and sampled the best BBQ I’ve ever had across famous BBQ cities such as Memphis, Kansas City, Houston/ San Antonio, Raleigh-Durham, Nashville, and St. Louis. So naturally when I returned to Taiwan one of the few American dishes that I often found myself craving was some good ol’ American BBQ. But that is something that is hard to come by in Taiwan. We do have the Friday’s and Chili’s type places that serve baby back ribs and what not. There are a few local BBQ joints such as Ed’s but they are very localized and not at all authentic or even good. Thus, I was very excited when I heard New York’s Mighty Quinn’s BBQ was to set up shop in Taipei. I never had Mighty’s in NYC nor ever heard of it, but to be honest I had my doubts as its a NYC BBQ joint, NYC is not known for BBQ, and the chef himself was not born and raised a southern pit-master. But prior to this I had catering from Baba Kevin’s BBQ and then I heard the cater-only company opened a store-front for lunch only and go excited. I have since been to both storefronts and had their BBQ.
Both are very accessible and within downtown.
Winner: Baba Kevin’s BBQ, by a long shot. Not only is the BBQ authentic and much better than Mighty Quinn’s, it is much more affordable and reasonably (almost cheap) priced. The service is also personal and friendly with pitmaster Kevin himself behind the counter at all times and extending a helpful hand in either English or fluent Mandarin to assist first time BBQ goers in Taiwan (American BBQ is still quite a foreign concept for Taiwanese people). The space is also unpretentious and quite frankly feels like a regular corner BBQ joint I’d find in St. Louis or Memphis. I felt right at home here. This is truly where you can experience true Southern American BBQ in Taiwan.
I will say the in-store menu is unfortunately rather limited in comparison to their catering menu, but it is after all still a one-man show, so we cant really ask too much from the already extremely personable, skillful and passionate Kevin. In-store you can choose from salad, sandwich (NT150) or platter all for NT200 with a choice of pulled-pork, brisket, lamb or chicken. Platter comes with rice-pliaf, mac n cheese, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, coleslaw. There is an additional side’s menu each at 50NT, including my favorite, creamed-corn. Additional portions of meat are at NT100, NT200 NT300.
Mighty Quinn’s is not bad, but its quite expensive not only for Taiwan, but quite frankly for BBQ as well (even state standards). The portions arent that big considering what you pay. The sides here are all very tasty and you can choose your size (small, medium, large). The bread pudding dessert was a let down. Most of the meats lacked flavor, but the best is the pulled pork and if you order beef brisket be sure to ask for slightly fattier cut otherwise it’ll be quite dry. They also lack seating, and you’ll find yourself ordering for dine-in but waiting for a seat to open up. I’d just recommend taking out if you ever swing by. This is the New York/ hipster cosmopolitan take on southern BBQ.
Both do not accept reservations.
Baba Kevin’s Barbecue
#6 Alley 115 MinSheng East Road Section 2
MRT Yellow/ Orange line to Xintian Temple station.
Mon.-Fri. 12:00pm-2:00pm; otherwise available all the time for catering
#109 RenAi Road Section 4.
MRT Blue line to Zhongxiao Dunhua or bus to Dunhua/RenAi intersection, it is on the DunHua/ Renai roundabout, next to Paul.