Street Tacos and Humble Beginnings

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There was a time in our childhood where we would play on the neighborhood streets with our closest friends. And after a long day of pretending to save humanity from a legion of space dinosaurs, a monster appetite would develop. Rather than coming home to being forced a serving of boiled Brussel sprouts, those of us who grew up with street-food would dig out the wad of change in our pockets and hand it over in exchange for a comforting meal. These food trucks and street food vendors have been with us for years; to fuel our crazy adventures while their owners chased their own crazy dreams. That is why here in East Lansing, El Oasis has been serving authentic Mexican dishes for over fourteen years, and has been regarded as one of the best around town.  

El Oasis serves up a variety of foods from its classic lengua tacos to its tortas. All the ingredients are prepared every morning before opening hours. This includes the chunks of steak that are grilled and layered onto their tacos, and the fresh limes that are sliced and squeezed onto its succulent lengua tacos. It is also heavily recommended to eat at their current location at E. Michigan Ave. and admire the vibrant flower garden that makes the view, which are grown and tended to by the founding member of the establishment, Mrs. Gutierrez. To top off your food experience, level up your meal with a bottle of Jarritos for a refreshing kick.

The story of El Oasis started with a young six-year-old girl who was selling fruits in Mexico. This girl, who would later be known as Mrs. Gutierrez, had a passion for food and sharing its flavors with the world. This passion would stay with her even when she ventured across the country to Ohio, where her food truck business would finally start.

“We never started this business with the intention of a being a rich and successful franchise,” Said Ricardo Gutierrez, the son of Mrs. Gutierrez who has worked at El Oasis since he was a child. Now, what seemed like an idea to sell food out of a small 10×10 truck has doubled in size. At El Oasis, food prepared with love and passion is always a guarantee. There are no secret eleven herbs and spices or treasured krabby patty formulas that give this food truck its edge, but a team of cooks who share the same bond for food as Mrs. Gutierrez does.

Ngai Lum (Ben) Neoh is a senior double majoring in psychology and kinesiology pursuing a career in sport psychology. However, he is a firm advocate on finding multiple passions, especially those that are expressive. If he’s not running around MSU’s campus, you can find him sneakily obsessing over pictures of pugs.

Tags: East Lansing, El Oasis, Lansing, lansing restaurants, restaurant of the month, tacos