Plan B Burger Bar
Taps: 16 / Bottles: 77
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
4.18/5 rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Dinner and drinks on Saturday, 10/20/2012.
Tucked behind Hopmeadow St in the center of Simsbury, this place would be pretty tough to 'stumble upon'. A decent sized deck guards the front entrance and leads to an intimate dining experience on the first level: the bar occupies the wall directly in front with some cleverly positioned tables attempting to make the most of the somewhat cramped space. The downstairs opens up to some additional seating in a somewhat more relaxed environment. Approximately 20 taps, all of which were pretty impressive in both quality and selection, especially for the region. Some highlights included Oskar Blues' Deviant Dales, Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Allagash Curieux, etc. The bottle list runs about 50 deep and is equally as impressive as the draught list (Stoudt's, Weyerbacher, Stone, DFH, Southern Tier, etc.). Service was timely and helpful, even when offering advice on styles and descriptions, despite it being very busy on a Saturday night. The food menu is geared towards designer burgers, but other selections were available as well. Very tasty and certainly worth the price. I real comfortable dining/drinking experience; I would definitely return here in the future.
10-22-2012 19:39:35 | More by NEhophead
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
A: Cozy one-room interior has a bar and a row of tables to the left, booths to the right, and more booths on a raised platform at the far end. Lots of leather, wood, and warm lighting. Comfortable. Cow-themed artwork promises an appealingly carnivorous menu. I love it.
Q: The bottle list brags about not offering anything rated lower than "B" on BA. I like that they pay attention, but plenty of B beers aren't all that good; I wish they'd made the cutoff at least B+. Still, plenty of tasty 12oz bottles arranged from light to dark, as well as a less specific but potentially more promising list of large-format possibilities (e.g. "Assorted Dogfish Specialties"). I didn't ask for specifics here, since I was driving and my wife didn't feel like drinking at all, but FYI Monday nights are half-price on big bottles. I wound up going for one of their draft offerings.
Service: Very friendly, attentive service, including the offer of draft samples. Could have been a bit quicker bringing the check, but no serious complaints at all.
Selection: I love American craft brews, but I can't give a place above a 4 here if it doesn't even offer meaningful alternatives to Belgians. Tying up one of the 14 tap lines with PBR doesn't help much, either. Still, all traditional American styles were represented either on tap or in bottles, and there may have been some more gems among the anonymous large-format bottles.
Food: My bacon cheeseburger was truly magnificent - hugely flavorful, juicy, and cooked to a perfect medium (which was the result of asking for "some pink" - one of only two possible doneness levels on the menu). My wife was equally enthusiastic about her pretzel burger; I only took off a half-point because my wife found the pickles to be "weak." I couldn't have been happier, myself.
Value: My pint of Little Sumpin' Sumpin' was $4.75 - eminently reasonable - and most of the bottles were similarly priced. Ten FIDY was the top 12oz offering at $6.50. The food was decidedly pricier, with the cheapest burger starting at $10; fries are included, but they charge extra if you want any other kind of side. I didn't appreciate this nickel-and-diming, but the overall tab was reasonable.
Notes: This was a great place for lunch, with great food and plenty of solid beer available. If it were closer to New Haven, I would probably patronize it regularly. As it is, Prime 16 is equally impressive food-wise, has larger and often better tap lists, and a more diverse (if somewhat smaller) bottle list. Still, the Simsbury Plan B was well worth the drive.
10-18-2010 23:07:24 | More by woosterbill
4.55/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I'm taking the time to review my other favorite local establishment. Plan B doesn't brew their own beer but they have an OUTSTANDING selection of beers on tap. They have a couple of beer lists on chalk boards but you usually can't read them and they change taps all the time so your best bet is to just ask your server for the list. The servers all seem to actually know something about the beers they serve and they all have their favorites. The bartenders are a delight to be around. They are friendly and knowledgable and know when to chat and when to get out of the way.
The other thing that the B in Plan B stands for is Bourbon. I know this is a beer review but they have an amazingly broad selection of some VERY good stuff.
The last thing the B stands for is Burgers. Their burger are.... AMAZING! Fresh, big, juicy, hormone-free (and a few other "green/natural" things that make the Simbsbury locals happy... but when its all said and done they just taste GREAT. My favorites are the Phili-cheese burger and the Pretzel burger. Now sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a burger but their Mac and Cheese is GREAT. I have a vegan friend that swears they have the best veggie burger ANYWHERER... I wouldn't know about that. I'll have to take her word for it.
