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Plan B Burger Bar
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 77
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
138 Park Rd
phone: (860) 231-1199
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place exemplifies a great neighborhood beer bar--a solid, rotating beer selection with a welcoming environment in a small spot in the heart of the neighborhood.
Whenever we're visiting my girlfriend's family in the Hartford suburbs, we stop by Plan B for a couple beers. I still haven't eaten here, which seems a shame since the food looks so good, but there are few neighborhood bars anywhere where I more enjoy sitting at the bar and sampling some of the draft and bottle offerings.
The room is fairly small with booths and tables filling the rear, and the bar up against the big front windows, with a warmly lit, thick wooden back displaying liquor, wine and beer bottles. The lighting and music levels are spot on. There are only two drawbacks in terms of the space: it can be very cramped in the bar at times, and there are no coat hooks under the small, overflow bar that you can lean against when there are no open seats.
The taplist is always changing and always consists of excellent beers, including many regional breweries and no imports. The bottle and can list is impressive and well-rounded. My only beef with the taplist is that it is often missing any Connecticut beers. I'm glad to see many other New England and Northeast breweries--as well as those from all over the US--represented, but I'd personally like to see at least one tap line dedicated to a truly local beer.
What really makes this a great neighborhood beer bar, though, is the excellent service. Our bartender, who introduced himself as John, on our last visit was extraordinarily friendly and helpful, offering both samples and detailed descriptions of various tap offerings. Multiple times while we were sitting at the bar, he explained to patrons that they had neither Guinness nor Blue Moon, but politely offered samples and descriptions of various similar beers that they might like. This unpretentious approach, rather than the beer snobbery encountered as some other bars, is the way to convert people to good beer, and get people to try something new. Right neighborly.
02-13-2012 21:55:36 |
More by FrankLloydMike
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've been to the West Hartford Plan B a few times. Overall, I enjoy going to this bar. It has a real nice atmosphere and the food is great. They have a great selection of burgers and sandwiches, all of which are very tasty. Also, They also do a good job at actually cooking the burgers as requested. The place is small and gets crowded quickly and they don't offer call-ahead seating, which is really freaking annoying. Not sure why more restaurants can't do this, especially these guys since there is no place to wait for your table inside the restaurant, other than the tiny bar area.
In general, the wait staff is solid. My only complaint has been at the actual bar. The most recent time in there, the bar tender really did not know his beers. I'm not going to get into the specifics of the issues, but I just feel that if you are going to specialize in beers, that you should have your more knowledgeable employees in the bar area. Also, I feel that the beer selection is, at times, disappointing. It is rare that I go in there and find something that I really want. They seem to specialize in the beers that are better than the BMC crap, but not as good top tier craft options. I am probably being over critical, but I just wish they were a tad stronger in the beer area. Overall, this is a very good bar and worth a stop by.
12-04-2011 21:10:57 |
More by pjs234
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Specializing in beer, burgers, and bourbon. Me too! We could get along!
Atmosphere is a cross between sports bar and saloon. Everything is made of wood which I like.
Arguably the best burger I've ever had and I do love me a good burger (the only other contender is from Craigie on Main in Cambridge MA but that's a somewhat of a different bag altogether). The meat is ground fresh daily and it tastes like it.
Our server was friendly, knowledgable about both beer and food and more than willing to provide beer samples for indecisive me. The other staff worked together as a team to run our food and seat us and were all equally friendly. We left a 30% tip we were so impressed. Plan B's manager deserves credit for such a cohesive unit.
Beer selection was the only qualm I have about this place. The tap list wasn't only not local-centric, it didn't have a single Hooker, Cottrell, NEBCo., Calvary or local CT beer on tap. They did have many of the aforementioned in cans/bottles but I'm a stickler for a well rounded taplist. Plan B has Sabrett hot dogs which I can't find anywhere else and are the perfect hot dog in my mind.
I want one in my backyard.
12-04-2011 15:50:54 |
More by donkeyrunner
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is a pretty good joint, one of the few that caters to micros in the area that I know of. Have been there a few times but was able to walk out somewhat level headed today for a review...
Basics of the place: kind of a higher end sports bar without all the memorabilia bullshit on the walls. Dining area appears to be bigger than the bar area (never have been in the dining section) which has booths and tables along with seating at the bar. 13 taps and a nice bottle menu.
Today I started with a Mojo Risin Double IPA which was a nice one to see. Along with Mojo, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, Ommegang Abbey, Cisco Whale's Tail, RJ Rocker's IPA, Dogfish Head Aprihop, Allagash White, and more were on tap.
The food is two steps above sports bar crap. Pulled pork sliders with coleslaw are very good.
Our waiter was very knowledgeable, and happened to have worked in a Portland Maine micro brewpub. All I can say about the rest of the waitstaff is that they are soft on the eyes...
Overall, this is a nice stop when I'm up in that area. Always have solid beer selections rotating on the taps and even a great bourbon selection. If you are in the area, a definite must stop.
03-06-2011 00:32:58 |
More by ThreeDimesDown
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Visited for lunch after an REI trip with my wife. Hard to find as we drove right past, maybe more distinct signage? It is right on a main road but lots of other food places etc around.
Walking in there are table and chair combos in front of you and a horseshoe bar to the right with about 12 stools. Decor is dark wood and some exposed iron work. some mirrors and other breweriana. Lots of bourbons behind the bar. beer, bourbon, burgers that is what you find here.
