Meson Sandwiches is the largest family-owned, fast-casual restaurant company in
Puerto Rico. In 1972, a retired police officer traveled to New York City and fell in love with Jewish delis. He loved the concept of sandwiches brimming with meats and goodies,
served in warm, homemade bread. He particularly liked the fact that many of these
sandwiches had cabbage instead of lettuce, which adds texture to the sandwich. He
brought the Jewish deli concept to Puerto Rico and infused it with Caribbean flavors.
It was a hit.
The first restaurant was located at beach shack in Aguadilla, in the northwestern tip
of Puerto Rico. Aguadilla is a surfers’ beach town, known for great waves, which
brings in visitors from all over the world. The shop attracted many American and
international surfers, who did not hesitate to give their input about what they liked
and didn’t. Often, they would order their own creations, combining ingredients in a
way the owner had not thought of. They also wanted vegetarian options ,
something virtually unheard of in Puerto Rico at the time. Felipe Perez Sr. listened
and complied with the requests. That is how the Surfer Sandwich came to be.
The Surfer Sandwich has soy salami, Swiss cheese, American cheese, pickles,
peppers, onions, cabbage, tomatoes and mayonnaise, served on whole-wheat criollo
bread. Criollos is Meson’s signature bread -similar to French bread but softer, with a
hint of sweetness.
You can also order the surfer sandwich’s goodness on a baked potato instead of
bread. The same is true for any of our sandwiches. Just say the word, we’ll turn
them into the most creative and delicious baked potato you’ve ever had.
As Meson grew and expanded, they noticed that there was one item on the menu
that was not a sandwich, that kept on bringing in repeat customers: our serious
coffee . We use only 100 percent Arabica coffee beans grown in Puerto Rico’s central
mountain region by family growers.
Unfortunately, hurricane Maria destroyed the crops, and now Meson depends on
what they had in storage. But farmers are resilient. They have dealt with
hardship before and always come on top. They have started new crops from scratch,
not to let the Puerto Rico coffee culture and tradition die.
Many of guests prefer to pair their sandwiches with “sorullos” instead of French
fries. That is definitively an island thing. “Sorullos” are sweet and salty, crispy corn
sticks, ready to be dipped in mayo-ketchup sauce. Every Puerto Rican knows what
that is: a delicious mix of mayo and ketchup with a hint of lime. Please try it out. It
will change any preconceived ideas you might have about these simple ingredients.
The company prides itself on serving fresh and delicious food at
affordable prices. In 2012 El Mason was named one of the best fast-casual restaurants in the world by Travel + Leisure and Buzzfeed told readers that checking us out was a must when visiting Puerto Rico.
May 18th was declared Meson Sandwiches’ day in Orlando by the city beautiful
mayor, Buddy Dyer. Puerto Rico-based El Meson Sandwiches opened at The Florida Mall, Vineland Premium Outlets and Lee Vista Promenade.
For more information stop by any of the locations of visit on-line www.mesonsandwiches.com