Discover King of barbecue in a Midtown food truck

by Tallahassee Table
Smoked pork, chicken, ribs, sausage and wings are on the menu at Drive-Thru BBQ

As a young man, Mike King ​observed his mom​ in the kitchen, ​and learned from her and other family members the recipes for their traditional Southern-inspired cooking and baking. But when it came to building his skills at barbecue​, ​that became a lifelong passion.

“I’ve been cooking since I was 10 or 11. I just picked it up,” said Mike, who grew up in Williston and Gainesville. “I’ve been cooking barbecue for some 30 years.”

Mike King greets customers at Drive-Thru BBQ . Photo / Tallahassee Table

He worked at barbecue restaurants in Miami and Fort Lauderdale before opening his own spots in Tallahassee, including one on Pensacola Street.

“We have been following Mr. King around Tallahassee for many years,” said one of his fans, David Plendl. “His sweet sauce is unique and so good.”

You can now find Mike either cooking or selling items such as beef, pork, fried chicken and ribs from his red food truck, Drive-Thru BBQ Soul Food Events & Catering, parked at 1334 Thomasville Rd. (at the intersection with 7th Avenue). You can get takeout or sit at the table by the truck. When it’s open, you’ll see twinkly white lights above the window for ordering.

The aroma of that pork perfume will tantalize your senses as you drive to or from Midtown. Mike generally starts his day in the predawn hours, cooking and getting everything ready for the lunch and dinner crowd.  

On a recent stop there, I had a hard time deciding what to order because there were so many tempting choicest.  I wound up getting pulled pork and shredded chicken sandwiches.

Baked beans, with a dose of sweet barbecue sauce, are a treat. Photo / Tallahassee Table

Mike won’t break down the ingredients in his sauce, but it’s his creation and he’s proud of it. I can say it doesn’t have mustard and it’s smooth and flavorful. I prefer the sweet version but he also makes a spicy one that my husband liked on his chicken sandwich. We added sides of good ‘n gooey mac ‘n cheese, baked beans with a smokey sweetness,  and for dessert, homemade bread pudding (I added whipped cream at home).

Whipped cream adds a fun finish to homemade bread pudding. Photo / Tallahassee Table

On another visit, I want to try his fried chicken, smoked ribs, wings and sausage. You can buy items a la carte or get one of his three family or group “bundles” ranging in price from $30.17 to  $42.95, which is a huge feast with a slab of ribs, five-piece chicken, five-piece sausage and four large sides, You can call in advance for special requests.

Add Drive-Thru BBQ to our list of prime food trucks.

When you go …

Drive-Thru BBQ is at the corner of 7th Avenue and Thomasville Road in Midtown; 850-321-9561; [email protected] Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.

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