The deck is cozy and a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends and a couple of beers. The upstairs dining/bar area seems a little small but maybe that's because its usually full of people...even at 3 in the afternoon. The downstair area is rustic and cozy and surprizingly big.
Great food... excellent ever changing beer selection... fun folks... Check it out. You won't be disappointed.
06-08-2010 23:27:05 | More by GranbyBrewer
4.95/5 rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Plan B in the Berry. I was very happy this place took over the old train station. Ample parking in the front and back of the tracks. New deck with out about 6 or 7 tables that have umbrellas attached. I love sitting outside or taking a walk on the deck if it gets too stuffy inside at night. The upstairs has a very nice bar with comfortable stools. Some nice LCD televisions with the games on. They have a couple bigger tables for larger parties. The downstairs has extra seating. I get a really good vibe in this place. Candles on the tables, very clean bar, always a bunch of people even on weekdays. They have trivia night on Tuesday nights and the place is usually packed. The wait staff and bartenders are all top notch. Seriously, from the hostess to the owner, everyone is so friendly and you can tell they enjoy their jobs. Bartenders are very knowledgeable about most of the beers on tap because a lot of them hang out after their shift or when they are not working that night. They have about 12 beers on tap and a bottle list of about 60 beers. Not a single tap is ever wasted. Pabst is on tap occasionally for the cult following but that's as macro as it gets. They have a good hookup with dogfish - I've seen Black and Blue, Palo Santo, Midas Touch and many others you don't normally find on tap. Almost always an Allagash on tap. The rest usually rotate between all the greats in the surrounding areas - smuttynose, brooklyn, ect... and now even stone! Usually you go to beer bars for the beer, pub food is pub food. Not in this place. You'll know why you paid 10 dollars for the burger you get. Top quality meat with delicious toppings(chili burger is my favorite). Everything down to the jalapenos is so fresh. I don' even put ketchup on the fries because they are so fresh and tasty. Good chicken and fish burgers too if you don't like beef. Pints are around the normal 5 bucks a pop. They have pint glasses and chalices for the higher ABV beers on the glassware side of things. If this is something you stress about that may be the only downfall of the establishment. Other than that I don't see how you could do a better job with a beer bar in my area. The perfect ingredients for an awesome place that is only 5 minutes away from me. I love it.
10-07-2009 16:55:03 | More by DNICE555
4.53/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I've been here a few times and decided to pay closer attention on my most recent visit. 14 rotating beer taps. This visit's taps included Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Long Trail Coffee Stout, Wolaver Oatmeal Stout, Stone IPA, Rogue Mocha Porter, Blue Point Blueberry Ale, Allagash White, Brooklyn Oktoberfest, Sierra Nevada Tripple, DFH Pala Santo, Stoudts Octoberfest, Sea Hag IPA, PBR. There are also about 60 bottles, a couple dozen cans, and a handful of bombers from all sorts of breweries. It's worth mentioning that all beers here are domestic. I had a Palo Santo and a Sea Hag.
The menu features gourmet burgers, but there are also some entrees, salads, and appetizers. I ordered the baja burger (beef with jalapenos, avocado, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, chipotle...very tasty).
I sat at the bar, and the bartender knew about all the beers and offered his opinion on them as well. He even offered me samples before I decided what I wanted. He did say Shipyard Pumpkinhead is one of his favorite beers, but I won't hold that against him. ;) Very friendly and knowledgeable service. I get this level of service every time I come here.
Nice atmosphere here. The beer and bourbon play a prominent role in the decor. Several large HDTV's so I could watch football.
Overall, a great place to get a good meal and top quality beer.
09-26-2009 17:07:40 | More by mtbbaboon
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The place is located off the main street through Simsberry. It has a big BBQ menu and it was pretty full with families. It was the week of 4th of July and it had a festive atmosphere with a friendly vibe. The food looked good and the price was right. It was about $5 for an Allagash Black and no charge for a sample.
The bartender was a little socially recluse and made an aquard joke about my dad and I going for a beer on such a nice day. But after that was overcome it was better experience and the bartender displayed a good knowledge of what notable beers had been on tap. On tap that day was a good selection of American crafts. About half the taps were summer ales or fruity beers. The bottle/can list had everything from Brooklyn, Oskar Blue, Smutty, and others.
