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

May 24, 2023
I recently learned that garlic has 4 stages that it goes through on its journey to become the cured stuff you’re probably used to seeing. This year I learned about Green Garlic. It’s the mild, sweet, un-cured bulb, plus the fresh green shoots. We got our hands on a super limited crop from Red Fire out in Granby, and so we decided to see if we could incorporate it into every single different type of box we make next week…
May 23, 2023
We’ve intentionally steered clear of bowls for a long time. If you see Ayr tomorrow, ask him why : ) Tomorrow (5/24) we’re starting a 2-week test of bowls at CloverNTV, our restaurant in Newtonville. If it goes well, this could represent the beginning of one of the bigger changes our menu has EVER seen. We’re hoping we’ve cracked the code to bowls that are seasonal, carefully-composed, easy to carry, and craveable – all the things we love about bowls, and none of the things we don’t.
May 18, 2023
I used to eat Cheesy Grits almost every morning, and if you were eating with us around 2017, I bet you did too. We took our Plimoth-ground-grits off the menu for a little while, but now they’re back at all locations (except for the HUB for the time being). Stop in for breakfast during the next 2 weeks – we’re aiming for these to be hot and ready at 8am and we’ll be selling them til they’re out. The staff has been waking up extra early and adding a lot of extra whisking to their mornings, so we’d love to hear what you think. If you’ve never had our Cheesy Grits before, here are some things you should know….
May 16, 2023
What is Chris eating? When we toured the field at Siena, the crew was planting dahlia tubers. They get planted in warm soil, will grow all summer and will be ready for harvest in the fall. They reminded us of sunchokes, so we got to talking about whether the tubers are edible and it turns out they are! Are they delicious?
May 15, 2023
Do you want a beautiful box of produce for a fraction of what you’d pay in the grocery store? Do you want to invest in a farm’s success and be with them throughout the harvest season? Do you think you hate eggplants but you’ve just never had a good one? It might be time to look into a CSA (or farmshare).
May 5, 2023
I remember exactly the moment we started celebrating May the 4th (“May the Force” be with you). We were on a planning call about meal boxes and we were talking about how we were going to launch our Taco Tuesday program on Cinco de Mayo (May the 5th). Chris accidentally said “May the 4th” and Ayr said, “May the 4th! We should do a Star Wars Box!”
April 24, 2023
If you’ve been reading for a while you probably know we hate waste. Most of the time, minimizing waste is pretty unglamorous, but every once in a while our mission to reduce waste takes us to some very cool places. I look after Clover’s grocery marketplaces (including our Assembly Row grocery store). A few months ago I noticed that the marketplaces were going through a lot of our paper bags. They’re compostable, which is great. But I think the best bag is one you can use over and over again.
April 22, 2023
Few people know that Clover is environmental activism. This is by design.  And it works. We do these customer surveys and see that 9 out of 10 Clover customers are NOT vegetarian. Yet I’m constantly troubled by conflicting feelings about the approach we’ve taken.
April 10, 2023
Over the next 3 weeks, on a rolling schedule, most Clovers are going to be giving out a free hot or cold George Howell Montecarlos coffee to anyone who stops in between opening and 11 am. No strings— we just want to see you all and talk about coffee!! George Howell’s Montecarlos is a single-origin coffee we love for our pour-overs…
March 30, 2023
Each year, early spring is a busy time at the Clover kitchen because we have 2 of our tastiest boxes, usually back-to-back. For the Passover box, a lot of care goes into the kashering of the kitchen, with Rabbi Dolinger coming in to ensure the box is totally Kosher for Passover via Lighthouse Kosher.
March 15, 2023
That photo is corn fritters drizzled with maple syrup. We just started frying them up for a 2pm special – and they’re an element of our Maple Meal Box. If you head away from the city this time of year, you’ll see signs for sugar shacks, where maple sap gets boiled down into syrup and little restaurants pop up to serve pancakes, corn fritters, cider donuts, and dill pickles (to cut through the sweetness of the fresh syrup).
February 28, 2023
You’ve been asking! And finally we can announce: sunchokes are here, starting tomorrow, 3/1. Thanks to Pete’s Greens in VT for getting us local sunchokes. At breakfast we’ll be making The Sunchoke Truffle: fluffy house-baked pita, creamy truffled butter, caramelized onions, a 6.5 minute egg, and thin, crispy sunchoke slices. At lunch and dinner: The Sunchoke Mushroom: scallion-black-pepper mayo, fresh arugula, roasted crimini mushrooms, fried brined onions, and roasted sunchokes. But what IS a sunchoke?