Today, we’ll take a deeper look into the 2014 Food Truck Taco Of The Year Winner that is the Lloyd Taco Truck.
Childhood friends, Chris Dorsaneo and Pete Cimino knew they wanted to create something big and exciting. Neither of them had any inkling that it would be Lloyd.
While Chris studied at the University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College receiving two Associates in Science for Culinary and Pastry Arts, his passion was ignited for food creation. Culinary inspirations like David Chang and Jose Andres and culinary school mentors like Chefs Ernst Hiltbrand and Alan Tsuchiyama coached and molded him into the professional he is today.
Pete’s mathematics background has served him well in this partnership. Thankfully, he realized soon that the teaching gig out of college wasn’t his thing and turned to his life of “serial entrepreneurship.” While dabbling in several ventures, he visited Chris in Hawaii and made a point to visit Giovanni’s Original shrimp truck. “Little did I know that this unassuming, unofficial state institution was about to change our lives! Standing in line I had much time to ponder.” The idea of waiting in line was ridiculous, but Pete was taken by the “unique social atmosphere, the one that only occurs outside a food truck.” This experience made him feel connected to the food in a way he’d never experienced.
Years later, when Chris returned to Buffalo, food trucks had started to explode. The timing was right and they went to work. The concept of “Lloyd” was born.
“Lloyd,” is a 4th degree sash in the fine art of Taco Kune Do, a farmer that Pete worked for, a gnome found behind Chris’ grandmother’s garage, a flavor scientist that teaches at MIT, and a sage that left them his recipe Bible from his world travels. In reality, Lloyd is a figment of Pete’s imagination. The company needed a name and a personality. Pete’s sister Nina Barone was not only instrumental in helping them launch the truck, but boldly suggested the name “Lloyd.” Lloyd’s mission is “street food on the edge.” This means REAL food using the best ingredients one block at a time.
After launching OG Lloyd in 2010, Lloyd dos and Lloyd the III came on in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Lloyd will cater your events with their Drop Off service or Truck On Site options. With Lloyd’s growth, Chef Chris brought in CIA graduate Teddy Bryant. Both have won the Nickel City Chef contest, a local Iron Chef-style competition.
“Quite a spectacular taco!” boasts one Yelper. “The truck is full of incredibly friendly workers ready to serve up some taco goodness,” claims another. Lloyd’s customers are among the most loyal in the country. They are rewarded with incredible food after waiting in line, even in the heart of winter… Lloyd is thankful for the support they received from the Buffalo area, especially in the winter.
Lloyd offers taqueria-style street food with a Lloyd “spin.” Their favorites sound so yummy, we may have to take a quick trip to Buffalo to try them all. One favorite is the Dirty South, which is filled with Southern-style fried chicken thighs (arguably the best part of the chicken, IMHO), bacon aioli, maple syrup, baby kale, and crispy waffle chips made in Chris’ grandma’s pizzelle machine. Their other favorite is the Hombre taco made with Mexican-style chorizo, fried potatoes, fresh onion, cilantro, avocado crema and a wedge of lime. They even have a play on the infamous Big Mac, albeit a much healthier version. If it’s got the Lloyd spin, I’m IN!
It seems as if the Lloyd team has built a recipe of hard-working, fun deliciousness. They are excited every day to meet their customers and find new places to serve them. The keys to their success is KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid, adaptability, and being active in their food truck community.
We asked them where they might be in the future. They were a bit tight-lipped on their future plans, but something tells me they will continue to serve the Buffalo area and evolve and grow into something huge. Honestly, we can’t wait to see the future of Lloyd!
After their first day in operation, Pete’s friend looked at him and said, “Man, do you realize this truck is gonna be epic?” What a feeling! What a feeling, indeed!