Plan B Burger Bar

very good

21 Reviews
Plan B Burger BarPlan B Burger Bar

Type: Bar, Eatery

138 Park Rd
West Hartford, Connecticut, 06119-1753
United States

(860) 231-1199 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-18-2006

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 35
Photo of Csparks33
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4.5

I love Plan B, and West Hartford is the original. The food is great and the service is too. If you're looking for a great burger and don't want Budweiser, guiness or Corona, this is your spot. Their bourbon selection is great too.

However, the beer selection has become very stale. There's almost nothing out of the ordinary there anymore, and the taps seem to rotate between a few mainstays and a few other guest beers. I know I can always get an Allagash White and a Brooklyn lager, but those beers are starting to overstay their welcome. Where is the New England Brewing? Where Are all the other good CT craft beers? Where is the variety? Other locations seem to get better beers, so I know it's possible. I'd love to see beers posted on Twitter and beermenus as well,because the recent lull in exciting drafts has kept me from visiting as much.

That being said, there's a good bottle and can selection, and i can't say enough about how great the service and food are . All of the Plan Bs are worthy of being your Plan A.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

While visiting Hartford for a couple of days, picked this place based on reviews, plus a friend independently gave it a thumbs up. At midweek dinner rush, the place was full, but with no wait. Seats at the bar were at a premium, however, but it was no problem obtaining samples of any of the 12 draughts, including four Stones: Ruination, Ruination 10, Arrogant Bastard and Ruination Small Batch with Habanero. The rest of the taps were good, but not quite at the same level. Bottle selection ranges from great to OK with prices for craft 12s lower than Boston prices for BMC. Monday night special is half-price on bombers. The specialty burgers are quite good, but if you're going to promote the "some pink" and "no pink" options, don't bring a "no pink" burger in response to "pink" (and confirmed by the waitress). Aside from being slightly overcooked for the order, the burger was quite good (all beef burgers are made from premium, on-location-ground beef). The waitstaff is fairly efficient if somewhat harried. I had a rather simple order and knew what I wanted, so could not really test how knowledgeable they were. But the bartenders know what they are doing and are friendly and generous. When I asked for sample of Ruin10, I was also offered the Habanero sample for comparison without prompting. The draught pours are roughly the price of a comparable bomber -- for those that come in bombers, so slightly pricier than bottles. Despite the nearly full house, it was easily possible to hold a normal conversation at the tables. Large outside seating area, perfect for the summer (on a rather quiet street).

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of pjs234
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.38/5  rDev +12%
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!

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Photo of bceagles39
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of mnrider
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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!!


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Photo of manofmanners
1.73/5  rDev -55.8%
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.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of DousedInStout
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I'm re-posting a review previously from January (which is still below, unedited)...

This place has been declining ever since my last post, and now I feel compelled to edit this review. I go to this bar, on average, 3 times a month. They have the best selection in the West Hartford area, but more and more frequently I find a lack of variety on tap (especially a lacking in the dark beer department). They also have trended more toward larger, less adventurous craft brewer offerings (Rogue, Brooklyn, Long Trail, Abita, Magic Hat) than the more boutique brewers.

While I never update reviews, tonight my threshold was met. My fiance (who has an extensive craft beer knowledge as well) and I walked up to the bar. We looked at the taps, and the bartender immediately says to her "You won't know anything on tap - you want a recommendation?". We said no thanks, and admitted that yes, we have seen everything on tap (Magic Hat Circus Boy, Long Trail Double Bag, Rogue Dead Guy, Lagunitas IPA, PBR, Wolavers Pale, Shipyard Summer, Abita Purple Haze. etc) - nothing very rare or special. So then my fiance asks for an old rasputin bottle - to which he says they are all out of. Then, instead of offering something comparable that they do have, like a Ten Fidy or Rogue Shakespeare, he recommends Abita Purple Haze, because "it's kind of fruity".

