Laughing Planet

a vegetarian paradise

Atley Weems

Atley Weems

Atley Weems, A&E Editor

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I enjoy meat. I like just about anything; chicken, beef, ham, turkey, light or dark meat, anything. Whether I continue to eat it depends on the taste, but I have never looked at a steamed piece of broccoli and thought about how rich it would taste seeping over my taste buds. I believe that any person who would is a vegetarian, a starving human, crazy, or a combination of the three.

So as I entered the Laughing Planet café I felt, to say the least, like an outsider. I have never felt so out of place at a café before in my life. I looked sleep deprived with large bags under my studied-out eyes and was craving a burger and fries due to my long day of school that had crashed down upon me test after test. I didn’t want a salad, but rather a steak. Yet all I saw was green. Green titles, signs, and food cloaked my vision.
Yet, oddly, the atmosphere was kind and inviting. The cashiers smiled nicely at people, giving opinions and help when needed.

The man who helped my mother and I looked as though his image belonged next to the definition of hipster in the dictionary. He wore box glasses, a flat billed hat, topped off with a plaid blue shirt. Despite his outspoken clothes, he was fairly quiet and when I asked him about the menus being recycled he seemed shocked, as if it was crazy that I didn’t already know. After informing us that they were indeed recycled and taking our orders, he gave us our table number and small lemonades, smiling a goodbye while telling us to enjoy.

Once we sat down I was given the opportunity to really take in the environment. I was so worried about the food that I ignored how interesting the place was. Canvases covered the back wall and toy dinosaurs traveled over tables next to small flipbooks of Laughing Planet self-advertisements. There wasn’t any boredom while letting my eyes wander along the walls of the café. Our food arrived within minutes of our ordering, and our waitress Danielle was excited to tell us about how they had opened up only three months ago. She told us that she loved her job, and that she hoped we loved our meals.

Maybe it was Danielle’s wistful hopes that we’d enjoy the food, or maybe it was the cooking itself, but once the cheese and bean burrito I had ordered arrived at my table I couldn’t help but attack it widely. It was a mess. Beans and pieces of tomato fell out here and there, and my dry mouth could barely fit around a corner of the large thing to take a bite.

You see, braces make things tens of millions of times harder than they should be, so what’s a usual soft burrito for anyone else is a squishy, tongue probing catastrophe for a person with braces.

Not only was it difficult, but the beans were too dry and there wasn’t enough cheese to balance them out with the chunky pieces of tomato that seemed to hop out of nowhere and take over all exposed taste buds. Do not get me wrong, it tasted fine, but for $4.95 it could have been a lot better. The best part was the lemonade. It was tangy, but sweet and perfectly cold.

The food wasn’t the only thing that presented a struggle, but the location of Laughing Planet did as well.

We drove in a circle three times before a spot opened up in the parking lot. It wasn’t that the café was full, but their parking was so limited that it made it difficult to enter the restauran hidden at 650 Tahoe St. in Midtown. It would have been nice if there was more parking available, but there isn’t much that they could do to change that dilemma.

Overall, I appreciated my experience. I would recommend this place to any living vegetarian, as well as any meat lover that is willing to try something new. Although there were a few things that I would change, I would be happy to go back and try their food another time.

The Laughing Planet is a welcoming place, and I am thankful I was welcomed to eat there.

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