COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — This local soul food joint aims to please. Ed’s Southern Cooking owner William Jackson has been in the soul food business for eight years. He said the goal is to provide the best options for his customers.

To Jackson, this means focusing on well-seasoned menu items cooked in-house.

“I’m not a fast-food restaurant person and I enjoy home-cooked food. So, I just wanted to be in the home-cooked food restaurant business,” said Jackson.

He explained client interest in pork has declined over the years, so his restaurant shifted to other options for their meals, often using chicken-based seasonings.

As customers waited in line to be served their meals, rows of multi-colored cakes, cornbread muffins pilled high, chicken, sweet potatoes and collard greens filled the case in front of them. It was “Fantastic Friday,” according to the restaurant’s menu.

The restaurant has a special alliterative name for their menu every day of the week, like “Meaty Monday,” “Wow Me Wednesday” and “Thankful Thursday.”

Loretta Murphy, a retired military veteran now living in Columbus, visited Ed’s to pick up lunch. She told WRBL she came just for the fried catfish, which is only served on Fridays. Her to-go order also included Ed’s baked chicken and dressing.

“The atmosphere is friendly,” said Murphy, who added she appreciated the quick service at Ed’s. She also noted the restaurant delivers on well-seasoned soul food.

Like Murphy, most customers during Ed’s noon lunch rush took their orders to-go, with a few sitting down at the simple tables in the restaurant’s dining room.

Some were newcomers, others consistent customers. One man in a construction vest explained to the cashier it was his first-time in. Another man in a construction vest had brought him and paid for his meal.  

Jackson said this is not his first restaurant, having been in the business for the past 33 years, but Ed’s is special.

Soul food, he said, is the greatest food there is. According to Jackson, there’s no soul food without collard greens.