by Joe Boone
For the past few months, my commute has taken me by Malia’s, a food-truck operation on Lamar between Cleveland and Bellevue. It was hit or miss as far as them being there. But I had time to stop today and am glad I did.
Owner Gregory Graham is a barbecue scion. His grandfather owned Uncle Joe’s, a barbecue place at Third and Vance.
“He had a dynasty back in the day. Way back before my time and yours too,” said Graham, who is also an affiliate broker with Crye-Leike. (This begs the question about house hunting in a truck full of smoked meat. Where else but Memphis is this even a remote possibility?)
I had the wings, which were smoked and served unadorned — my preference. They were crisped on the outside and smokey/succulent inside: obviously the product of a virtuously slow cook.
Another patron chided them on the pace, and I was glad to see them push back and remind him that they didn’t do fast food. I didn’t mind the wait of about 10 minutes. They are nice and chatty. The ride home smelled delicious, but was excruciating as I refuse to eat in the car.
Malia’s is at the Lamar location Mondays through Thursdays and at Elvis Presley and Norris on weekends.