I spent my first two years of college studying theatre in Hartford, so it is a place I know well and have many favorite restaurants. In fact, during my entire time abroad, I was craving a certain West Hartford meal... a burger at Plan B.
Just amazing. I just ate an enormous meal and I still can't help but salivate looking at this. I'm an American. I've eaten hundreds of burgers in my lifetime. Plan B is by FAR the best in the world.
A few years ago, I spent a summer bumming around Hartford and living with my friend Jared. (Who, incidentally, I was visiting for my birthday, and dined at Plan B with!) He was a waiter at Plan B, and so I ended up taking a job there as a hostess. It was an amazing place to work...probably my favorite restaurant/food service job I've ever had. The vibe is amazing and it has a fantastic staff, not to mention a great team of regulars. I looked forward to work every day, and I looked forward to leaving at the end of the day because I usually had a takeaway bag of one of their delicious items that I knew I would be enjoying with Jared back home! It is a gem of a restaurant. Everything so good that it's actually ridiculous. Let me put it this way....the entire year leading up to the summer I worked in Hartford, I didn't eat red meat. I think it took three shifts at Plan B for that to go right out the window. It's actually that good. They have a chile con carne with a horseradish cream which is actually stunning...a fierce macaroni and cheese (called Mac and Jack)..but as I mentioned before, shining star is their burger.
On Friday, I had my favorite, the West Coast burger. It has a fried egg, black olive mayo and avocado. I modified it so that it's on a pretzel bun (yes. a pretzel bun!!) and had truffle mayo instead of black olive. I may have asked for some pickles in there too. Anyway, it was phenomenal. Before Plan B, I didn't know it was possible for a burger to melt in your mouth. Guess what. This one does. However incredible you are imagining this burger to be, multiply it by fifty. Seriously. And the way the juices from the meat soak into the bun and blend with the creamy avocado and mayo...it cannot be beat.
I generally don't even like burgers. I'm not really a huge beef person. I always find hamburgrers to be somewhat dry and dense and I never finish them. However, I could eat two burgers at Plan B and still be able to gobble up the sides of pickle and parmesan tater tots that I got with them. (They've got a great variety of sides; I'm loyal to the parm tots, but there's also sweet potato fries, truffle fries, green beans, etc. etc)
Plan B also has a great bar, with lots of local craft beers, which is great. The B in the title stands for burgers, bourbons and beers. I don't know if it also stands for BEST, but it should. It truly is the best. When I got to New York after my weekend in Hartford, all my friends (who I used to live with in CT) asked the same thing; "Did you eat at Plan B??? How was it? Whaddya get?"
Seriously. If you are ever in Connecticut, go to Plan B. Even if you are driving to New York from the north, along route 84, and were thinking of stopping for lunch at, say Reins Deli, maybe hold off another twenty minutes and go to Park rd in Hartford. Sure, you have to get off the highway, but it's worth it.
The original is in West Hartford, but they've got locations in Simsbury and Glastonbury. And, as I learned the other night from some of my previous co-workers, they are planning on opening locations in cities in other states, like Boston (YAY!!!!!) Georgetown, Atlanta and Chicago. Amazing.
I'll be back on track with recipes and more tales of my delicious birthday meals (there were quite a few) in the next few days.