Aug 26, 2020

Review: El Pollo Loco - Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco

El Pollo Loco's Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco features the chain's take on a plant-based chicken alternative, served with lettuce and avocado inside of an artisan corn-and-flour blend tortilla.

One taco cost me $2.99.

El Pollo Loco's Chickenless Pollo is made of shreds of soy protein simmered in an adobo sauce made with fire-roasted peppers, onions, and tomatoes. The Chickenless Pollo suffers a little bit from a rubbery texture, possibly due to overcooking of the soy protein. The shreds are more like tiny, formed strips that, nonetheless, provide some of that meat-like chew. Each taco comes with a hearty serving of the Chickenless Pollo that feels quite substantial, considering the size of the taco itself.

The sauce that accompanies the Chickenless Pollo is all at once lightly smoky, sweet, tangy, and spicy. The end result is something akin to chili in terms of taste without much of the cumin flavor, with perhaps more of a spicy punch. Its consistency is fairly runny and the soy protein shreds don't do much in terms of wicking up the liquid.

Because of the fairly thin consistency of the Chickenless Pollo sauce (and its generous amount), eating the Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco was an incredibly messy endeavor. The artisan tortilla could not withstand the liquid onslaught and quickly disintegrated, to the point that it was already in pieces by the time I opened the wrapper after the short drive back home. It was very delicate in texture and structural integrity. I was wishing for a sturdy and pliable flour tortilla instead the entire time I was eating, but I'm guessing they went with the corn and flour blend to give it more of a taco truck feel.

The avocado was fresh and nicely soft without being overly mushy, and the lettuce was fairly unremarkable aside from providing a bit of that light, watery crisp. Your mileage may vary, but my taco arrived with all of the produce on one half and all the Chickenless Pollo on the other.

Overall, the Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco was fairly delicious as far as plant-based options go. The Chickenless Pollo has a nice flavor that was highlighted by the neutral flavors of the produce and there was plenty to go around in each bite. Unfortunately, there was even more of the adobo sauce to go around and it wreaked havoc on the delicate artisan blend tortilla. I recommend eating the Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco with either utensils or a large stack of napkins on standby.

By Renee.

Nutritional Info - El Pollo Loco Vegan Chickenless Pollo Taco
Calories - 150 (Calories from Fat - 40)
Fat - 4.5g (Saturated Fat - 1g)
Sodium - 690mg
Carbs - 20g (Sugar - 3g)
Protein - 9g

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