Popular New More Than Q Barbecue Company Offers Texas-Style BBQ and Southern-Style Sides
BEST BARBECUE: “We use only fresh seasonal ingredients and select cuts of meat, making our delicious Texas-style barbecue the perfect Barbecue Experience.” John Procaccini (left) and Matt Martin, owners of More Than Q Barbecue Company, stand beside “Bubba,” their special steer mascot.
By Jean Stratton
That unmistakable wood-smoked aroma, the unique flavor, the tasty texture… indeed, barbecue in all its forms appears to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue — literally and figuratively!
Increasing in popularity all the time, with new restaurants springing up all over the country, it is said to be more popular in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world.
One of the latest eateries to emerge is More Than Q Barbecue Co., located at 3522 Route One North in The Square at West Windsor shopping center. Opened June 30, it is owned by John Procaccini, “Z” Pappas, and Matt Martin.
Known for their success in establishing many restaurants in the Princeton area, including Osteria Procaccini, Trattoria Procaccini, and Pj’s Pancake House, among others, Procaccini and Pappas continue to look for new dining experiences for their clientele. More Than Q is the 10th restaurant under the auspices of their restaurant management and consulting company, Gretalia.
“We were looking to move in a different direction, something unique,” explains Procaccini. “I love barbecue, but I didn’t know how to do barbecue. ‘Z’ and I looked all over, checking out different barbecue places, and then we found Matt in Lambertville.”
Pitmaster Matt Martin had founded More Than Q Barbecue Company in 2014, and owns two establishments, one in Lambertville and another in Easton, Pa. He has an established reputation for offering high quality Texas-style barbecue, and he was looking for a new opportunity.
“It was perfect timing,” he points out. “I had been looking for a new location, and Princeton was definitely on the radar.”
The space, almost next door to Trader Joe’s, was available, and Procaccini is very pleased with the location. “It’s a big draw being so near to Trader Joe’s and in this mall. There’s a lot of traffic here, and we have been getting people right from the start. We are very encouraged.”
More Than Q’s specialty is its Texas-style barbecue, which customers can’t seem to get enough of. “Our barbecue is dry-rubbed, and then smoked over oak or hickory wood,” explains Martin, who had specialized in fine dining and retail management with Whole Foods, before discovering his love of barbecue.
“Matt elevates the barbecue,” observes Procaccini. “This is upscale barbecue. We are set apart by Matt’s expertise and by our own special recipes.”
Among the customer favorites are smoked ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. Choices can also be sliced or on-the-bone, and pulled chicken, wings, and sausage are also available
The aroma of the smoking process often fills the restaurant, adding to the anticipation, as customers select either platters or sandwiches. Among the latter, the cornmeal-encrusted fried chicken sandwich is a big favorite.
Also, among the “More” in the More Than Q is the Goldman Triple bacon-wrapped hot dog, as well as the ever popular Chili Dog. Soups and salads are on the menu, with Jambalaya soup and the Kale and Brussels Salad with buttermilk chive dressing especially popular.
“Our sides are Southern-style,” reports Martin, “and include grits, collard greens, corn bread, mac & cheese, MTQ baked beans, and coleslaw.”
Garnishes include fresh house pickles (cucumber and red onion), fried pickles, and pickled cucumber. If customers wish, they can choose South Carolina Mustard BBQ sauce and Carolina BBQ sauce, among others.
Desserts are not forgotten at More Than Q, and favorites include the Homemade Banana Puddin’, seasonal cobblers, and Bourbon Buttermilk Tassies. Desserts are made in house at Pj’s Pancake House & Bakery in Kingston. Boylan’s sodas, tea, and bottled water are popular beverages.
A Q Kids Menu is available, and also customers appreciate the attractive presentation of all the dishes. This is important to the owners, and it extends to the appealing and comfortable down-to-earth decor and atmosphere in the restaurant, including photos of steers, and the cut oak and hickory logs, which are placed on shelves in plain sight of the customers.
“This offers both form and function,” notes Martin, referring to the logs. “It’s a place to keep the wood, and something for customers to notice.”
Prices start at $8 for the Kids Menu, hot dogs from $8, sandwiches at $10, and platters in the $15 and up range.
The virus is uppermost on everyone’s mind these days, and restaurants, especially, are coping with an assortment of often-changing rules and regulations. New Jersey is now allowing indoor dining, with appropriate safety precautions and distancing.
“We normally could accommodate 70 people,” says Procaccini, “but now, we can only have 25 percent capacity, with customers sitting at every other table. We also have outside tables, and people are enjoying that in the nice weather.”
Takeout is 95 percent of the business now, he adds, and delivery in the area and catering for all size events are also available.
Safety and proper sanitation have always been a priority for Procaccini and Martin, and they have adhered to high standards in their restaurants. “We have always been conscious of the importance of sanitation, and now, in addition, we follow all the state regulations, including everyone, customers and staff, wearing masks. The customers are very sensitive to this, and very careful.”
More Than Q is off to such a great start that the owners have high hopes for the future, and they look forward to even more dining projects. “What I really enjoy is the next restaurant, the next opening,” says Procaccini. “It’s always a new challenge, a new adventure.”
Adds Martin, “I enjoy the risk factor, taking a concept, seeing it in its infancy, and then watching it grow. It’s pretty amazing. Both of us look forward to the virus being over and also never being out of the growth mode. We’re looking forward to new projects and new opportunities for our customers.”
More Than Q is open seven days, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Opportunities include online ordering, takeout, and now both indoor and outdoor dining. (609) 642-4770. Website: www.getforky.com.