Lloyd slips in the tongue
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 08, 2011 @ 8:41am
At Lloyd’s birthday gathering last Friday, head chef Chris Dorsaneo and co-owner Pete Cimino released a few new menu items as part of the celebration. Unlike the massive chicken burritos and braised beef tacos we’ve come to love, the new options were slightly outside-the-box and more authentic in nature. After prying Cimino’s brain for details, here’s what we learned:
Lengua tacos: (arrival time on menu: Week of Sept. 12). For some reason, Americans immediately recoil when they’re told they’re eating tongue (which is what “lengua” means). Maybe it’s the mental image of the cow’s rough, sandpaper “lapper.” Regardless, STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE. The only people who see the tongue in its uncooked state are Dorsaneo and Cimino, so they’re doing the dirty work. The meat’s flavor is very similar to prime rib, and Lloyd’s cooks sear the meat and add bay leaf, oregano and garlic. Plus, they place french fries on top to add texture and a little saltiness. Boom.
“[Americans] aren’t used to eating organ meats,” Cimino said as an explanation for folks’ initial apprehension. “But then again, what’s a fillet? It comes from a cow’s butt.”
(All photos courtesy of Buffaloeats.org; click through to their recap of the birthday party!)
Kaluha Pork: (arrival time on menu: already there!). Kaluha pork originates in Hawaii where it’s cooked in a sandpit; Lloyd presents a slightly different version—basically sans sandpit (because where would you find a sand pit in Buffalo?!). Like everything Hawaiian—especially luaus—it’s a mixture of sweet and smoky. One of Dorsaneo’s favorites from culinary school, the Kaluha pork taco includes Lomi Lomi salad, a concoction of tomatoes, onions and mango. There’s an obvious sweet flavor here, in case you couldn’t tell from the ingredients; it’s getting strong reviews from the rabid Lloyd Facebook fans.
Oaxaca brownie: (arrival time on menu: Week of Sept. 12). This was our favorite from the birthday celebration, a taste that I’d never tried before. While the name reminds Ben K. of a semi-obscure Grateful Dead track, the city in southwestern Mexico (with strong Central American influence) approaches chocolate unlike its northern neighbors. “Central Americans like their chocolate spicy,” Cimino said. An espresso ganache and walnuts finish off a dish that starts with the richness of chocolate and closes with a smoky, fairly spicy touch of cayenne powder.
Southwestern potato salad: (arrival on menu: it’s there right now). It’s a fairly typical potato salad, except it’s bathed in chipotle sauce. “Customers were so in love with fish tacos that we took the chipotle sauce from that and used it as the base for the potato salad,” Cimino explained. “We see the dish as summery and fun—it should remind you of grilling in the backyard.”
— Dorsaneo, Cimino and a large group of family and friends hold tastings in order to determine which dishes should eventually appear on the menu. For instance, the Lloyd testers narrowed down the new meat options to lengua and tripe (cow stomach), and we think they made the right choice, as luscious as cow stomach sounds.
— If Lloyd wins the Great Food Truck Race competition (vote here), they’ll donate $5,000—half of the winnings—to a local charity. The announcement of the benefactor is forthcoming.