Meet the man who’s been grilling up delicious wings, ribs and fish at Courthouse Square

Credit: Lisa Powell

Courtland's Mobile Grill was founded by Guy C. Ansley in 2006.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Courtland’s Mobile Grill talks about his recipes and the inspiration behind their names

A couple blocks before Courthouse Square, wood smoke fills the air. That appetizing aroma is created by Guy C. Ansley as he bathes spare ribs in his own sauce on a smoker fired by cherry wood.

The founder of Courtland’s Mobile Grill has been a downtown Dayton regular for nearly a decade. Talk to him about his recipes and you’ll learn many are lovingly named after family members.

Guy C. Ansley founded Courtland’s Mobile Grill in 2006. He is a staple on Courthouse Square and around Dayton and is known for his ribs, fish, wings and tenders. LISA POWELL / STAFF

He likes to cook but really loves to see customers enjoying his food. He keeps an eye out as they take a seat for lunch. “Oh man, he’s really tearing that up,” he’ll say from the trailer he works out of.

Explore10 Dayton food trucks you should know

Ansley’s first job was at a Wendy’s when he was 18-years-old. He moved up the ranks and to other restaurant corporations before buying a food trailer in 2006. “It’s a 24-7 job,” he said.

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

Guy C. Ansley smokes ribs each Friday and by request. Ansley founded Courtland’s Mobile Grill in 2006. He is a staple on Courthouse Square and around Dayton and is known for his ribs, fish, wings and tenders. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Name of food truck: Courtland’s Mobile Grill

When did business begin?

I started around 1997 selling dinners from home on the weekends. In 2006, I purchased a food trailer and set up at Delphi, night clubs, festivals, flea markets and areas around Dayton.

What is your signature dish and why is it special?

Our signature item would be the Holly Sauce with wings and tenders. The sweet and spicy sauce — my own recipe — is named after my daughter.

Holly wings with fries from Courtland's Mobile Grill. The dish is made with special "Holly Sauce," named after the founder's daughter, and comes with fries and a roll. Guy C. Ansley founded Courtland’s Mobile Grill in 2006. He is a staple on Courthouse Square and around Dayton and is known for his ribs, fish, wings and tenders. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Who is the owner?

Guy C. Ansley is the owner and has 24 years of management experience in quick-service restaurants and six years of management experience in buffet-style restaurants.

What is the inspiration behind the name?

It’s my middle name. My mother said it was her favorite name — at least she said that when I complained about it. 🤣

ExplorePurely Sweet Bakery: ‘Treat truck’ is loaded with tempting baked goods you won’t believe are gluten free

What’s the make and model of your vehicle?

We work out of a 2003 concession trailer that is towed by a 1997 refurbished U-haul.

The best thing about operating a food truck?

What I like best about working a food truck is it helps with my social anxiety 😂

The hardest thing about operating a food truck?

The hardest thing about working a food truck is the weather. The weather will cancel events, the weather overworks your coolers and freezers, the weather will freeze your gas line and it will freeze your waterline. So yeah, it’s the weather. Since we live in Ohio this can happen in a 24-hour period.

Food truck or personal motto?

Keep it simple, make it fresh.

Guy C. Ansley founded Courtland’s Mobile Grill in 2006. He is a staple on Courthouse Square and around Dayton and known for his ribs, fish, wings and tenders. LISA POWELL / STAFF

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

We’re working on a gluten-free vegetarian menu but at this point we do not offer any. We do have a chicken cranberry salad.

ExploreBILLIE GOLD BUBBLE TEA: Refreshing flavors, vibrant colors and popping boba make this food truck a Dayton favorite

What is the best way people can find you/contact you?

The best way to contact us is by calling 937-510-0832 after 3 p.m. You can also reach us on Facebook.

Can organizations or neighborhoods hire you?

Yes, we do work neighborhoods. There’s usually no cost if there’s a minimum of 75 entrees.

Guy C. Ansley founded Courtland’s Mobile Grill in 2006. He is a staple on Courthouse Square and around Dayton and is known for his ribs, fish, wings and tenders. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Other dishes on your menu?

  • Whiting fish sandwich
  • Tilapia fish sandwich
  • Cheesesteak
  • Chicken Philly
  • Betty Burger
  • Wings and chicken tenders
  • Ribs on Friday and upon request
  • Side items vary from day to day and include collard greens, mac and cheese, fried okra, french fries and coleslaw.

If you are a Dayton area food truck and would like to be considered for a profile, please email Lisa Powell at lisa.powell@coxinc.com.

In Other News