This use to be a restaurant called One Way Fair according to some local family friends. So keep an eye out for it, its a nice and unexpected find.
07-09-2009 20:21:31 | More by TubaManJack
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I have been to Plan B on several occasions and it has always been excellent. All of the burgers I have tried are good and the onion rings and sweet potato fries are great. The beer selection has always been good. The last time I visited I had a Stoudt's Fat Dog Stout draft and it was at a good temperature (i.e. not too cold) and they only charged $5, I expected to pay more.
It is actually not a bad place for families. They have a decent kids menu and you are in an old train station. The only negative I would have is the service is inconsistent at times. If they are busy you may sit with an empty glass for a while before you are asked for a refill.
06-27-2009 01:32:10 | More by strengthdoc
4.06/5 rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
This was meant to be a review of Plan B, Glastonbury:
Looks like I've found a back-up to Eli's.
Plan B is located in a upscale strip mall, hidden from view, so it took a couple of loops around the building before I finally found it.
Inside, the large semi-circled bar with fixed bar stools dominates the room. Test tube shaped bulbs with red shades dangle over the bar. High ceilings and a dark marble surface with ample tables and leather chairs with studded trim surrounding the bar make for a pleasant, upscale though not snobbish atmosphere (the large framed picture of a young Johnny Cash flipping the bird helps in that department). Once I bellied up and saw Creme Brulee on tap and for only $5.25, I knew this was more than the average brew stop. About a dozen chrome taps mounted to the bar surface. Along with the solid Southern Tier selection, UFO Hefe, Allagash White, Otter Creek's Japanese offering and several others were on tap. A very respectable selection as was the bottle list which I believe totalled around 50. Prices are generally between $4.75-$5.50. There was also a wall of liquor options behind the bar and Two flat screens above the bar. Bar keep was efficient and unobtrusive. A patron sitting next to me ordered a massive burger with sweet potato fries that looked delightful, though I did not sample the food menu.
A tasteful, airy and comfortable pub with a nice selection in Central Connecticut. A welcome addition to the modest beer bar options in my area. Worth the visit.
10-10-2008 15:58:19 | More by jim102864
3.78/5 rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Big fan of Plan B in West Hartford, now branching out to Simsbury. Excellent selection (disclaimer -- it's all relative people. Hartford, CT is not loaded with beer bars...) overall, and same good burgers as WH.
Atmosphere is decent, but more of a casual restaurant feel to it vs. a beer bar. People come in groups and stay with the group. Just not a real fun vibe, and bartender not particularly interested in much of anything beyond bringing a beer if we asked. No beer knowledge really on her part, and overall personality pales in comparison to most of the WH crew.
Overall, if you want a decent beer selection (about 12 taps of various styles & 20-30 bottles -- the bottle menu is longer than that, but they don't have all of them for the most part) this is as good as it gets in Simsbury. I've only been once, so perhaps another visit is in order, but overall feel is somewhat cold.
For sure, the selection itself relative to anything else in the area is enough to warrant a trip.
10-03-2008 00:32:22 | More by chuckd123
4.5/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was very glad to have this place open right in my hometown based on my previous visits to the West Hartford location. This area is otherwise lacking for a good beer bar. And as luck would have it, they have great food too.
Not a big place, but pretty ample seating with hip (but not overdone) decor and comfy and casual atmosphere. Always an interesting selection of beers on tap, though not too too many handles. But the bottle list is huge. It's in a bound booklet on each table.
The food is creative and always tasty. Despite saying that they cook their burgers at least medium-well, they will do them medium rare if you ask for them as pink as possible. Bartenders are friendly and helpful, and always willing to let you taste samples. All of the beers served here are from American brewers. Bartenders are pretty knowledgeable, table servers not always. Although the BA description says that cask beer is available, I have never seen it offered, and don't recall seeing a cask engine.
Crowd is a pretty good mix of younger, older, middle age, married and single, some families. Can get crowded at standard lunch and dinner hours, and on Thursday and Friday nghts, but I've still not waited more than 10 minutes for a table. Even waiting, you can stand at the bar (though it's tight) to grab the first beer.
Prices are reasonable. Highly recommended beer bar/restaurant.
05-28-2008 03:29:17 | More by far333
Plan B Burger Bar in Simsbury, CT
95 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.