Lake Effect Ice Cream’s Punditella

On Tuesday, I got an ice cream named after me. 

I’m a huge fan of Lake Effect Ice Cream, the plucky little Lockport factory of deliciousness behind awesome flavors like Salty Caramel, a Date at the Zoo, and Peanut Butter Epiphany. Jason Wulf and Erik Bernardi are doing great things, but most importantly they love their fans and are responsive to new flavor ideas. 

So, all last summer, I harassed them to do a Nutella ice cream. The Italian chocolate-hazelnut treat is my favorite – especially schmeared on a fresh slice of scala bread. I’ve tried to make it at home, but I don’t have the patience to do it right. Fortunately, Jason and Erik have that patience, and they’ve already got several years’ worth of experience making truly excellent ice cream flavors. 

A few weeks ago, Lake Effect tweeted that they had been perfecting their Nutella ice cream, and asked me to name it, suggesting “Punditella”, as an amalgam of “Pundit” and “Nutella”. I laughed and thought it sounded like a horribly evil Disney Princess. So, naturally, they Photoshopped my face onto Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

Here’s how Lake Effect describes the resulting ice cream: 

What a great way to come off the Memorial Day weekend! Today at the shop we will be adding, for a limited time our brand new Punditella flavor. Inspired by local Artvoice writer Alan Bedenko’s constant urging for a Nutella ice cream we have created this new flavor for everyone!

It is an ultra rich chocolate hazelnut ice cream with pieces of hazelnuts swirled throughout. We have only made a few batches and it is only available at our scoop shop. So stop in and grab some before it’s gone!

Nutella and hazelnut bits? It’s the answer to the question, “invent the best possible ice cream you could possibly invent”. Available at Lake Effect’s scoop shop in Lockport, Punditella is available for only a short time. To say I’m honored is a vast understatement.  I bow to these guys. 

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Outrageous Outrage 2: Lloyd’s Taco Truck

A couple of weeks ago, Lloyd’s Taco Truck began a Kickstarter program in order to raise enough money to make a down payment on a second truck. They have just under 20 days to go, and are about 1/2 the way there. 

But people have denigrated Lloyd for seeking a “handout”, and expressing disapproval over a for-profit company “begging” for money from people without, e.g., offering a share in the business. 

So, here’s a fact-check. 

1. If you don’t want to participate in the Kickstarter, you don’t have to. No one’s making you. 

2. Kickstarter was created precisely so that for-profit entities can raise funding that they can’t come up with themselves, and can’t get a traditional loan for, so that the path from idea to reality is made easier. 

3. If you click on the prominent link at the top of the Kickstarter page, you discover this self-explanatory text: 

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree… Welcome to Kickstarter!

4. So, it’s specifically for creative projects, including food projects, is completely voluntary, and frankly will enable a very good, very popular local food business to expand by one truck and better serve customers. 

5. If you think Lloyd’s has made a lot of money in its first year, what with legal wrangling over city permitting, limited locations to set up, crappy weather during the winter of ’10 – ’11, and occasional truck problems, you’re wrong. It’s a tough slog, and no one’s getting rich. They need twelve grand to buy a new truck and expand – if you like tacos, you may choose to give them money and get a thank you gift in exchange – it’s win-win, as Lloyd’s gets to go more places, and you get to eat more Lloyd’s.  

6. Thousands of for-profit projects exist on Kickstarter, all of which can be subjected to the same criticism as Lloyds, yet there they are.  I mean, do you need a device that will remotely print stuff people tag on Instagram? Probably not,  but if you’d like one, or like to see one on the market, here you go. $100,000 worth of people have donated. 

7. Everyone just relax. It’s a taco truck. I’m a fan, and I’ve participated in the Kickstarter because I’d like there to be another one to patronize. Because the Lloyd’s guys are friends of mine, their food is good, and they’re pioneers of sorts. Other people have pledged money for their own reasons. If you don’t think it’s fair or right, then don’t participate. What I don’t understand is the outrage and, frankly, hatred I’ve seen in many online comments about this program. Even here at Artvoice, the weekly arrow up/arrow down roundup gave Lloyd’s an arrow down because they have the nerve to use an online funding service in exactly the way it’s intended to be used in order to ask fans for money they can’t raise any other way, at least not now. 