Absolutely absurd. If you're going to operate a beer bar, hire a knowledgeable and approachable staff - not a demeaning and ill informed one. Also, watching the bartender pour, he continually jerked the tap back and forth on each beer - making it pour foam heavy while wearing down the tap faucets. It was cringe inducing. If your staff isn't familiar with craft beer and how to pour them, educate and train them. And while you're at it, how about putting a couple unique offerings on tap - like something from special from Ballast Point, Oskar Blues, Smuttynose, Avery, Boulder, etc?

Last post: 1-10-09
I've been going to Plan B a couple times a month for about a year or so. For the immediate Hartford area, you won't find a better tap selection.

This past week, they had Avery Czar Imperial Stout, Dogfish Chicory Stout, Stoudt's Fat Dog, Ballast Point Yellowtail, Oskar Blues Gordon, Trinity IPA, Allagash Black, Brooklyn Lager, Cisco Whale's Tail and several others. The tap selection at the West Hartford location always seems to have better beers and more of a variety than the Simsbury and Glastonbury locations.

I do have two constructive critiques though. First, the bar area is very small and it gets tight on weekend nights. It's really hard to enjoy an amazing beer when you are being bumped every 5 minutes in the bar area. One should definitely avoid going there between 6-9pm if they just want a nice craft beer and watch part of the game. My other critique is that I continue to be amazed at how many people in the bar area are drinking bud light bottles. With such an amazing tap selection (and always pbr on tap), the bud bottles seem an unneccessary and almost offensive placation to the unappreciative.

Overall, the burgers, apps, and deserts are delicious in their own right, and combine that with top notch draft beer, I could stay there all night (as long as I have a seat at the bar).

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Photo of chuckd123
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Been to this place so many times in the last year or so it's time for a quick review.

If you're in the Hartford area, you know we really have no true beer bars. You can go to New Haven or Middletown, or (much) better yet, drive to western MA, Boston or NYC -- but around Hartford the places with a solid selection of taps or bottles are nil.

Plan B brings a great atmosphere; bartenders are attentive & knowledgable, and the selection is about a dozen constantly rotating taps & perhaps 30 or so good bottles to choose from. Worth pointing out they only serve American brews here.

Typical breweries on tap:
Brooklyn, Stoudt's, Great Divide, Rogue, Boulder Beer, Weyerbacher, Southern Tier & Allagash.

Great food too -- probably the best burgers around.

Overall great place, not a hardcore beer bar, but a great neighborhood bar with good food, beer and atmosphere.

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Photo of fredandboboflo
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited twice recently, once on a Tuesday night, once a Friday night. Huge difference: Tuesday a sparce, relaxed crowd, conversation with the bartender, nice spot for a drink. Friday extremely crowded, wouldn't really want to stand in the tight spaces, 45 minute wait for a table. Always have some very solid brews on tap, seems like often they'll have an Allagash, a Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Avery, Brooklyn, all good stuff, I guess about 12 in total. Bottle list kinda random, lots of different breweries, but only a couple brews from each. Also NOTHING imported, ONLY domestic. I only had an appetizer, some portabella bites and goat cheese, extremely tasty...but not exactly a lot of food for your money...that's an prices seemed pretty reasonable to me, especially considering you can't expect anything better at a bar for miles as far as I know.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of BlueHammer
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

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Photo of BobThomas
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went here on Thursday evening around 7:00. The place was pretty crowded. I got all the attention I felt I was warranted by the busy wait staff. We got our food quickly as well. Great burgers, one of the best I've ever had. The beer list had nearly 20 beers I believe. A couple macros, mostly micros which of course is what we're all looking for. A Lagunitas, a Rogue, some North Coast. All good stuff, but nothing that made me jump for joy. It was pretty much the beers I liked the least or from all the breweries. I think all the beers were served in pint glasses. I'm not sure they had any other glassware, I didn't see any other glasses in the whole place. It's worth coming to to check out, but It's pretty loud, so it might not be an ideal date spot or anything (if you want to talk to your date I mean).

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Photo of Hautacam
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
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 it was not just a formality.

Definitely worth a visit.

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Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
1.65/5  rDev -57.8%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2

**2008 EDIT**
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.

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Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford, CT
3.91 out of 5 based on 35 ratings.
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