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Plan B Burger Bar
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 77
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
138 Park Rd
phone: (860) 231-1199
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-18-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
In Connecticut for the holidays and a friend suggested this place after having been here a bunch of times. I wasn't expecting too much going in and left completely satisfied. I can't wait to get back.
The atmosphere was pretty relaxed for a Saturday afternoon, the vibe was quite festive with holiday lights all over the bar area. Seating for tables is rather limited, we were lucky enough to snag a few seats at the bar. The bartenders were friendly, responsive and up for talking beer.
The beer is selection is remarkable with highlights draft highlights that included Anchor 2007 Our Special Ale (delicious!), Avery The Czar, Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, Long Trail Double Bag, Brooklyn Lager, Allagash Grand Cru & Mojo IPA. I noticed about 15 taps and another 50 or so bottles including Dale's Pale Ale in a can. My buddy and I shared a bottle of Thomas Hooker Old Marley barleywine that was incredible.
The food was really good too. Their cheesburgers are the main attraction, offering about 12 different burger combinations including the Cuban burger that features ground pork. Burger combinations are unique and creative. Everything was fresh and had a good quality.
I really dug this little gem of a bar - I wanna get back soon.
12-24-2007 21:54:25 |
More by Hibernator
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Visited for lunch after an REI trip with my wife. Hard to find as we drove right past, maybe more distinct signage? It is right on a main road but lots of other food places etc around.
Walking in there are table and chair combos in front of you and a horseshoe bar to the right with about 12 stools. Decor is dark wood and some exposed iron work. some mirrors and other breweriana. Lots of bourbons behind the bar. beer, bourbon, burgers that is what you find here.
Kind of a smaller pub but doesnt feel claustrophobic. menu is pub grub with emphasis on fresh ground beef and humanely treated animals. beer selection is great, a chalkboard details the draft list and the bottles are very extensive. Maybe 20 drafts and 50-60 bottles. I had a 50/50 beef and pork burger that was great! My wife had possibly the best turkey burger ever. I enjoyed a Brother thelonious with my sandwich. Staff was very knowledgeable about the beers and were friendly, nice to see informed servers.
WE are definitely going to hit this place again, next time we go to REI.
Not sure of the other Plan B locations but this one is a good place for a tasty sandwich and excellent beer choices!
12-25-2010 03:43:53 |
More by sulldaddy
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2 | $$$$
be careful what comments you make about plan b and/or plan b personnel on BA. after i criticized their pint prices in the NE forum, the owner tracked me down in person and confronted me in a very unprofessional fashion. service score has been adjusted accordingly.
visited last friday night pre-movies..
tightly packed next to big kohonies, the mexican beacon of all things trinity, is plan b- a shell of its former cypress arms hole-in-the-wall self. the american sister to half door's irish brother, this bar exists to define the upscaling of west hartford's park road area. laid back casual comfort with west hartford panache.
plan b isn't a huge place, and looks very modern inside. brooklyn brewery and flying dog neons hang proudly in the front picture window. the bar is immediately on the right, small and curved to seat about 8-10 people in an almost half-circle. behind the bar, bottles are displayed in a criss-cross sculpture made of wood that reminds one of a multi-player tic-tac-toe board. this criss-cross wood beam thing carries over to the motif of the entire restaurant. opposite the bar on the left wall, the beer list is written on a glass window with white marker. the list already seems off by a few drafts. you can tell by the way it was crafted that it will be a bitch to change. on the left side of the long and thin restaurant are thin pleather-coated booths. the ambience is dark with hanging lights on wires. tables all have a small hanging chalkboard, presumably for specials. today, ours said 'nobody beats our meat.' cute. on the right side of the restaurant (which is divided) exists a more bar-like relaxation area. couch-type benches, small round tables, etc. for the more casual drinker. we opted for the booth (after a 45 minute wait) as the fresh food is the advertised highlight of plan b.
the bartenders are all in dress shirts, and do little tricks with the caps when they open beer bottles. they seemed very rushed and were tasked more with creating mixed drinks than pouring beers. virtually everyone at the bar had little vodka drinks or some such shit.
