The Costco food courts of the world have a ton of interesting menu items designed to make the rest of the world jealous. Costco in France has hot ham and cheese croissants and a Costco in Wales was spotted with cottage pie in the food court.
But one of the most enviable dishes we've heard about is an al pastor pizza that's been spotted a few times in Mexico. The pizza still does not seem to have made it to the U.S. yet, but a Costco in California has recently introduced an al pastor salad, and it's actually topped with a plant-based soy protein instead of pork.
The al pastor salad was spotted by a Reddit user going by enginedown, who says the Costco was in Poway, California, a city in San Diego county. Another Redditor reported seeing the new al pastor salad in Tucson, too.
The salad sells for just $4.99, and it's made of chopped romaine, black beans, and fresh vegetables, and "banh mi vegetables" and dressing. The whole thing is topped with a generous portion of what looks like al pastor meat, but is actually soy protein marinated in al pastor-style seasonings. So California.
True al pastor is seasoned pork, and the fact that this salad is topped with a plant-based protein has been a matter of some contention.
"Texas weighing in — calling soy anything 'al pastor' is a hanging offense. Or should be if it isn't already," a Texan opined.
"I was SUPER excited ... until I saw it was soy. Blech," another complained.
But while meat is a non-negotiable for some people, the fact that it's made of a plant-based protein and not actual meat is a huge benefit for others.
"And I was excited when I saw that it wasn't meat!" another potential customer cheered.
The original poster reports back that the al pastor salad tastes very good, and significantly better than Costco's chicken Caesar, even if it doesn't involve any actual pork.
"Obviously pork would be way better, but the marinade on the soy was delicious, and a nice healthy alternative. Waaaaay tastier than the chicken Caesar," enginedown reviewed.
At just $4.99, the new salad sounds like it'd be a great thing to have around as a weekday lunch option. With any luck, maybe we'll see these at more Costcos in the near future.
Would you try the al pastor salad with soy protein instead of pork?