February 4, 2010

BBQ

Share:

Time for the BBQ. This sandwich is a funny one. We didn’t bring it into the line-up out of the gate. It was the last of the regular sandwiches to hit the street. Rolando was pressing me, “what else, what other sandwiches?” Part of what has worked so well for the two of us is that I’m vegetarian, he’s not. We both love food. So I have a history of trying to make food I love to eat that doesn’t have any meat. Some of you have tried this. It takes some creativity and a spirit of adventure. Rolando has a meaty palette. He was able to taste stuff I gave him and say “yuck,” or “with some changes this might work.” Then of course he would work some of his magic, scale it up, and bingo.

One of the sandwiches I’ve always loved to make at home is a seitan sandwich. There is some store-bought seitan in a Teriyaki sauce that I’d throw into a pan, brown, then add caramelized onions and melt cheddar cheese. I’d add the best tomatoes I could find and it was a meal.

(keep reading for the rest of the story, and nutritionals)

So when Rolando was pushing me I told him about this sandwich. We grabbed some seitan and I made one for it. He wasn’t sure at all and we back-burnered the idea.

Clover is determined to avoid fake meat. Seitan has a real history, almost as old as Tofu and Tempeh (which I think stand on their own as vegetable products, not “fake meats.”) But it’s definitely more borderline in those regards. We didn’t want customers to feel it was a fake meat. Further, Rolando just didn’t like it. He had a strong reaction to the texture.

One day Rolando came to me and said “try this.” He had a seitan sandwich, but he’d made it with BBQ sauce. We were liking it, but it still wasn’t quite there. So we bought a dozen different brands of seitan. Nada. Just wasn’t working. Seitan is typically made with asian flavors (ginger, soy sauce, etc.). And the texture was still giving Rolando the willys.

So we rolled up our sleeves, literally, and started kneading wheat gluten, or “vital wheat gluten” as it’s often called. It’s what seitan is made from and it’s 95% protein. Basically wheat is washed until nothing is left except protein. As with everything we do we screwed up a bunch. We made tough seitan, squishy seitan, mushy seitan. Lot’s of disgusting seitan. But we started to learn how to achieve a “marbled” effect. And learned how the cooking process could bring other textural variations.

But it wasn’t over. We’ve probably changed the BBQ sandwich about 20 times since we started serving it. Everything from BBQ spices (upgraded to the good stuff from Christina’s, away from the junk at Restaurant Depot), sauce, technique, other ingredients (soy mayo was axed), cheese. Pretty much everything has changed. And I’m sure it’s going to get better. So give us your feedback. We need your help getting to that next generation.

So what’s in it? A bit of mayo (watered down, it spreads better that way), green leaf lettuce, tasty tom tomatoes in the winter (field tomatoes in the summer), seitan, BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, Vermont cheddar cheese (those last 4 ingredients are baked in an oven).

Calories 320 kcal

Carbohydrates 47 g

Fat 7 g

% calories from fat: 20%

Protein 17 g

Fiber 10 g

Cholesterol 9 mg

Recent Posts

January 26, 2023
The Pizza Friday Box gave us an idea: calzones! Ayr has been making these at his house and texting us photos. They’re big and saucy and so good. Basically a stuffed pizza/turnover situation with origins in 17th century Naples.
January 18, 2023
As you might know, we love feedback. Survey Day is a tradition that harkens back to the first days of the food truck, over 10 years ago. If you got a card in line today at Clover, or if you ordered on the app today, click here to take the survey. Huge thanks for helping us improve.
January 13, 2023
Thanks all who joined for the first public food dev meeting after Covid. Phil did a great job pulling it all together. If you’re a customer, farmer, vendor (or Clover staff member) reading this, you are invited to Food Dev! These happen Thursday afternoons at the HUB and they’re where all new food ideas are born. Just make sure to sign up – spots are limited.
January 5, 2023
House-made carrot lox, hearty vegetable stews with bread and pickles, Tunisian breakfast bowls, a pizza party kit, and a dream of snow, all in one box. Our Snowed In Box is back. This was Greg’s idea back in 2020. He thought it would be cool to make a box that was equally whether eaten after snowboarding or cozied up on the couch watching a movie.
December 21, 2022
We’ve been getting a lot of requests for the ability to gift a friend Clover Meal Boxes. After a lot of late night tech sessions, we have a way to do this! Yay! I’ve been looking and seeing a few of you have started to discover this feature and are starting to gift away. So cool to see.
December 16, 2022
If you’re a weekly meal box subscriber, you may have noticed way fewer plastic containers in your deliveries recently.When we started the program, we were in the pandemic, new to this whole home delivery thing, and a big concern was making sure that nothing spilled inside the boxes. So we relied on post-consumer recycled containers (aka plastic deli containers) for a lot of the items.
December 13, 2022
We’ve been getting back into the merch game. First up: squash shirts. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the diversity of the squash world. Although butternut is probably the squash you see most in the grocery store, there are actually over 100 types of squash, all with their own patterns, colors, and textures.
December 6, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 6, 2022
I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love the traditions, I love ornaments and pine needles all over the floor.  I love the movies (“Muppet Christmas Carol”) and the books (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”) I love the good songs, I love the schlocky songs (if you’ve never heard “Suzy Snowflake” or “Dominic the Donkey”, stop reading right now and click through.)
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)