Meson Sandwiches is labeled as a fast-casual chain and designated as one of the world’s top fast-casual chains by Travel + Leisure and featured on the cover of the prestigious Food & Drink International Magazine.
On May 18, instead of cutting a ribbon, Governor Rick Scott cut a sandwich to celebrate the grand opening of El Meson Sandwiches in the newer Lee Vista Promenade. The president of the restaurant, Felipe Perez, was also awarded a medal known as the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award. Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Tony Ortiz also declared May 18 as Orlando’s “Meson Sandwich Day.”
The chain restaurant first opened in Puerto Rico during 1972 and has quickly become the most rapidly growing chain restaurant on the island. This is the third location to open in Central Florida, and more locations are in works of being opened. The first location to open was at the Florida Mall back in 2015. The second location opened its doors in 2016 near Osceola Parkway. “We are delighted to have Meson Sandwiches in Orlando and know that the restaurant helps our growing Puerto Rican community feel closer to home,” stated Mayor Dyer.
According to a press release sent out by Meson Sandwiches, the opening of its sandwich shops aids in breaking the divide between culture in Central Florida and Puerto Rico. Dyer says the Hispanic community is the fastest-growing group in the area as 400,000 Puerto Ricans live in Central Florida. According to Meson’s online website, mesonsandwiches.com, the company plans to open more stores throughout the country based on the positive results so far.
“I was born there, I’ve been eating sandwiches since I was seven years old. I still love sandwiches. Right now, my favorite sandwich [you’ll try today] is called the All Pro,” said Perez. He went on to say that “Carribean flare” is added to all of their sandwiches.
One-hundred four employees are currently working for Meson Sandwiches, and the number continues to grow. The next Meson Sandwiches location slated to open is in 2019 at Gardens on Millenia.
“It offers all-day breakfast, 100 percent Arabica coffee, and an array of signature and specialty sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” stated the Meson Sandwiches press release. Vegetarian items such as baked potatoes, salads and sandwiches are also offered on the menu. All coffee is served as espresso, and the beans are grown in Puerto Rico.
I was lucky enough to indulge in the legendary food served up by the well-known sandwich shop. During their media night, I tried four of their premium sandwiches: the Caribe, Pepper Steak, All Pro, and the Medianoche. A vegetarian sandwich was also brought out for tasting. All five were no disappointment at all. My favorite was the All Pro. The savory pastrami and the sweet Virginia ham complimented each other. The meats balanced well with the Swiss cheese. Overall, my favorite side menu item was the sorullos, which are corn sticks. When dipped in the mayo and ketchup sauce, there was nothing else quite like it. My taste buds were satisfied by the stick’s slightly crunchy shell on the outside and a warm soft bite on its inside. As for the espresso, one could tailor it to their liking, whether it be with cream and sugar or straight up black. I drank two shots black, and it packed a solid punch.