Editor's note: Lloyd's BBQ is going away at the end of Summer 2021. The family is moving. Be sure to catch this excellent Monroe-based BBQ while it's here!
Owned and operated by Monroe residents Andrea and Kenny Lloyd Robertson, Lloyd’s BBQ offers a custom blend of authentic Texas and Kansas City style barbecue, each its own distinct barbecue genre. The brisket is done Texas style, slow smoked to perfection for 12 hours with a classic Texas dry rub. The pork and chicken are prepared with a Kansas City style rub, known for its sweet, brown sugary origins. The meats are smoked with hickory wood and served up with a sassy selection of homemade sides, including creamy macaroni and cheese, tangy coleslaw, BBQ beans and brisket chili.
Everything at Lloyd’s is homemade, from scratch, cooked with fresh ingredients and a whole lot of heart. Some of their recipes have been handed down for generations, while others have been carefully developed by Kenny and Andrea themselves. The hardworking couple gets up before dawn to cook the food, which is prepared fresh every day they operate the truck.
Relative newcomers to the Pacific Northwest, Kenny, Andrea and their three kids moved to Monroe from Utah in the summer of 2018. They had fallen in love with the community during a Christmas-time visit, as Kenny’s brother lives in the area. They decided to make the move, and luckily for the Sky Valley, they brought Lloyd’s BBQ along for the ride.
When it comes to great barbecue, Kenny’s talent is legendary. Always a skilled chef with a knack for culinary greatness, Kenny’s passion for barbecue really began to flourish in 2010 when he cooked at his first festival in Provo, Utah. He then went on to cook at other events before landing a job as one of the Pit Masters for Traeger Pellet Grills. He spent three years fully immersed in the world of barbecue, touring the United States and Canada on behalf of Traeger. The experience not only allowed him to master different barbecue styles, but it gave him the unique opportunity to hone his craft in some of the most influential barbecue cities in the country.
“I cooked alongside some of the most famous pit masters in the country, just learning everything I could about how to do things the right way,” Kenny said.
Kenny’s willingness to work hard, coupled with his natural talent on the smoker, resulted in success in the competition scene. From 2014 to 2016, he scooped up three grand championships and a handful of top five finishes.
It was around that time that he began to consider venturing out on his own, as the constant travel was becoming inconvenient with three young kiddos at home. He missed his family and wanted to spend more time with them, so Lloyd’s BBQ became a reality. The business took off, and Andrea, a successful marketing professional, joined him after it got too busy for one person to manage.
Since becoming established in Monroe, the two have collected a slew of loyal customers and stacks of five-star reviews. They are consistently praised not only for their delicious food, but also their incredible savvy in the world of catering and special events. This is where Andrea truly shines, planning the most elegant, unforgettable weddings, events, and parties. Her skilled ability to meet her customers’ needs is nothing short of exceptional. And then, there’s the food.
We can’t say enough about the food.
If you consider yourself a more adventurous eater, Lloyd’s BBQ is your soulmate. One of their most popular menu items is The Gomer, features your choice of meat, layered with mac and cheese, BBQ beans, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce. Invented by Andrea, this spectacular “Pyle” of barbecue in a bowl earns high marks from customers.
“It's like summer in your mouth,” Andrea said.
If you are even more adventurous than that, you might want to consider The Nacho, which is an entire Gomer on top of a crispy bed of tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
Kenny and Andrea’s mastery of clever and unexpected flavor combinations is reflected in other menu items as well, including the hugely popular brisket tacos, which are pure artistry. Each taco is built on a foundation of two soft corn tortillas, filled with a generous helping of Lloyd’s custom slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth brisket, and then topped with coleslaw, cotija cheese, cilantro, and barbecue sauce.
The two enjoy coming up with new ideas and testing them on their customers. And, we have on pretty good authority that there is something new coming soon.
“We're such a small business that we really have to keep being creative and innovative or I don't know how we would survive,” Andrea said.
Traditional eaters should not be deterred by the idea of mixed up food. If you prefer your barbecue in its purest form – one big pile of meat – Lloyd’s is still your soulmate. In this case the plates are right up your alley, with their generous servings of tender, smoked meat, accompanied by two sides. And, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Rosarito Burrito, which is available on weekends only.
Lloyd’s has weathered the COVID-19 storm with grace and resilience, thanks largely to the Monroe community, said Kenny and Andrea. When they first arrived in Monroe they tested some different locations, and eventually worked their way into a full time gig at Boeing. Earning a regular position on the company’s rotating roster of food trucks which worked well for their family. But then in March, they got the notice that Boeing was halting the program and shutting down the factory in response to COVID-19.
“That kind of put us in a little bit of a panic because that was our full-time job,” Kenny said.
Fortunately, they were able to broker a deal with the City of Monroe and the Monroe Lowe’s, which enables them to operate in the Lowe’s parking lot. They are now back at Boeing, but with reduced frequency. You can check their website for a current schedule.
While they’ve managed to stay afloat, they’ve not remained unscathed. The catering and special events side of their business came to a grinding halt, and it’s not anticipated to resume before 2021. But even with that, Kenny and Andrea are grateful for their success and have still found ways to give back to the community, by providing meals to families in need. Community-minded from the very start, Lloyd’s has always been generous with its outreach, which is part of the reason they fit so well in Monroe.
It’s the Monroe way.
For more about Lloyd’s, including the most up-to-date information on where you’ll find the truck, please visit the Facebook page, at: https://www.facebook.com/eatlloydsbbq/ or their website, at: https://www.eatlloydsbbq.com/.
This article originally appeared in Choose Monroe. Check out their website for all the great things in Monroe, Washington!