Side dishes play a particularly important role in barbecue concepts, which are steeped in Southern tradition and base their menu on indulgent smoked meats. New York–based Mighty Quinn’s is playing in that sandbox, but also developing sides that provide something completely different than other barbecue concepts.

“It’s our opportunity to do something better and different than traditional barbecue, and provide side dishes that are light, fresh, acidy, salty, and balanced—to incorporate all flavor components as opposed to being heavy on heavy,” says Hugh Mangum, cofounder and pit master at Mighty Quinn’s.

The fast casual’s side menu features pomme frites, buttermilk broccoli salad, sweet potato casserole, and sweet corn fritters, among other things. There’s also a Dirty Frites option, which piles the fries with burnt ends, chile lime sauce, red onions, and scallions.

Mangum says that while most barbecue concepts are focused entirely on the meats, he and his team wanted to get creative with the whole menu. They also wanted to recognize their guest demographic, which is “a melting pot of individuals with all different taste preferences.”

“As an example, we recently rolled out our Kale Slaw as a potential healthy alternative to balance out a heavy meat like a brisket or pulled pork, and surprisingly it is exceeding expectations,” Mangum says. “They like the balance of having something light to complement the fullness of a smoked meat.”

Fast Casual, Menu Innovations, Story