Opening this Saturday in Georgetown is the newest location of PLNT Burger, the plant-based burger joint from the creative mind of Top Chef Alum, Spike Mendelsohn. Having created a name for himself in the Washington area through his Good Stuff Eatery and We the Pizza restaurants, it’s no surprise that Mendelsohn’s expanding his empire with PLNT Burger. On hot and sunny DC afternoon, Men’s Life DC had a chance to sit down with Spike and his team (Ben Kaplan, Jonah Goodman and Chef Mike Colletti) at their newest location to discuss their entry into the plant-based market, plans for the new location and what’s coming up for the future.
PLNT Burger started when Mendelsohn met Seth Goldman, the former owner of Honest Tea and current chairman of Beyond Me on a panel about three or four years ago. The story goes that Goldman slipped some Beyond Meat burgers to Mendelsohn who cooked them up for his wife, who is vegan and was blown away. So impressed, he wanted to work with him right away. Since Beyond Meat was just starting out, Mendelsohn initially worked with Goldman and Beyond Meat to develop content for the company until the opportunity to open up PLNT Burger’s first location in Silver Spring.
That location located in the Silver Spring Whole Foods was an instant success. Opening just as Covid hit, PLNT essentially operated under the “cloud kitchen” model. With the ability to utilize Whole Food’s kitchen and the hot food bar in the grocery store shuttered, the restaurant was able to offer a burger shop that just happened to be plant based, creating a demand for a delicious product as well as an opportunity to replicate the model in other Whole Foods locations.
“We’re not a restaurant for vegetarians or vegans. We’re a restaurant for anyone who likes all American food, burgers, shakes and fries,” says Mendelson. 80 to 85% of the company’s customers would not classify themselves as vegetarian or vegan. The restaurant sees their customers as those that want that elevated burger experience who might want to diversify their diet. And apparently many people want it. The new Georgetown spot will be PLNT’s eighth location.
The new Georgetown spot will be the first that is outside a Whole Foods location. And by outside we truly mean outside! This new spot will be PLNT Burger’s first Mobile Kitchen trailer parked at Sandlot Georgetown. Sandlot is an outdoor space featuring the PLNT’s food trailer along with an open-air bar concept, The bar will be serving fresh pressed juice cocktails. In addition, Sandlot has partnered with Uber Eats. They are bringing in a food truck to support and incubate black owned business concepts. To go along with the food and drink, there will be a variety of activations featuring community events as well as live music.
PLNT Burger will be open Monday through Sunday starting at 11 o’clock every day. Closing at 10:00 pm on the weekends, Friday and Saturday and at 9:00 pm every other day. While you’re there try the new Save the Bay Filet. If you like a Filet o Fish, you love the Save the Bay. And coming soon is their version of the McRib sandwich. The company also teases that they have some big announcements coming in the next few months. If they are anything like what we’ve already tasted, we are in for a treat.
The new location is located at 2715 Pennsylvania Avenue.