the beer list was impressive in its quantity. the tap selection was about 12 micros strong. some crap like pabst too but bud-type stuff in bottles only. the craft bottle selection is around 40 strong with currently available highlights which included southern tier tripel bombers, allagash musette, southampton grand cru 750's, and brooklyn monster ale. many other locals but sadly only one thomas hooker beer available.. blonde in bottles. for gods sake, the brewery is practically next door people!! the selection felt very safe. kind of like eli cannon's in the summer, but even eli's offers 4 or 5 out of 25 taps pouring something eclectic, bigger, or more local. the beers i had were all fresh and tasty, served in a conspicuous glass.. tall and thin with a raised surface on the inside. i vocally questioned the content measurement at a pricey $5 a pop.
after nursing a beer standing in the bar area (the place was crowded with preppie socialites and well-dressed families), we hit our booth for some chow. the waitress approached. i ordered a second beer, a hazed and infused. "a what? oh yeah, confused. ok." zoinks. allie went to order an entree, "oh we don't really have that." zoinks. she settles for a cheeseburger, i go for one with chili and jalapenos. my burger was fine, prepared pink as requested. besides the obvious freshness of the patty, the burger was wholly average. fries were somewhat flavorless and the side salad was nothing more than lettuce with olive oil on it. no taste whatsoever other than the dirt it was grown in. plan b also serves salads and personal pizzas.. we saw other people ordering, they looked pretty good. they also offer beer pairings for selected burgers on the menu, but those burgers, as mentioned before, were not available the day of our visit. food here carried alot of hype and just didn't live up to it. getting our check was another nightmare, despite the fact that we were one of 2 tables our server was tending to.
this place needs some breaking in and i will re-review after a few visits. the servers need to learn their beer. the owners need to put some hooker beer on tap and/or something a bit less.. well.. pale-aley. half door, for example, focuses on the drinkable UK stuff but always presents a cask beer, a belgian or two, and perhaps a rauchbier. nothing here, yet, to jizz your pants over (unless you can't get musette where you live). still, i'm guessing that bottle is gonna run into the high 20's. just a guess.
this place is overall worth a stop but not a destination. despite my wild fantasies during the bar's construction, this place doesn't seem focused on the beer.. it's about being a west hartford weekend hangout joint that happens to have some tasty libations. another cog in the wheel of progress, i guess.
07-25-2006 14:44:06 |
More by goodbyeohio
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Could be that Plan B has evolved a bit since Jim visited (see below) but I will say that I was here on a weekday afternoon, so it was not too crowded and felt pretty laid back, which I love in a bar/pub, but it could be different on a typical Friday or Saturday night.
There were 12 beers on tap, and while the locals were still not represented, there was a variety of flavors and I was very surprised to see BigFoot and Old Rasputin on tap. I didn't really challenge the server to determine her beer knowledge, but I was seated close enough to the bar to overhear the bartender describing the tap selections for curious customers and was very impressed. He described the various styles very well and was able to provide some color commentary and historical information on each of the breweries when talking about their beers. He seemed confronted often with people who didn't know what hops were, and was asked at least twice if Old Rasputin was from Russia. He was patient and not condescending as he faithfully answered all questions and was able to get people to order things they'd never had before.
The bottle list was 60 strong. There is no BA that could be disappopinted in this place, save the hard-core people that expect a beer bar of any quality to have rare gems on hand. I easily could have made an afternoon and evening of working my way through the selections. A few macros are represented on tap and in bottles to get the mass appeal that's needed to not alientate anyone and to help pay the rent. Taster glasses were eagerly provided and helped to educate people on new styles and helped to sell the wares.
I found it a bit pricey at $5 for a draft pint of 60 Minute IPA, but maybe I'm spoiled by my Eli's mug prices. Also my wife had a bottle of Paper City Holyoke Dam ale and it tasted a bit off, but I couldn't check the date since she had asked for a glass.
Food was good, but not great. Burgers are large and they have a lot of interesting takes on the humble meat pattie on the menu, but you can only order pink or no-pink. I asked for pink and got the other, but it was tasty and juicy so I let is slide. The side of fries was on the small side, and was something I easily could have made at home.
I'll definitely return to Plan B. I know I'll be able to get a good beer and decent food, and I need to check it out during a different day/timeframe to see if the vibe changes.
