Pollo is a well-known Latin-Carribien-styled fast-food restaurant chain in the States. It is famous for its spicy chicken meals which is no wonder since its name is basically “Tropical Chicken”. However, it doesn’t mean they are not offering anything else besides that. Let’s see what is vegan at Pollo Tropical!
What Can I Order At Pollo Tropical As A Vegan?
It is not easy to order as a vegan at Pollo Tropical. If you take a look at Pollo’s menu, it would seem like a disaster for the first time. There is no any item without animal ingredients. Not even a salad, only some of the sides like the rice and beans…
Create Your Own TropiChop® Bowl
You do not have any other chance but Create Your Own TropiChop® Bowl. You may expect some boring vegetables tossed together with beans and vinaigrette. However, there is a pleasant twist! Pollo is one of the few restaurants that still offer meat substitutes. That sounds pretty different, doesn’t it?
First, pick Your Base: Not surprisingly, everything is plant-based here except yellow rice. You can choose between:
- White Rice,
- Brown Rice,
- Lettuce, or
- 1/2 Rice & 1/2 Lettuce.
Yellow rice may look vegan, however, it isn’t even labeled as vegetarian. There must be something awful in the “special seasoning”.
Secondly, add Your Protein: Vegan Picadillo is the only vegan option, however, do we need more? Vegan Picadillo is made with 100% plant-based Beyond Beef®, onions, & peppers – all in a savory, seasoned tomato sauce.
The next step is the toppings: You can choose as many as you want from these below.
- Black Beans,
- Tomatoes, Peppers,
- Sautéed Onions, and
Beware, Kernel Corn is only vegetarian!
Finally, the Tempting Signature Sauces, the following sauces are free from animal ingredients:
- Fresh Salsa,
- Garlic Sauce (Mojo),
- BBQ Sauce,
- Gauva BBQ Sauce,
- Spicy Poyo-Poyo,
- and Pineapple Rum Sauce
Unfortunetaly, the spice Curry Mustard contains egg.
There is nothing extraordinary there.
- White Rice: Long-grain white rice, nothing more.
- Brown Rice: The same as above, just with extra fiber and color.
- Black Beans: Tasty, healthy, and rich in nutrition.
- French Fries: Luckily, it is basically vegan however cross-contamination is a real thing there.
There are some tricky items that are not quite plant-based. Kernel corn and mashed potato made with butter, and red beans are not even vegetarian nor the yellow rice. Mac and Cheese and Ceaser Salad are obviously not vegan-friendly.
Nope, everything contains dairy or egg.
At least, these items are vegan and quite close to the dessert.
- Sweet Plantains: Perfectly ripe, sweet plantains, cooked to a golden caramelized finish.
- Fried Yuca: Cassava, or Yuca, is like a potato with a tropical kick. Dip this delicious alternative to french fries in some of our famous Mojo Garlic Sauce or Cilantro Garlic Sauce.
Cheesy Yuca Bites are obviously not plant-based.
Pollo Tropical Vegan options in brief
While Pollo doesn’t spoil us with many exclusive vegan items, still you can make a quite decent TropiChop® Bowl with 100 % plant-based Picadillo. So in short, it is worth visiting Pollo as a plant-based eater.
Picture sources: https://www.pollotropical.com/ and its official facebook page.