El Meson: A fleet of trucks takes delectable dishes on the road

El Meson, the popular West Carrollton restaurant, has been serving up dishes from countries in Central and South America and beyond for three generations.

But you don’t have to travel for their delicious food. The restaurant has a fleet of six food trucks that will come to you.

Tatiana Lamley (left), part of the third generation of El Meson's Castro family and Parker Lenski, an El Meson employee, work in one of the restaurant's food trucks. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Tatiana Lamley (left), part of the third generation of El Meson's Castro family and Parker Lenski, an El Meson employee, work in one of the restaurant's food trucks. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Festivals, the food truck mainstay, have been canceled due to the pandemic, but co-owner Bill Castro said neighborhood and private organizations crave to have food trucks roll in.

The El Meson trucks are managed by his sister, Marie Castro, who can customize menus for individual events. “We are like chameleons, Bill said.

This week we feature El Meson in our food truck spotlight to help the community get to know the stories behind some of Dayton’s most beloved food trucks.

Name of food truck: El Meson Food Truck.

When did business begin? The El Meson restaurant began in 1978 and the food trucks in 2010.

El Meson's Cuban Sandwich is the best seller on its fleet of food trucks. The sandwich is made with ham, pork, cheese, pickles, mayo and aji sauce, El Meson's homemade salsa. LISA POWELL / STAFF
El Meson's Cuban Sandwich is the best seller on its fleet of food trucks. The sandwich is made with ham, pork, cheese, pickles, mayo and aji sauce, El Meson's homemade salsa. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

What is your signature dish and why is it special?

The Cuban Sandwich is our version of a typical south Florida and Cuban sandwich

Who are the owners?

There are three generations of Castro family running the business founded 42 years ago. Herman and Gloria started it, their children, Bill and Marie Castro took over and now Marie’s children, Stefen and Tatiana Lamley are involved in the business.

What is the inspiration behind the name?

El Meson describes a type of restaurant in Spain. It is the name of our business and the legacy of the Castro family.

What’s the make and model of your vehicle?

We have six food trucks in total and are all different based on the need of the event. Among the trucks are a former utility van, a mail truck and a short school bus.

El Meson has a fleet of six food trucks, each one a different model and size. LISA POWELL / STAFF
El Meson has a fleet of six food trucks, each one a different model and size. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The best thing about operating a food truck?

Going out to the public and feeling the love.

The hardest thing about operating a food truck?

Never knowing how many guests will order what, and the weather.

Food truck or personal motto?

Si Se Puede.... Yes we can....

Marie Castro (right) and her daughter, Tatiana Lamley, run the El Meson food trucks. The restaurant, founded by Marie's parents, Herman and Gloria Castro, has six food trucks in its fleet. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Marie Castro (right) and her daughter, Tatiana Lamley, run the El Meson food trucks. The restaurant, founded by Marie's parents, Herman and Gloria Castro, has six food trucks in its fleet. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Do you have gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan options?

Yes, and menus for events can be customized.

What is the best way people can find you/contact you? There is a link on the El Meson website for information and to book a food truck.

Can organizations or neighborhoods hire you?

Yes, the pandemic has created a new-found need and we are filling the void for neighborhood events

What are the details and the cost?

We work with neighborhood groups and home-owner associations in exchange for them to organize and market the event.

El Meson's house margarita is available on its food trucks. The 16-ounce drink sells for $18.  LISA POWELL / STAFF
El Meson's house margarita is available on its food trucks. The 16-ounce drink sells for $18. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Other dishes on your menu

  • Burrito Bowls
  • Quesadillas
  • Nachos
  • Cuban Sandwiches
  • Churros
  • Tacos
  • Empanadas
  • Tachos
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