LAKEWOOD, Wash. — When snazzy dressed Hamhock Jones sings about his specialty burger, the Texas Queen, people listen. The music video he made for the burger that comes with a fried egg and bacon has been seen by more than 22 thousand people on Facebook and shared more than 150 times.
And now people are lining up outside the Hamhock Jones Soul Shack to sample his food.
“Soul food and soul music is a winning combination,” says Jones who’s real name is Robert Shorts. A native of Gary, Indiana, a hometown he shares with The Jackson 5, Shorts is a former nurse who offers heaping plates of catfish and chicken wings to patrons. Many customers are just happy to meet the man behind Hamhock Jones, who is in character, dressed like a boxer this particular afternoon.
“To spread love through grub throughout the land is how I leave my stamp,” says Jones, rhyming like Muhammad Ali. “So every day I knock out hunger because I am the people's champ.”
This week Jones offered to feed fifty families free cheeseburgers and fries.
The “Texas Queen” video is not Jones’ triumph alone. The Hot Hits, made up of line cook Big Bad Mama and local comedian “Queen LaBeefa”, offer support.
“Hamhock said let's do a video and Big Bad Mama and I made up the choreography there on the spot,” says LaBeefa, wearing a tiara. “We laid it down and the rest is history.”
Jones says the music videos wouldn’t be effective if customers didn’t like the food.
“You say how do I do this,” Jones says.Through a tasty dish. First the fries will stop the cries. Then that fish gonna bring the bliss.”
Naturally, I had to try some of this Hamhock Jones Soul Shack soul food.
“The sandwich is called pulled pork and grilled cheese,” I begin, taking a bite. “You don't need a fork the sandwich will please.”