King’s BBQ and Soul relocates to West Campus

Stephen Acevedo

In a city where Central Texas-style barbecue is regarded as religion, one brave Mississippi man is serving up ’cue in the style of his home state. 

Starting this Tuesday, Malcolm King’s food truck, King’s BBQ and Soul, will start selling Mississippi-style barbecue and made-from-scratch soul food to the carnivores of West Campus. Although King has been operating his business for close to two years now, it had always been a goal of his to relocate to the campus area. 

“I’ve always been really fond of UT and the Longhorns,” King said. “I even painted my truck orange two years ago.”

King said he wanted to bring his home state’s style of barbecue to Austin to add a bit of spice to the city’s barbecue selection. 

“Mississippi barbecue is not that hot,” King said. “It’s more like a toned-down, well-seasoned and not-so-spicy type of barbecue. In Texas, they like more of a peppery taste with a kick.”

King said his first couple of months in West Campus will serve to test what does and doesn’t work, and then he’ll adjust accordingly. He even plans to put up a suggestion board for people to recommend different types of soul food they want to see on the menu. 

“I slow cook my brisket, I slow cook my ribs — so everything is pretty juicy and tender,” King said. “The ribs are so tender they’re about to fall off the bone. You don’t need teeth to eat it.”

The food at King’s BBQ and Soul is clearly coming from someone who knows what they’re doing both in the kitchen and on the pit. The scratch-made sides alone show off King’s cooking prowess. The baked beans are a wonderful execution of Southern-style cooking. They’re wonderfully sweet with a generous amount of slow-cooked meat throughout. It’s a nice change from the salty borracho beans Texans are used to getting with their barbecue. The macaroni and cheese is also phenomenal, albeit very simple. With nothing more than pasta and a thick gooey coat of homemade cheese, it’s like KFC mac on steroids. 

Although the meat is noticeably different from Austin barbecue, patrons are sure to appreciate the execution and flavor of it. The brisket, in particular, stands out from the rest. It’s exceptionally tender and easy to pull apart with nothing more than a light tug. The ribs are similarly tender, and although they come close to falling off the bone like King said, they still retain enough firmness to not be too mushy. Both the ribs and the brisket have a great seasoning bark on them, but it’s certainly more mild than the bark on Texas barbecue. The pork sausage is probably most similar to what Austinites typically enjoy in barbecue, with a lot more pepper throughout. 

Across the board, King’s BBQ and Soul features a great twist on Texas favorites that people are sure to get a kick out of.