8. Lloyd’s isn’t the first local for-profit food-based business to use Kickstarter to help fund its growth and expansion, yet it’s the first to get a barrage of criticism. 

Outrageous Outrage 2: Lloyd's Taco Truck

A couple of weeks ago, Lloyd’s Taco Truck began a Kickstarter program in order to raise enough money to make a down payment on a second truck. They have just under 20 days to go, and are about 1/2 the way there. 

But people have denigrated Lloyd for seeking a “handout”, and expressing disapproval over a for-profit company “begging” for money from people without, e.g., offering a share in the business. 

So, here’s a fact-check. 

1. If you don’t want to participate in the Kickstarter, you don’t have to. No one’s making you. 

2. Kickstarter was created precisely so that for-profit entities can raise funding that they can’t come up with themselves, and can’t get a traditional loan for, so that the path from idea to reality is made easier. 

3. If you click on the prominent link at the top of the Kickstarter page, you discover this self-explanatory text: 

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree… Welcome to Kickstarter!

4. So, it’s specifically for creative projects, including food projects, is completely voluntary, and frankly will enable a very good, very popular local food business to expand by one truck and better serve customers. 

5. If you think Lloyd’s has made a lot of money in its first year, what with legal wrangling over city permitting, limited locations to set up, crappy weather during the winter of ’10 – ’11, and occasional truck problems, you’re wrong. It’s a tough slog, and no one’s getting rich. They need twelve grand to buy a new truck and expand – if you like tacos, you may choose to give them money and get a thank you gift in exchange – it’s win-win, as Lloyd’s gets to go more places, and you get to eat more Lloyd’s.  

6. Thousands of for-profit projects exist on Kickstarter, all of which can be subjected to the same criticism as Lloyds, yet there they are.  I mean, do you need a device that will remotely print stuff people tag on Instagram? Probably not,  but if you’d like one, or like to see one on the market, here you go. $100,000 worth of people have donated. 

7. Everyone just relax. It’s a taco truck. I’m a fan, and I’ve participated in the Kickstarter because I’d like there to be another one to patronize. Because the Lloyd’s guys are friends of mine, their food is good, and they’re pioneers of sorts. Other people have pledged money for their own reasons. If you don’t think it’s fair or right, then don’t participate. What I don’t understand is the outrage and, frankly, hatred I’ve seen in many online comments about this program. Even here at Artvoice, the weekly arrow up/arrow down roundup gave Lloyd’s an arrow down because they have the nerve to use an online funding service in exactly the way it’s intended to be used in order to ask fans for money they can’t raise any other way, at least not now. 

8. Lloyd’s isn’t the first local for-profit food-based business to use Kickstarter to help fund its growth and expansion, yet it’s the first to get a barrage of criticism. 

Lloyd to Buffalo: Kickstart Our Second Truck!

Lloyd's Taco Truck No. 3

Lloyd's Taco Truck No. 3 by gmeadows1 on Flickr

First, it was the Community Beer Works that used crowd funding service Kickstarter to help finance its growth, now Lloyd Taco Truck is turning to Buffalo, using Kickstarter to help fund a second truck. From their press release: 

Moving forward on their quest to bring Western New York fresh and delicious food, the owners of Lloyd Taco Trucks launched a campaign today to purchase a second food truck, Lloyd Dos. Click here to view the web page. Using Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, the effort will help mobilize customers and allow supporters to pool additional funds needed for the truck’s down payment. Patrons’ generosity will not go unnoticed, as they will receive enticing rewards for their participation.

