The Story of El Mas Chingon: a podcast

The+Story+of+El+Mas+Chingon%3A+a+podcast

Michael Cody Stephenson, Staff Writer

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Michael Stephenson: Hello, everybody. I’m Michael Stephenson. I’m a staff writer on the Talon marks newspaper at Cerritos College, and today I’m going to tell you the story of Carlos Leyva Martinez and the El Mas Chingon food truck.

I’m going to tell you about how and when this food truck started and how they were able to survive during the 2020 global pandemic and are still thriving to this day. And at some point, I’m going to review some of my favorite items off of their menu.

I begin, The world changed as we knew it during the global pandemic, a year of loss, confusion, and lots of panic, but in the face of adversity Carlos Leyva Martinez left his job at a restaurant to create a new business that he had always envisioned since his early days as a talented chef.

I introduce you to the El Mas Chingon food truck.

Carlos Leyva Martinez told me everything about where the name comes from.

“I wanted something with controversy, something that would incite excitement, and also set a standard that people would know they’re getting the best, Martinez said. El Mas Chignon translates in Spanish to the baddest motherfucker, the number one guy.”

Confidence clearly used as the key ingredient to this food truck success. There was never a doubt in the product inside the El Mas Chingon truck. After more than a decade as a head chef Martinez came to the realization that he wanted to be his own boss.

Carlos lever Martinez said, “I had been working as head chef at a restaurant for 11 years. One day I would only be working for somebody else. And I was just an employee. I wanted to work for something bigger, better, and something that was my own. That’s where my idea for a food truck came.”

 

“El Mas food truck now as the painting depicts the name and giant red letters on one side of the yellow truck was just once a blank yellow truck without a name when Martinez bought it from a previous owner fully stocked with all the equipment necessary for operating a food truck.”

Martinez told me “When you first open people don’t know you the first three or four months we didn’t have any wrap around the truck, no name. They don’t know if we sell food or something else.”

Martinez said, “Those are the difficulties of operating a food truck and they all come from the outside. The biggest hurdle of all is how and where to find paying customers and keeping a positive mindset through the tough days that are inevitable, specifically during a global pandemic.”

El Mas Chingon officially open on January 26 2021. And Carlos Leyva Martinez told me about the early days of the El Mas Chingon food truck and the struggles.

“Honestly when we opened we had really bad days,” Martinez said

“The first two months we come back to the commissary probably with $60. Sometimes I was planning to quit. But we started getting into breweries and started getting events. People liked our menu, and then people started recommending the truck and that’s how we kept going.”

That’s the power of word of mouth. And the demand for food trucks became especially important during the pandemic. New laws required breweries and other establishments to serve food to continue operating as a business.

So El Was Chingon was helping businesses stay afloat and helping families in need all at the same time.

Carlos Leyva Martinez talked about before the breweries became a thing where he was going to find paying customers.

“We were also going to apartments because people didn’t want to go outside. They were scared and they also didn’t want to spend money at restaurants. They would probably pay $70 or $80. But at food trucks you could pay $30 or $35 for a full family,” Martinez said.

That’s the El Mas Chingon food truck, accommodating to everyone.

Martinez didn’t become the chef that he is overnight. Obviously. It was a grind that started many years ago he told me.

“I came here from Mexico in 2005. And my first job here was at a Japanese restaurant. I saw how the line cooks were making the food using and all the recipes, and so I wanted to be a chef Martinez said, I started by washing dishes, then prep, then became a line cook and after that became a chef.”

I can attest the menu at El Mas Chingon speaks volumes. If you’re in the mood for tacos or burritos, they’ve got them. If you’re craving a cheeseburger, they’ve got you covered. They even have the LA style hot dog on their menu along with fish and chips. El Mas Chingon has you covered on all fronts.

I asked Carlos Leyva Martinez about where El Mas Chingon first started going and where they travel today.

“We first started in Orange County only, Martinez said but now we do events in LA San Diego Palm Springs basically where the customers pay, we’re going.”

It sounds like El Mas Chingon is going worldwide. El Mas Chignon started as a vision, a blank yellow truck and with the confidence of a talented chef inside not even a global pandemic was going to stop Martinez in his tracks. And there’s still more left to do.

Carlos Leyva Martinez told me about the goals going forward for the El Mas Chingon food truck.

“Obviously for me the goal we’re talking two or three months are planning to open an office start catering everywhere, Martinez said. That’s the goal to open an office and start catering for weddings, birthdays and big parties.”

El Mas Chingon is still thriving to this day. And with the talented chef that Carlos Leyva Martinez is the sky is the limit for how great this food truck can become.

I’m going to talk about my experiences with this food truck. They’ve been terrific. I’ve had numerous items off of the menu, but I can tell you my absolute favorite is the chicken quesadilla.

It’s either the chicken quesadilla its either the chicken quesadilla or the carne asada case quesadilla, it can be whatever quesadilla, their quesadilla is fantastic.

They also serve it with the side of French fries. Most of their stuff comes to the side of French fries and the French fries are fantastic. But the quesadilla is perfect. It has the perfect amount of cheese and meat where you get each of them in one full bite and there’s a lot of cheese in this quesadilla and it comes with the side of this green mild sauce and sour cream.

It’s some of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had have come off the El Mas Chingon food truck.

I’ve also had their carne asada burrito which comes with beans rice, lettuce, and also this green sauce that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. And you can’t forget about the side of French fries. If I were to rank this food truck I love this place. So there you have it. The El Mas Chingon food truck review brought to you by Michael Stephenson, the staff writer on the Talon marks newspaper. I’ll see you next time.