Plan A: your boring, ordinary, ship-em in/ship-em out burger joint.
Plan B: a beer and bourbon lover’s utopia, piled high with creative , delicious Certified Humane, fresh, never frozen burgers and sides in a sleek and swanky spot.
So, look. Plan A is fine if you just want a plain ol’ burger stat and that’s it. But, when you want more, you need to check out Plan B Burger Bar in Stamford. They just opened August 4 on the right side of the outdoor food court (next to Barnes & Noble, across from California Pizza Kitchen) at Stamford Town Center Mall.
When you step in, you’re greeted by a chalkboard with a big list of American craft beers on draft. We were tired from a long trip from the Hamptons where we celebrated our sixth anniversary in style so we gladly welcomed a nice and comfy table in the bar/lounge area. As we sat, our waitress came by and told us about the beer, bourbon, and drink list. We felt daring, so we went with an Ommegang Witte beer AND the Small Batch Threesome of bourbon for $14. You can also order the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Threesome for $10 or the Single Barrel Threesome at $12.
When the bartender got our order, he climbed up on the bar, took down the bourbon, and got our samples ready. The cups came on a rectangular dish with the names of the bourbons written on a napkin for reference. First was Kentucky Vintage, next was Hirsh Selection, then Four Roses. Before you try your bourbon you’re supposed to put it by your mouth and smell it. If you try to get the aromas through your nose though, you probably won’t be able to pick up all the scents because you’ll be overwhelmed. You actually have to inhale it with your mouth instead. Yeah, we just learned this too! Then, when you are ready to taste, make sure to sip and savor. Our biggest tips are to save most of the bourbon for pairings with your food and make sure to sip and savor.
Choosing the booze was easy, but picking our meal was pretty tough. See, there are some pretty awesome sounding apps, sides, delicious devour-worthy big plates, great salads, and of course a crazy array of burgers. Before we ordered, we said we’d have to come back at least 10 more times to try everything that caught our eyes.
Ok, let’s do this:
Hot damn, hell yeah. Best jalapeno poppers that OmNomCT has tasted. Because the jalapenos are fresh, the heat was definitely more intense…but not too hot to handle. They were stuffed with cheese, crispy bacon, and delicate chicken. On top was a very silky cilantro cream sauce and a freshly made pico de gallo sauce.
It doesn’t get much better than this, people. Just the right amount of breading on the outside created a crispy crust. It’s hard to say which we liked more: the zestiness of the pickle, the kick of the jalapeno chips, or the pickled spice of the pepperocini.
Plan B Burgers and the Pink Controversy
First off, there’s a ton of controversy regarding the “Some Pink” or “No Pink” orders for burgers. We, too, wondered why you could only order one or the other, why no medium rare, etc.? Well, before we could even ask, our waitress Meg told us all about it. The burgers at Plan B (9 oz. patties, btw) are ground fresh multiple times a day and loosely packed. Because the meat is not a compact, smooshed together patty, it’s pretty much impossible to get a consistent “doneness” throughout the burger. An advantage of the loosely packed burger? They stay moist, even when cooked to “No Pink.” You can add a pretzel roll for $.79 and there are 21 burgers to choose from, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Oh, and bonus awesomeness, all the meat is certified humane!
Okay, so it’s impossible to pass up a burger, and it’s pretty freaking hard to pass up chili. When crazy people bring them both together it’s just a force of nature that can not be denied. The patty was moist with pockets of pink and had chili, jalapenos, and jack cheese. Yeah, jalapenos again. I realized that I must have either a death wish or I’m a sado-masochist. Maybe both. The chili itself was tomatoey and full of nice flavor, while the jalapeno added just enough bite and a crispness to the burger. Personally, I really enjoyed the flavors, but the consistency of the chili and burger was too similar. With that came Fancy Fries that were salty, fresh cut, and cooked nicely. Yes, there was the required crunch on the bite, so nicely done.
Sooooooiiieeeee! Are you sitting down? I actually swayed from my standard burger combo (cheese, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, extra pickles) and got this half pork/half beef burger with bacon (yes, never enough pork in my book), lettuce, pickles, cheese, tomato, mustard, and mayo. Because it was made with pork, you can only get this one “No Pink.” Makes sense. No one wants any food borne illnesses thank you! The flavor combos were awesome and the mustard (with freshly ground mustard seeds) on top was subtle but packed the perfect punch. A killer burger of which I could only eat half because it was GINORMOUS, but daaaayuuum it was good.
So, we didn’t know what to eat for dessert. Do we get the FunniBone (double chocolate ganache cake filled with peanut butter ganache) that our buddy Charles from Twitter recommended, do we go with the Bourbon Pineapple Upside Down Cake, or the Log Cabin Fever Roll? Meg threw a wrench in our plans, though…she told us about the seasonal pie: a bourbon, peaches and cream pie served with vanilla ice cream. Yeeeeah, we had to go with that. The crust could simply be called buttery heaven and the filling was warm and packed a nice peach punch. The ice cream was great, speckled with bits of vanilla bean. We’d absolutely order this again, though we definitely want to try the other desserts too.
Despite Plan B Burger Bar being a mini-chain with 5 spots now open, one on the way, and plans for Boston, Atlanta, DC, and Chicago, the food and service at Stamford was excellent. *We did go back last night to get our grub on and did notice that the service wasn’t as good, but it was still kind, helpful, and cheery.* The drinks were great, apps were great, burgers were great, and dessert was great. This is a great place to bring some friends and enjoy a fantastic night out with great food and drinks in a swanky atmosphere. Plus they have vegetarian and gluten free options so there’s something for everyone. We’ll be back many times, no doubt, taking down the menu item by item.
Plan B Burger Bar
Address: 230 Tresser Boulevard