01-01-2007 22:09:36 |
More by far333
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Walked in on a Sat.night at about 7.The place was really crowded.This is a pretty small place and even finding a spot to lean against the wall was a challenge. The bartender was very attentive; and even though he was working his butt off managed to get us a quick taste of Brooklyn Cuvee d'Achouffe , and that was what we both chose without hesitation. Other taps that I remember were Brooklyn Lager, Lagunitas Censored, Allagash Double, Farmington River, Flying Dog Porter(?), Long Trail, Hooker Irish, High and Mighty... Also, noticed cans of Oskar Blues on the bottle list.
Nice looking place...kind of stark-chic. Exposed brick..dark wood ..hanging lights..Dark...we needed the candle to read the menu.
We were told we had a 40 min wait , but were seated in about 15 mins. We sat in the section to the left of the bar with elevated tables for two on one side and larger groups on the other.Service was pretty fast and the waitstaff were in a constant state of motion.
I had a swordfish "burger" and my girlfriend had a salmon dinner.The swordfish was good , but the small piece of fish on the sandwich with fries was $14 .. Ouch. My girlfriend's salmon was a little over done. Parmesan fries were good.This is a beef burger place and when we go back , that's what we'll order.
The noise level was pretty high , but we were able to converse without shouting .
Overall , a good experience....the Cuvee made up for the short comings of the food.
One of the waitstaff who was not our server stopped to ask us about how we enjoyed our meal, the place in general and really seemed sincerely inerested in our impressions....like it was not just a formality.
Definitely worth a visit.
03-11-2007 14:22:59 |
More by Hautacam
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
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: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Having gone here twice in the past two weeks, I think it is time I review it. Bar is directly to your right as you enter. On nice days, they open up the large window/doors by the bar which is nice.
Lets start with the easy part. The food is very good. Three mushroom burger is probably my favorite.
On to the beer, roughly a dozen on tap. A lot of fall type beers are currently on tap including Dogfish Pumpkin. Southampton IPA was a welcome site but the only IPA that I saw. They do have a solid selection of bottles/cans as well.
The service can be hit or miss and I have found most of the time they are a hit. They do tap handle jiggle thing to "foam" the beer which is really annoying. I think someone else noticed this as well.
Overall, one of the better places in CT for beer.
09-27-2009 12:39:52 |
More by CharlesRiver
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
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: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've been to this place twice now. Once to meet someone for a pint, and once for lunch. The interior is probably my least favorite of the three, but it's still nice. The space is a little tight, with only a small bar, but I didn't have trouble finding a seat both times.
Plan B definitley respects their beer. The staff has above average knowledge of the beers, and if you ask them about the tap beers, they give you samples without hesitation. The two times I went I got Allagash White and Stone Ruination. They have about 12 rotating taps, usually with some decent stuff. On my second visit, there seemed to be limited variety on taps, but I guess the bottles make up for that. The bottle selection is huge. They have just about any canned craft available, as well as 12 oz. and bomber selections. The bombers can get expensive, but I saw a sign that said they are 1/2 off on Mondays.
The Plan B chain specializes in high quality burgers, but when I went for lunch I ordered a bowl of chilli. The chilli was very good...very meaty and not too spicy. There are some higher quality restaurants in the area, but I have no complaints. The prices for the beers and food all seemed reasonable to me...I got a pint and a bowl of chilli for $11. I'll come back if I'm in the area for lunch.
04-29-2010 17:48:21 |
More by jeffthecheff
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I headed here with a friend on a Friday night. It was busy but not overcrowded. The music was an interesting mix of '80s to present (nothing like sucking down a beer to Counting Crows "Long December"!!!). The beer list was impressive for this area. They had about 10 micros on tap and a fairly extensive 2 page list of bottled beers, listed Light to Dark and Darker to Darkest. Unfortunately the were out of the first two I asked for. The bartenders were friendly and attentive. I didn't have any food but my friend did and it appeared good; the menu was your typical "bar-style" appetizers.
Plan B is definitely a place I'd return!
06-23-2007 02:08:25 |
More by BlueHammer
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Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford, CT
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