Lucky Lloyd fans are getting the first taste of Lloyd Taco Factory Thursday night, selected through a sweet lottery that would have made Willy Wonka proud.
On Dec. 15, Buffalo's favorite big, green taco slingers handed out 125 chocolate bars at five of their trucks' regular lunch and dinner stops. At each stop, one custom-created chocolate Lloyd Bar also contained a “golden ticket” to a special event – a night on Lloyd at one of the most-anticipated restaurants in Buffalo.
“We’ve always been inspired by the character and vision of Willy Wonka,” said Lloyd Taco Trucks co-founder Peter Cimino. “That playfulness, imagination and of course, seeming to be an incredible businessman. Willy Wonka embodies all of the qualities we want to have.”
One of those qualities is the mystery that shrouds Wonka in the Roald Dahl book and films of the same name, and taco fans of Western New York have become equally familiar with the mystical “Lloyd” character. Cimino would neither confirm nor deny, but social media announcements of the event hinted at an appearance by “Lloyd” himself, the man who – according to myth and legend – has beaten Chuck Norris in a fight, sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re ready for some of the best street food this side of Portland.
Since 2010, Lloyd taco trucks have led the food truck movement in Buffalo. Lloyd announced plans for a brick-and-mortar restaurant when owners made an appearance on food reality show Restaurant Startup in February 2015. After the show, an April 2015 open was mentioned, but progress was slower than anticipated. Construction has proceeded quietly since then, with Lloyd releasing little information on what would be happening behind those brown-papered doors. Customers have wondered every time they drove by 1503 Hertel Ave.
Those five lucky ticketholders are going to have to make hard decisions about who their real friends are. Then they will be admitted to the new Lloyd Taco Factory on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. Those five will be allowed to bring two or three friends for “a tour of the taco factory with us explaining what we do, a fantastic meal and as many drinks as you can hold down,” Cimino said.
The tour will include exclusive peeks at the tortilla room, where Lloyd taco creators make each tortilla from scratch.
“Corn to tortilla, we wanted to make them completely from scratch,” Cimino explained. “And working out how to do that, well and efficiently, that’s been one of the things we’ve really been working on.”
As for the famous chocolate waterfall, not even Lloyd has worked out how to liquify corn but for a lucky 25 on Thursday, Cimino laughed, “whiskey will have to do.”