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04/17/2010 - Blue Planet Natural Grill

I was invited to lunch by a friend to Blue Planet Natural Grill at 6307 Center Street. Easily located on the south side of Center on 67th St. It is an unassuming place from a distance. Once inside it was very warm feeling inside. The entire east wall was glass panel looking out onto their patio. Walls painted in very warm, relaxing colors. I got there right at the beginning of the lunch rush so getting my order in was quick and easy. Everything flowed very nicely from counter to table, and I had to confirm with the Assistant General Manager that it was not a franchise, just because everything seemed so fluid. I was assured that Blue Planet is a locally owned and operated restaurant in Omaha. Admittedly, when I was invited to lunch, I was a bit skeptical as my recent experiences with "natural" restaurants is a menu with out meat on it. This is as far from the truth with the Blue Planet as you can get, they even have 100% Black Angus Beef Burgers!! The vision here is healthy but still good, all of their protein is hormone and antibiotic free. If you want a lesson on what hormone release does to the flavor and quality of the protein you eat, I could explain in great detai, but a person can also easily Google it. When I went there, I checked their menu online and had decided to try the Ahi Tuna Sandwich with Chai. However after meeting witht the management team, they showed me the special of the day Tuscan Chicken Penne. Not one to order off the menu, I went for it. It came with a house salad of spring greens and Blue Planet uses Newman's Own dressing. I plowed through the salad and took my first hit off the Chai, and was delighted at it with a very subtle taste of cinnamon. My entree was brought to me in a big bowl, very nicely garnished (atypical of most franchises I have eaten, big clue it was local at that point), with a nice balsamic vinegar drizzle over it. At first look, it seemed very unassuming, but this bowl of pasta had a secret, it was a bit spicy. I loved it! It has long been my belief that healthy food was bland and flavorless. This was good, really good. The sauce was not too heavy and was not overpowering, the combination of penne, chicken and balsamic evened out the heat. The portion wasn't huge, but I felt like I got my money's worth from it, the special was only $8.99. What I like about this place is that they have five different burgers listed on their menu, however they also have five different meats to choose from, Turkey Burger, Veggie Burger, Black Bean Burger, Angus Beef and Chicken Breast, which gives you 25 burger options, and they are all very reasonably priced too! I am going back to Blue Planet Natural Grill again, this time to get something off the menu...that Ahi Tuna Sandwich is still calling my name.

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Lucie Lou, Steve and Jane Gouttche have raved about the atmosphere, the food and the management style. I definately need to get to Blue Planet soon.

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July 25, 2010 by Deb from Counterparts Concierge

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