The Workshop, Lloyd Taco Trucks to tag-team pop-up No. 2 - INTERVIEW
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 01, 2013 @ 2:01pm
Buffalo’s food-lovers will quickly learn that not all pop-up restaurants are alike.
Edward Forster, founder of The Workshop Buffalo, has unveiled a few of his hush-hush plans for a second pop-up dinner, and he’s chosen notable partners in culinary crime.
Chris Dorsaneo, Pete Cimino (both pictured right) and Teddy Bryant, the key figures behind Lloyd Taco Trucks—yes, there’s now three taco-vending vehicles—have agreed to combine efforts with Forster at 6 p.m. Sunday at an unannounced location (though given the limitations of where Lloyd can park, you have a rough idea of where they’ll be).
The cost of the meal is $10 on-site (cash-only), the theme is “Beet It” and there will be pork involved.
You may be thinking, “What? You’re not going to reveal the location but you’re a professional writer of event previews?” Well, first of all, I don’t know the location yet, and neither does Forster. The official location will be announced on The Workshop Buffalo’s Facebook page a few hours before Sunday’s pop-up—roughly 4 or 5 p.m., Forster hints—so keep your eyes peeled.
That’s one of the most enticing aspects of a pop-up dinner—for the customer, at least—and I expand upon that idea in the recap of Forster’s first pop-up. The meals are secretive, exclusive in the sense that a little effort or investigation is required on the customers’ end, and immediately create a bond between the eaters sharing the experience.
The nature of pop-up dinners is part of the allure for Forster, but his values go a little further.
“I want to showcase venues, highlight talented farmers and feature great produce,” the former Mike A’s Steakhouse chef explained. “That’s really the unspoken priority [of The Workshop].”
For Sunday’s meal, the well-traveled chef—explained in Nick Mendola’s Buffalo.com interview about Forster’s roots—will band together with the taco truck whose leaders played a central role in establishing the food truck culture in a slow-to-adapt city.
“The mission is to showcase different styles of food while maintaining quality,” Forster said this morning. “Lloyd is the cool kids in town, and [the owners] have proven that quality food can be $6 or $10 as well as $40 or $80.
“They’re a growing enterprise, and they’ve been able to operate three trucks and increase their staff while maintaining quality and consistency.”
Buffalo Spree’s Christa Glennie Seychew dug deeper into the procedure for Sunday’s pop-up, noting that patrons who walk up to Lloyd’s service window will be handed an amuse-bouche—it’s a bite-sized hors d’oeuvres, in case you were wondering (I didn’t know either)—and then will be instructed to wait while their surprise dish is prepared by Forster.
Deemed “just another root vegetable that people toss away or stick into jars” by Forster, the beet is the focal ingredient of this pop-up.
“It’s a great season for beets,” the chef said, adding that he plans to source some of them from Oles Family Farm. “You can pickle them, salt roast them, roast them plain, eat them raw—and there are a bunch of different kinds, including some random-colored beets I don’t know about yet.”
These pop-ups are expected to continue for the foreseeable future while Forster tries to pin down a physical location—which is easier given the number of restaurants closing locally.
“The physical layout of the restaurant is a higher priority than the neighborhood it’s in,” Forster commented. “It has to have parking available, outdoor seating—a private-dining area would be nice—and a kitchen placed in the center of the restaurant rather than behind a wall.”