Where to find Triple E’s Eatery, South Lansing’s food truck with viral fame
Cooking for others has been a part of Eddie Jones’ life since he was 14 years old.
He made his grill debut at Ida’s Southside Carryout in Lansing – now Lewis Pizza & Liquor – then enrolled in Chicago Culinary School and made a stint to train chefs in Florida. He returned to Lansing in 2010 and opened Berdt’s Family Restaurant, but closed a year later in part due to the fallout from the Great Recession. He secured a chef position for Michigan State University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter, where he worked for eight years until the fellowship slashed its budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, at 47, Jones is embarking on a new adventure: a food truck.
He got the idea after seeing an old UPS truck for sale last year. Without a job for the first time in a decade at a time when few restaurants were hiring, he spent the year adjusting the truck with his cousin, installing a grill and fryers. Finally, on August 26, he opened his first restaurant on wheels, Triple E’s Eatery.
âWhen he told me it was made from an old UPS truck, I didn’t believe him,â said Jones’s daughter Britany, his first customer. “I was so proud of him. He has come a long way and always wanted to have a restaurant.”
The truck takes its name from Jones’ first name and two middle names, Eddie Earl Ezell. The menu consists of standard food truck fare – burgers, chicken, cheese fries, tacos. Many dishes share ingredients, to keep costs down. Jones’ daughter praised the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwich.
At lunch, Jones parks near the neighborhood offices and malls. At night, it is often found near Short Stop Liquor on Mt. Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and occasionally in Okemos and East Lansing. It opens for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight or until food runs out, whichever comes first. He displays his position on his personal account Facebook page.
Already, Jones is attracting repeat customers.
âMy first opening I was on the corner of MLK and Holmes right across from Burger King. My daughter, brother and an older lady ordered,â he recalls.
This same older woman has returned several times since, he said.
âWe have regular customers who are looking for his truck and people who come regularly,â Britany said. “He has people who live near him and they walk around there.”
Eventually, Jones wants to take his truck north to Blessing of the Bikes, a motorcycle festival in Baldwin, or to Traverse City for the hot air balloon festival.
âIf I had a restaurant, I couldn’t do it,â he said.
Melody Teodoro-Kurtis tried Jones’ food on September 16 and said her personality was apparent on the menu. She posted an article about her experience on the Lansing Foodies Facebook group, where over 80 members talked about Jones’ truck and over 700 “liked” her. informal review.
Teodoro-Kurtis and her husband Ray often frequent small restaurants and food trucks, preferring to dine on a budget. They ate at Mr. Corned Beef and Shorty’s barbecue, among others, promoting their favorites in the 24,000 member Facebook group.
Jones’ truck was another stop on this trip.
âIt’s true it was American kind, like burgers, but the way his menu stood out was the first thing that impressed me,â Teodoro-Kurtis said. “It’s like this person knows what they’re doing with the flavors.”
Jones also serves healthy, vegetarian options like wraps, veggie burgers, and grilled veggies.
But its biggest sellers are the calorie-packed dishes: the Michigan Philly sandwich, Hawaiian barbecued chicken wings, and hand-breaded chicken fillets.
And to drink: Kool-Aid.
âNot everyone wants pop all the time,â Jones said of the beloved drink. “I have water, Gatorade, but people want something different.”
Britany said her father will be adding banana pudding to the menu soon. The couple often make dessert from scratch for family gatherings.
An avid hunter, Jones originally wanted to serve fresh fish and game, but regulations have excluded these items from his menu for now. However, Britany said, that won’t stop her from launching new weekly specials and customer inquiries.
âHe’s such an inspiration to me and I’m so proud of what he does, the success he has and the way people respond to his food,â she said.