Costco -- Two New Vegan Items at the Food Court


(Evelyn C. Leeper) #1

Costco has added a couple of vegan items to its food court menu, the Al Pastor Salad and the Acai Bowl. We tried the Al Pastor Salad yesterday (next time we’ll try the Acai Bowl, as soon as I figure out how to pronounce it!). The “Al Pastor” is marinated soy protein bits, which I thought tasted and had the texture of crumbled pork, though without the quantity of fat one might detect. The rest of the salad was chopped romaine, black beans, black olives, shredded carrots, and … “banh mi dressing”. This seems incredibly fusion, sort of a Mexican-Vietnamese hybrid. The dressing is nicely spicy, which perks up the whole salad. I found that the salad was big enough for two meals for me, but I’m a small eater.) All in all, not a bad dish for $4.99.

(We started eating quinoa before it became a “thing” here, so we did not know what the correct pronunciation was, and for a few years were calling it “kin-OH-ah”.)

Where we are they dropped the BBQ Beef Sandwich to make room for these; other people have reported they dropped the Polish dog, but that had disappeared years ago from here (NJ).


#2

No polish dogs? nooooo!!!

Acai bowls? I think I’ll volunteer to do the grocery run today :slight_smile: Açaí is pronounced ah-sai-ee. Acai bowls are the muffins of the 2010s—- something that everyone thinks are healthy, but are actually full of sugar and added sweeteners. They list it as 330 calories, and I haven’t found any other nutritional info—- my guess is it’s about as much sugar as their regular soft serve. Here are the ingredients for the packs of açaí they sell (still much less sugar, 1 tbs/100 calorie pack, than some local places)
https://www.sambazon.com/product/original-blend/


#3

The Polish was replaced by Italian sausage with onions and peppers a few years ago in NC. I really miss the Polish sausage!


#4

I would totally try that salad!
Funny you mention the acai bowl, i was just talking to my sister earlier today (she is in ca and belongs to costco, I’m in nyc and do not), and she told me how she and my nephew shared one and loved it. Both are lactose intolerant so it’s a great alternative to the soft serve. And yes acai is usually sweetened a lot since it’s tart- but then again so is the soft serve they sell…


#5

I took a look at the food court menu board yesterday. These items have not made their way to NC yet. :disappointed_relieved:


(Evelyn C. Leeper) #6

Does anyone know if Costco sells separately the marinated soy bits in their Al Pastor Salad? (Yeah, I could ask at the desk, but this might be faster. :frowning: ) We current;y use Bob’s Red Mill TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) in chili and such; it has the consistency of ground beef, but sometimes we would like to have vegetable protein in different consistencies, and the Al Pastor bits seem ideal for stir-fry and such.


#7

My NC Costco now has the acai bowl for around $5 iirc.


#8

That salad looks awesome! I don’t belong to costco but my parents do so i will be sure to look for it when i visit them…

I think it might be soy curls, or something really similar… looks like the pieces aren’t that large and not necessarily crunchy or crumbled.
If you look on their site where they’re sold you can find a nearby store or order online. Definitely takes some fiddling with and a lot of seasonings to get the flavor and texture right but just follow their directions and don’t be shy with spices and such.
https://www.butlerfoods.com

Or i know morningstar makes a vegan pulled pork product that’s sold frozen, never tried myself but you can see where it’s sold near you on their site too

For either option the spices and flavor used is almost more important since the base product itself if fairly neutral


(Evelyn C. Leeper) #9

The Butler Taco Crumbles on the page you cited seem the closest to what I’m looking for.


#10

Certainly worth a try, the fact it comes with seasoning could be a good thing