The classic pizza is a savory combination of bread, cheese, and some type of protein, from pepperoni to sausage to Canadian bacon. Sure, it’s covered in tomato sauce and may occasionally contain olives, onions or peppers, but few self-respecting nutritionists would argue that pizza is a quality vegetable source.
That’s why pizza and salad remain a popular meal combination. 575 Pizzeria and Fire Slice offer tangy Greek salads alongside their pies, and the extensive salad bar is a big draw at Gatti’s. But the most beloved pizza side in Amarillo is clearly the chef salad from Pizza Planet –and it’s probably also the most famous salad in the city.
Pizza Planet is a distinctively “Amarillo” place, and its chef salad is just as distinctive. Featuring iceberg lettuce, fresh-cut cheddar cheese, shredded Canadian bacon, black olives and bacon bits, the enormous dish seems to accompany almost every delivery that departs Pizza Planet’s location at 2400 Paramount Blvd. Its popular large chef salad/large pizza combo sells for slightly more than $20 and offers an inexpensive meal for a family of four. Pizza Planet even sells a monstrous extra-large salad that, at $49.99, can feed up to 30 people.
“People order salads by the truckloads,” says manager Ronnie Inmon. “It’s always pizza and salad.” Online reviews at places like TripAdvisor and Zomato reveal customers who admit to preferring other pizza joints these days – but still place regular orders for Pizza Planet’s chef salad.
According to Inmon, the high-quality ingredients – like the shredded Canadian bacon – set his salads apart from other pizzerias. The homemade dressing is a big draw, too. “We have really good ranch, blue cheese, and thousand island,” Inmon says. “My ranch is the best ranch I’ve ever had. It’s made from scratch.”
Jason is a journalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, and the author of more than a dozen books. His most recent is “12 World Religions: The Beliefs, Rituals, and Traditions of Humanity's Most Influential Faiths”, published by Zephyros Press. Learn more at jasonboyett.com.