We (Rick and Adrienne) started El Planta out of a personal desire for more plant-based Mexican options. We grew frustrated with the limited and often Tex-Mex dominated offerings, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. Our inspiration? A chickpea taco that sparked a realization - plant-based Mexican food deserved more. With a “how hard can it be attitude” we took a pop-up space in 2019 to make tacos that we would want to eat.
Turns out it is hard! With neither of us working in the hospitality industry we turned to Youtube to work out how to run a kitchen, what to do in a restaurant, and how to make different Mexican sauces and salsas. We swung open the roller door with the intention of it to be a side hustle, operating just one night a week. However, the community had different plans. The pop-up quickly escalated to six-nights-a-week, with lines out the door and selling out before 6:30pm.
We soon realised that our side-hustle had more to it then we ever imagined.
A year later, our dream took a giant leap forward. We saved enough money to open our own restaurant, just a stone’s throw away from our original pop-up location. We received the keys just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit! We turned to at home kits to bring El Planta into homes across Brisbane and the hopes that we had enough in us to get through lock-down.
In June 2020, the doors to El Planta’s permanent home on Hope Street officially opened, offering a unique Mexican experience nestled in the concrete jungle of South-Brisbane. Surrounded by towering buildings, our small restaurant stands as a beacon of warmth, friendliness and good times.
At El Planta, we draw inspiration from traditional Mexican cuisine and Californian Mexican influences, with a strong emphasis on making everything from scratch.
Our tortillas, a staple of Mexican culinary identity, are hand-pressed and cooked to order, embodying our dedication to tradition and quality. We meticulously source premium Mexican ingredients, including chilies, flour, tequila, and mezcal, and we proudly support local growers, farmers, businesses, and makers in the creation of our menus.
El Planta is not just a restaurant; it’s a community. Our all-female team, from the kitchen and bar to front of house, is the heartbeat of our little restaurant, bringing passion, skill, and a love into everything that we do.
We invite you to experience El Planta, where every dish and marg tells a story, and every bite and sip is made from intention, passion and a desire to welcome you into our little restaurant.