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Ha, ha, ha, the Planet Laughs.

August 18, 2009

laughing planet006 INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 017 INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 016 What would Soma be without its cheerful sibling Laughing Planet, located above the cafe? Both under the same management, both vegan-friendly and delicious. You can even bring Laughing Planet food down to Soma and eat it there, if you want. And it’s so cheap? How do they stay in business, I wonder? They use ingredients like brown rice, seitan, and local produce, serve huge portions, and yet somehow you can get a burrito for 5 bucks. But WARNING: not for the indecisive. The menu includes quesadillas, soup, veggie burgers, burritos, burrito bowls, and salads. You can custom-order anything you want with ingredients such as black bean hummus, vegan sour cream, and every kind of vegetable under the sun. Whole wheat and gluten free tortillas are also available. INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 018 INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 019 INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 022

Because I refuse to eat my burritos normally (I tear mine to shreds with a fork), I order mine “naked,” without the tortilla. But keep in mind, it is a LOT of food. Lots of filling lentils and beans, fibrous vegetables and perfectly moist nutty (I hate both of those words) cooked brown rice. The burrito bowls I ate during my time in Bloomington were mainly the special burritos. They claimed to rotate them every week, but Laughing Planet, thou liest. It was okay though, since the specials were so good that I would have ordered them more than once.

Specials (choice of chicken, tofu or seitan goes without saying):

Ethiopian burrito: 3 different kinds of lentil dishes, sort of like Indian dal. It also had cabbage, green beans, potatoes, and a tomato salsa.INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 024

East Indian burrito (this one was the only special to be around for only a week—unfortunate, since it was the best one): red lentils, vegetables, peanut curry sauce and a lime pickle salsa.  goodbye bloomington 098

Homegrown burrito (all local ingredients, including the rice): pesto, white beans, zucchini, tomato salsa and corn.goodbye bloomington 153

Others

Asian burrito bowl: bamboo shoots, broccoli, sugar snaps, carrots, and peanut curry sauce.laughing planet002

Black bean and spinach: so much fun to eat. Imagine unearthing layer upon layer of wonderful things with your fork. First rice, then black beans, then gooey strands of jack cheese, with spinach leaves throughout, then finished with salsa. INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 169 INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 170

Cuban: On the starchy side, so I asked for spinach added. Sweet potatoes, plantains (the best part, for sure), black beans, tropical fruit salsa.goodbye bloomington 078

One time I also ordered some kind of pan-Asian salad. It was HUGE, and decent. Lots of chopped almonds.INTENSIVE RUSSIAN 025

The only thing about Laughing Planet is that despite the never-ending combinations, it’s pretty easy to get sick of. In case you couldn’t tell, the burritos are kind of like a fill-in-the-blank word game: the same layout, and only slightly different every time. In some ways, that’s the beauty of it. In other ways, it can be redundant. Then again, I never ordered quesadillas or anything else, because the burrito(bowl)s are just so good.

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