“We are extremely grateful for the warm response we’ve received over the past year and a half,” said Peter Cimino, co-founder of Lloyd Taco Trucks. “We get requests to bring the truck to new locations on a daily basis. We wish we could satisfy our fans’ Lloyd cravings more often, so we are asking them to kindly support the cause and pledge at whatever level they are able.”

Kickstarter provides a means for business owners and entrepreneurs to offer unique products and experiences in exchange for monetary support. The system is “all or nothing funding,” which means a project must reach its goal before time runs out or receives nothing. Lloyd fans will have 30 days to pledge their support toward the company’s $12,500 goal.

“We imagined what would be most valuable to our fans, including exclusive and priceless offerings,” said Chris Dorsaneo, co-founder and chef of Lloyd. “Rewards include a year’s supply of burritos, a private five course meal with wine pairings, and even a Lloyd speed pass, which moves the bearer to the front of the line every time.”

Pledge levels start at $10 and offer a variety of accumulating rewards for each gift. All donors will get to sign the truck, receive a Lloyd bumper sticker and a free taco. Those pledging $2,000 or more will earn a catered party for up to 50 guests with a personalized menu featuring their favorite Lloyd specials.

About Lloyd Taco Trucks

Lloyd Taco Trucks is a traveling Buffalo food experience serving fun, fresh, Taquería style food. Childhood friends, Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo, conceptualized Lloyd when they realized Western New York lacked palatable, affordable street food options. The timing was right when Dorsaneo moved back to Buffalo after working around the country in high end restaurants and resorts, and Cimino sought an entrepreneurial concept to take Buffalo by storm. Tomatillo pork tacos, braised beef burritos and tricked out nachos are the menu staples that keep hungry Buffalonians coming back for more. Lloyd has won many esteemed awards, including Artvoice’s “Best Street Food” and Buffalo Spree’s “Best Tacos in Western New York.”

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whereslloyd/lloyd-taco-truck-mission-lloyd-dos

Frowny Face

Barbecue Brisket and Pulled Pork w Sides @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Stamford, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey will get a Dinosaur BBQ before Buffalo gets one. Brooklyn, too. The Syracuse-based BBQ joint already has branches in Manhattan, Rochester, and Troy. Dinosaur has been sniffing around Buffalo for quite some time, so yesterday’s “news” really wasn’t. 

It’s like the saddest Page Six ever. 

So, we just have to wait for a Connecticut suburb and a New Jersey city to get their outlets of an upstate NY success story, first. And then a bit longer. 

Foodspotting

A tip of the hat to the Buffalo News’ Colin Dabkowski, who Tweeted this: 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/colindabkowski/status/168714052506357760″]

Foodspotting is a social photography network where people share pictures of restaurant food. It’s useful to help you decide where you want to eat, and what you might be interested in ordering. Indeed, the top “noms” on Foodspotting for Toronto are “Xiao Long Bao” and “Chicken Karaage”. The top “noms” in Buffalo are chicken wings. Apart from a couple of dishes from Seabar, Blue Monk, and Sweetness 7, almost all of the Buffalo bests are wings and pizza. 

If you want to find out more about the use of social media in the local food scene, the Buffalo “Social Media Club” is hosting a panel discussion tonight at Artisan Kitchens & Baths at 200 Amherst Street from 6 – 8:30.  The Whole Hog and Roaming Buffalo food trucks will cater the event, which will feature discussions from:

  • Christa Seychew – Food editor at Buffalo Spree, Producer of Nickel City Chef series, and overall expert on local Buffalo food scene.
  • Donnie Burtless – Creator of BuffaloEats, one of the area’s premier restaurant review websites.
  • Beth Manos Brickey – Creator of Tasty-Yummies, a popular blog featuring mouth-watering recipes and beautiful food photography.
  • Deborah Clark – Owner of Delish Cooking School and Pasty shop, and advocate for social media use.

NYS Food Map

NYS Foodie Map by Shannon Glazer

This map was created by Shannon Glazer and uploaded at Buffalo.com. I was most surprised to learn that “pizza rolls” is a thing.

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