Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Am I Blogging About Burritos Again? Why, Yes I Am!

Planet Burrito
5930 W. Park Blvd, Suite 1100B
Plano, TX 75093

So, when I blogged earlier this year about Chipotle vs. Freebirds, a kind reader suggested that I check out Qdoba and Planet Burrito as well. I'd already been to Qdoba several times. As one of the quick and relatively cheap restaurants located near UTD, where I spent an average two nights a week for three years during grad school, it was a dinner option that I exercised on several occasions. I always found it to be basically "just ok", and certainly nowhere near the greatness range of either Chipotle or Freebirds. Then they opened a Chipotle AND a Freebird's at Campbell and 75, and I never went to Qdoba again.

Now, Planet Burrito, located in both Plano and Southlake, was a totally new concept for me. I chose the one in Plano, naturally, which is located on Park at the Tollway (across the street from that enormous Target, if you're familiar with the area). This independently owned burrito shop definitely grabbed my interest right away when I checked out their website. They offer a MUCH wider variety of potential toppings and combinations than either Chipotle or Freebirds. Everything from grilled pineapple salsa to coconut curry sauce to artichoke hearts (I would NOT recommend all three of those on the same burrito, by the way).

To make this range of choices a little less overwhelming, they also have "signature series burritos" to take the guess-work out of it for you. I have tried the Polynesian (Grilled Orange-Lemon marinated Chicken, with Black Beans, Monterrey Jack Cheese, Jasmine Rice, tomatoes, lettuce, Fresh Lime Juice & Grilled Pineapple Salsa) and the Texan (Picante Beef Brisket Braised in a Red Chili Sauce, with Refried Beans, Cheddar Jack Cheese, Tomato Chipotle Rice, Roasted Garlic, Pico de Gallo & Chipotle BBQ Sauce).

On the Polynesian, I ordered it without the tomatoes and lettuce (I don't ever eat raw tomatoes and I despise lettuce in a burrito), but with those tweaks, I thought it was quite tasty. I especially enjoyed the lime juice and grilled pineapple salsa, which added some citrus-y zing. As for the Texan (which I ordered minus pico - again with the tomatoes), it was pretty much pure heaven from bite one for me. The brisket was tender, the BBQ sauce was tangy, and the refried beans were creamy and delicious. My only quibble was the roasted garlic. It was kind of oddly crunchy, and added a weird texture-issue to the burrito. I ordered it the next time minus the garlic, and it was perfection in a tortilla.

I've also done the make-your-own burrito, in which I ordered my burrito in the same manner I would at Chipotle - Cilantro-lime rice, chicken, grilled onions and peppers, salsa, sour cream, jack cheese and guacamole on the side. Unfortunately, it did not even hold a candle to Chipotle. The chicken was a bit on the dry side and lacked flavor, and the guacamole was just not up-to-par. Overall, I think the quality of the ingredients/preparation is just not as high as it is at Chipotle.

One thing Planet Burrito does have in common with Chipotle (which will make C&S very happy) is a dedication to "seeking out Organic and Fair Trade Food and Beverage Products" whenever possible. In fact, on their website, there is an entire section dedicated to their beliefs when it comes to "Planet Responsibility", which also includes recycling and using non-toxic cleaning chemicals. Very cool.

This place is definitely worth checking out if you live or work in the Plano or Southlake areas. They are a nice change of pace from the usual Tex-Mex burrito, and I am still looking forward to trying the Indonesian (Grilled Citrus Marinated Chicken, Black Beans, Monterrey Jack, Jasmine Rice, Romaine, Mango Mint Salsa & Coconut Curry Sauce served in a Tomato-Basil Tortilla) and the Indian (Grilled Citrus Marinated Chicken or Paneer, with Cilantro Lime Rice, Romaine Lettuce, Tikka Masala, and Cucumber Paital). Yum!


Classy&Sassy said...

Planet Burrito sounds yummy! I will definitely keep it in mind for the next time I'm hungry, and in Plano. Which could be never (my trips outside the loop have become far and few between), but stranger things have happened :)

Food Czar said...

FoodiePrincess, I am the kind reader who suggested Planet Burrito. Glad you liked it! I like the way they keep adding new features to their menu and service, such as breakfast burritos and tableside service at peak times.

The best burrito is the Southwestern. I would urge you to try it, but WATCH OUT for that Diablo sauce! YOWTCH!!!

Also be sure and sign up for their email list so you can get all sorts of great deals, like two-for-one burritos, etc.

Have a great day!!

elizabeth said...

Planet Burrito sounds yummy! I think you should do a write-up on the fries at Capitol Pub. You can probably twist my arm to go again.