Hometown Eats: Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 4:27 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With spring on the horizon, people start thinking about festivals. What goes with festivals? Food trucks! One you need to be on the lookout for is Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs in the Roanoke Valley. We check them out in this week’s Hometown Eats!

“When I’m going to bed at night, I’m going over recipes just to come up with something different,” said owner Ken Etzler.

It’s not sugar plums and lollypops bouncing around Ken’s head, he’s dreaming of something much more savory.

“Hamburgers, hotdogs, barbecue sandwiches, tater tots, nacho cheese chili, baked beans,” listed Etzler.

You find all that and much more inside Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs.

“Meatballs in there too today, we do BLTs on request. We do a really good plant-based burger,” added Etzler.

A little something for everybody, it’s exactly what Ken and his wife Jayne aim to do with this red and yellow food trailer since he retired from AT&T in 2020.

“We had a food cart but once I retired we upgraded to the truck and we just love it,” said Etzler.

That love of cooking really took off with Ken’s twin sons always having their hungry friends over at the house.

“They were all, way back in the day, saying you need to sell this stuff, this is really good food. That’s kind of where it started,” explained Etzler.

All those mornings and afternoons cooking for hungry teenagers kicked the tires on a food journey that makes stops at weddings, festivals, churches, and even TV stations to get a taste of what Ken calls.

“The best food in town!” Etzler exclaimed.

Much of that statement rests on the chili, it goes on just about everything.

“The tater tots, the nachos, the hot dogs, the hamburgers, we have a barbecue burger that we top with he chili. It’s an all-purpose chili but it started as the hot dog chili,” said Etzler.

But you better not lollygag when you see this trailer, that chili goes quick.

“We sell out of it every time we set up. People come back and buy tubs of it and I can argue it’s the best hot dog chili in Roanoke,” Etzler said proudly.

“People rave over the burgers, we call it a bar burger. We load it up. The barbecue, we don’t skimp on that. We have a big mound of barbecue and people like that too. You get your money’s worth,” said Etzler.

But there’s something very different about the barbecue from Ken and Jayne’s, it’s smoked with peaches.

And since we’re at WDBJ, I had to call in some backup in the form of Brent Watts who wasn’t ready for that sweet barbecue.

“Peaches! I love peaches! That’s why it’s so sweet, that’s so good! I’ve never heard of that!” Exclaimed Brent Watts.

“I like to see people enjoy the food. To me, that’s important,” said Etzler.

You’ll find Ken and Jayne on weekends mostly around the Roanoke Valley doing what makes them happiest.

“I just love doing it. It’s simple. It’s just fun,” said Etzler.

Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs, a hometown eat you’ll dream about.

Make sure to follow the Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs Facebook page to see exactly where they’ll be with their the food truck.