March 23, 2021

The BBQ Seitan Sandwich is back at lunch today!

If you’re from Texas, there’s a smell you know deep in your heart. You smell it when you get off the plane, because there’s literally a BBQ joint in the airport. It’s the smell of low and slow, burnt ends, brisket, smoke and sauce.

Our BBQ Sandwich and Platter are inspired by Texas BBQ. Two New Englanders, Ayr and Rolando, at times very full of moist brisket, drove through the Texas Hill Country on a food research trip a decade ago. That trip is why our BBQ sauce is so good. And it’s probably why I find our BBQ sandwich so comforting. It reminds me of home.

That photo is of brisket, but we use seitan to make our BBQ sandwich and platter. Seitan was developed by Chinese and Japanese Buddhist monks centuries before Pat Brown was even born. It uses vital wheat gluten, and is made by rinsing the starch away from wheat, leaving just the protein. Seitan actually has more protein than steak! It works great with saucy accompaniments and it has a loyal and fiery fan club here at Clover.

Seitan had a tough blow dealt to it last year when the supply of vital wheat gluten ran low. We’re not sure why (maybe it was all the bread baking everyone was doing) but hey, it was 2020 so we just rolled with the punches. Luckily we had been itching to test Jackfruit as a replacement for Seitan. Jackfruit is a giant, amazing fruit from India that is ton of fun to work with and treads lightly on the planet. After a customer of ours, Annie, started The Jackfruit Company, she sent us some jackfruit and Chris got to work developing a recipe that got the jackfruit stringing in a satisfying way, getting all saucy and delicious (maybe if seitan was like the brisket in Texas BBQ, Jackfruit was like the pulled pork in Carolina style BBQ).

And you all liked it so much that we almost gave up on seitan altogether! Even when vital wheat gluten came back in stock, we considered keeping Jackfruit on the menu. But we did a quick survey, and it was a close race, but Seitan won out in the end with 70% of the votes. So if you’ve been stalking our app, you may have noticed that BBQ Seitan is back on the menu! 

If you haven’t had it yet: warm pita, caramelized onions, Grafton sharp cheddar, seitan drowned in our Texas-inspired sauce then baked til it’s all crisp on the edges, Backyard Farms tomatoes and lettuce. The platter gets all those things plus Clover versions of Texas BBQ sides (potato salad, cole slaw, pickles, sauce). And instead of the half loaf of Wonder Bread common in Elgin and Lockhart, you get some Clover pita 🙂

Seitan is back on the menu at all locations as of today! Hope you get a chance to check it out soon. 

-Lucia

PS: If you are not near enough to a Clover to come by for a BBQ, but want to recreate your own Texas BBQ pit at home, several of our meal boxes (Classics BoxVegan Box, and BYO BBQ Box) also have BBQ goodness in them! The next cutoff for ordering one of these meal boxes is Thursday at 5pm.

PPS: Are there any other homesick Texas BBQ fans out there who have been unable to travel home because of the pandemic? Reply to this email or tag us on social media telling us about your favorite BBQ restaurant from back home, and we’ll send you a coupon for a free BBQ sandwich at Clover. For me it’s a tossup between Ruby’s (where punks and cowboys waited for brisket while listening to blues music on the Drag) and Pok-e-Jo’s (run by a high school friend of mine, caterer of every great Texas wedding and supplier of massive tubs of potato salad). I’ll be back there soon, I know it!