Kind of a smaller pub but doesnt feel claustrophobic. menu is pub grub with emphasis on fresh ground beef and humanely treated animals. beer selection is great, a chalkboard details the draft list and the bottles are very extensive. Maybe 20 drafts and 50-60 bottles. I had a 50/50 beef and pork burger that was great! My wife had possibly the best turkey burger ever. I enjoyed a Brother thelonious with my sandwich. Staff was very knowledgeable about the beers and were friendly, nice to see informed servers.
WE are definitely going to hit this place again, next time we go to REI.
Not sure of the other Plan B locations but this one is a good place for a tasty sandwich and excellent beer choices!
12-25-2010 03:43:53 |
More by sulldaddy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have been to Plan B in West Hartford twice, both times I ate at the bar and enjoyed several draft beers as well as lunch.
Both of my visits were during the late afternoon, before a dinner rush. During this time there were no problems finding choice seats at the bar and the bar service was excellent. They also have a nice patio out front, perfect for the spring/summer weather.
I visited primarily for the draft beer selection, which is great. About 15 drafts with good 'national' crafts (e.g. Stone, Allagash) and some smaller places (Long Trail, Ithaca). They also have a few mainstream stuff on tap (PBR?) so there is something for everybody. Good mix of seasonals and year rounders. Seemed to be only domestic stuff on draft. I did not take a thorough look at the bottle list but it appaered to be impressive for the area. They have some varied glassware but not proper "beer bar" service. The staff seems to generally know about and respect the beers but not beer-bar level knowledge. Shot-sized sample tastes were happily given.
The food is very, very good. I have tried the mini burgers as well as the standard classic burger. They taste like some of the best, backyard burgers you will have - this isn't prime beef, but its very high quality meat prepared to perfection, cooked nicely and super fresh. The truffle fries are also great. The apps are very good as well.
05-24-2010 13:47:29 |
More by bceagles39
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've been to this place twice now. Once to meet someone for a pint, and once for lunch. The interior is probably my least favorite of the three, but it's still nice. The space is a little tight, with only a small bar, but I didn't have trouble finding a seat both times.
Plan B definitley respects their beer. The staff has above average knowledge of the beers, and if you ask them about the tap beers, they give you samples without hesitation. The two times I went I got Allagash White and Stone Ruination. They have about 12 rotating taps, usually with some decent stuff. On my second visit, there seemed to be limited variety on taps, but I guess the bottles make up for that. The bottle selection is huge. They have just about any canned craft available, as well as 12 oz. and bomber selections. The bombers can get expensive, but I saw a sign that said they are 1/2 off on Mondays.
The Plan B chain specializes in high quality burgers, but when I went for lunch I ordered a bowl of chilli. The chilli was very good...very meaty and not too spicy. There are some higher quality restaurants in the area, but I have no complaints. The prices for the beers and food all seemed reasonable to me...I got a pint and a bowl of chilli for $11. I'll come back if I'm in the area for lunch.
04-29-2010 17:48:21 |
More by jeffthecheff
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
I've been to this place a few times. Both during the day and at night.
The atmosphere is good. Kind of a small place but you can also sit outside. the bar is also on the small side. Everyone seems to be always having a good time. A mix of every kind of person you can think of.
The service was good. Nothing to complain about. They seem to know their beer good enough.
The beer. They have a huge selection of brews on tap, bottled and even in the can. Only american however. I'm not complaining, it's a burger place. The variety is very good and the beers on tap are always changing.
The prices of the beer is way to high for me. I can only go to this place once in awhile. They should really go down on the prices. Not on the food though, that seems to be reasonable but not the beer. So if your on a budget and want to drink alot. I recommend the Spigot.
The food is exceptional could be the best burgers i've ever had. Nice variety of burgers also. The other entrees are good also. Just wish the beer was cheaper!!
04-02-2010 02:25:24 |
More by mnrider
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | $$
To start off with a friend brought to this place with the words "best beer selection around." Well that is not the case, they don't serve imports. Only American beer, not that all American beers are bad. To have the best selection you got to have beer from all over the globe.
It being my first time there and not knowing the domestic beer policy I ask for my old stand by, Bass. The bartender rudely tells me about "only American beer here buddy." He could have offered something that is like Bass or close to it.
They don't have anything on the tables with the beer selection what they do have is alll the bottles about ten feet above the well of what they offer. It is possible to see what they have.
It is a odd mix of 20-somethings and 60-somethings.
Not a place I would go to again, but to each there own.
10-27-2009 19:49:08 |
More by manofmanners
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Having gone here twice in the past two weeks, I think it is time I review it. Bar is directly to your right as you enter. On nice days, they open up the large window/doors by the bar which is nice.
Lets start with the easy part. The food is very good. Three mushroom burger is probably my favorite.
On to the beer, roughly a dozen on tap. A lot of fall type beers are currently on tap including Dogfish Pumpkin. Southampton IPA was a welcome site but the only IPA that I saw. They do have a solid selection of bottles/cans as well.
The service can be hit or miss and I have found most of the time they are a hit. They do tap handle jiggle thing to "foam" the beer which is really annoying. I think someone else noticed this as well.
Overall, one of the better places in CT for beer.
09-27-2009 12:39:52 |
More by CharlesRiver
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Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford, CT