Get Jackson Jeffreys talking about his burgers — it isn’t hard, given his gregarious personality — and you can’t help but pick up on his enthusiasm.
He’ll proudly tell you that burgers are his food truck’s signature item, for starters, and that he sampled ground beef from nearly a dozen local farms before settling on Lane Angus Beef, an eighth generation family-owned farm in northeastern North Carolina. He’ll go on to explain that the beef is grass-fed and grain-finished, and that he gets it “straight from the farm, never frozen.”
After tracking down the Jeffreys Grill truck recently at Jordan Lake Brewing Co. in Cary and devouring one of those burgers (with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mayo), I can confirm that Jeffreys’ pride is justified. These are old-school burgers, quarter-pound patties (order a half-pounder and you get two patties) seared on a flattop grill. Served on a sesame seed bun with your choice of toppings (all the usual suspects, plus bacon and/or egg for a $1 upcharge), they come wrapped in foil to keep the burger warm and the bun soft.
Burgers may be the main attraction, but they’re by no means the only one. Jeffreys readily admits that he doesn’t smoke the Eastern style pork on the barbecue sandwich he sells. He gets it from Carlie C’s in Dunn, which he describes as “a great grocery store for local NC items.”
“We just add our Carolina BBQ sauce and slaw, and that’s it,” he adds. The result will make you think seriously about driving to Dunn to pick up a pound or two, then begging for a little of Jeffreys’ sauce and slaw to tide you over until the next time you can get to the truck.
The Knightdale native also speaks with relish about his hot dogs, which feature the distinctive Bright Leaf brand red hot dogs made by Carolina Packers in Smithfield. (If you’re beginning to detect deep roots in eastern North Carolina, you’re on the right track.)
”Where I grew up,” he explains, “there ain’t no other hot dog but Bright Leaf.” He also uses Bright Leaf chili, which you can get on your dog (add mustard, onions and slaw for a Carolina style “all the way” dog), or a burger, or on the truck’s popular chili cheese fries.
The chicken strip sandwich that Jeffreys says is another best-seller was sold out by the time I got to the truck. After hearing his tantalizing description — he sears the chicken in bacon grease left on the grill after he cooks up a batch of bacon for burgers and BLTs — I’m craving it almost as much as I am another one of those burgers.
Guess you could say that once you’ve sampled the wares on Jeffreys’ food truck, his enthusiasm is contagious.
Prices: sandwiches $3 (hot dog) to $10 (1/2 pound burger), chili cheese fries $3