Recent Posts

December 4, 2023
These sweet potato latkes date back to early days on the Clover food truck. They’re so yummy and the sweet potatoes lend them such a fun golden color. They’re probably the most popular item in our Hanukkah Meal Box, which you can get delivered on December 7th. Inside the box you’ll find: 
November 29, 2023
I’m writing to share some news: we’ve decided to permanently close CloverROW, our outpost in the Assembly Row neighborhood of Somerville. The closure of this restaurant is part of the whole company’s focus on reaching financial sustainability and positioning us for future growth. These decisions are really hard, but they’re necessary steps for us to simplify Clover. And, happily, all the amazing staff at CloverROW, including the manager Joe, will be able to move into other Clover restaurants. The math is straightforward…
November 21, 2023
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. We will be closed Thursday 11/23 at all locations. For our kitchen team, it will be a good chance to rest after prepping a ton of Brussels casseroles for our Thanksgiving Box : ) As for the days surrounding Thanksgiving, we’ll be open normal hours, except for CloverFIN (Financial District) and CloverHSC (Harvard Science Center) which will be closed tomorrow and Friday. CloverHSQ (Harvard Square) will be closing early (at 8pm) tomorrow. 
November 16, 2023
I’m not a big believer in multitasking (which, in my experience, is doing a bunch of things simultaneously and badly.) But there’s a lot going on at Clover right now, so I had to break my No Multitasking Rule on Wednesday. I asked Michele and Greg on our Finance team if they’d mind if I took myself off video during a meeting to review Accounts Payable. “I have to draw a cartoon Delicata Squash,” I explained, reasonably.
November 16, 2023
Some of you have been asking for a sides-only box – and it’s true, sides are the best part, aren’t they? We’re making a limited number of boxes with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and King Brussels’ Casserole. Each Sides Box serves 6-8 people and can be delivered to your door for 11/21 or 11/22. 
November 9, 2023
The moment you’ve waited for is here. Western Mass Brussels sprouts are back in the restaurants, which means the King himself has landed! What’s on this glorious sandwich and why is it the King of all seasonal sandwiches? A dijon-mayo spread, smoked Grafton cheddar, fried Brussels tossed with za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend), pickled red cabbage, and toasted hazelnuts.
November 6, 2023
On Friday we had a company meeting with all our leadership to talk about a decision we’ve made about the future of Clover. We are all focused on putting Clover on solid financial footing so we can continue to make the food you love for many years to come. COVID changed everything for restaurants like us. The way we eat, drink, work, and get together has shifted substantially and, while Clover has seen a steady recovery in sales…
October 29, 2023
Julia here. Today, October 29, is Clover’s birthday! 15 years of perfect pita, crispy chickpea fritters, countless sandwiches that cycle with the seasons, and of course the occasional birthday cupcake. How lucky are we? Although I’ve been working at Clover for a year and a half, this was my first week as CEO. I’m excited and honored to be stepping into this role. I’ve been a Clover enthusiast for a long time – since my first taste of a Blue Oyster Mushroom sandwich as a grad student in 2013. As COO and now as CEO…
October 26, 2023
If you stop by tomorrow (Friday 10/27) around 11am, you might be treated to a bit of Clover history in the form of a carrot cupcake with buttercream frosting. One per paying customer, while they last! And they may not last long : )
October 26, 2023
A bunch of you have been asking, and yes, we are doing a Thanksgiving Box menu again this year, with all the favorites from years past – Hubbard Squash glazed with maple-Sriracha butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, Ayr’s dad’s walnut-mushroom patè, stuffing – there’s even a limited run of Petsi pies. Free delivery to your door if you’re within 30 miles of us. Click here to reserve yours.
October 22, 2023
I’ve recently asked somebody who believes in Clover as much as I do to step into the CEO role. Julia Wrin Piper has been Clover’s COO for the past 18 months and will take over running the company day-to-day. I’ll be shifting my efforts to provide support for Julia and the team, work on growth opportunities, and pursue partnerships that will amplify Clover’s mission. I’ll remain a member of the Board of Directors and active as an advisor and mentor. Clover is facing a potent mix of opportunity and challenge right now and I know Julia is exactly the right person to lead the team through these twists and turns.
October 18, 2023
On 10/29 Clover will turn 15 years old. It’s been 15 years since we first pulled up a tiny white food truck to the MIT campus in hopes of testing a menu that could make a dent in global warming. Since then we’ve supported so many local farmers; had tons of adventures on board trucks and restaurants; and met tons of wonderful customers. And most of all we’ve made food. Lots and lots of food. In honor of our 15th birthday, we sent out a survey asking you about your favorite LONG-LOST MENU ITEMS. We’ve picked the top results and we’re going to bring them back for one day only – in the form of a Birthday Meal Box!