Why Plan B should be your Plan A. Plan B Burger Bar – Stamford, CT

18 Aug

When it comes to grabbing a burger you can go one of two ways…

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:

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

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.

Pickles and Peppers

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!

Chili Burger-Dan

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.

The Squeeler-Kristien

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.

Bourbon, peaches & cream pie

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.

Noming Overall

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

Noms: 3.75

Cost: $$$

Address: 230 Tresser Boulevard

Stamford, CT

Phone: (203) 964-8353
Plan B Burger on Urbanspoon

50 Responses to “Why Plan B should be your Plan A. Plan B Burger Bar – Stamford, CT”

  1. Corey Clayton (@CoreyClayton) September 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Went tonight to get gourmet takeout burgers. Tried their bourbon BBQ wings, which knocked my socks off. Then took home their weekly special; A burger with goat cheese, strawberries, and caramelized onions in a balsamic reduction. I don’t think I’ve had a better burger ever. Very very good. We’ll most definitely be back.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro September 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Corey, that’s awesome! Glad you loved it! But, you know, you just ruined my entire week! See, I need to get down there ASAP and have that goat cheese burger. Holy burgers, batman. That sounds like the most amazing thing EVER.


  2. uhcowboys August 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Finally got in there a few days ago. Just for a few beers though (even though all the burgers people were eating made me wanna order one so bad). LOVE the space. The look of the place is great and I really like how large the whole bar area is and how awesome it looks with all of the high tables. Was glad to see 14 beers on tap…for some reason I thought they were only going to have 10. As they were remodeling the place prior to opening I didnt thing (based on my outside view) that there was going to be that much space inside, so that was a nice surprise. They are a great addition to the town and I could see from my first visit that they are great quasi-upscale place for Stamford business lunches (though I’d be less than useless after my lunch break if I devoured one of those huge burgers). Can’t wait for them to host some fun food and beer events.

    Also, I think the two craft brews I had were each $5.50, which is a decent amount cheaper than Bar Q (my other downtown-craft beer-pit-stop


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 31, 2012 at 6:48 am #

      Yeah, it’s such a beautiful space in there! We were really surprised too. :) As for the beers, we are happy. They also have a pretty decent selection of beer by the bottle, too. And prices…well, you can eat and drink like a champ for not so much money at all.


  3. Michael F. August 26, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Finally got a chance to check it out tonight. First, the food was absolutely great! The meat was well-seasoned, the buns (including the pretzel bread) was amazing, and I loved the truffle mayo on my burger. On a Saturday night at 7:30, there was no wait, but it seemed to be picking up when we left around 9. Now for the bad. The service was soooooo slow and inattentive. While our server seemed like a nice guy, when our dishes came out, all of the sides but one were incorrect, and after 12-15 minutes later with no sides, we had to flag him down and remind him. He seemed completely surprised by it all and there was no apologies when we got the sides. The check came without any offer of dessert, so I asked. We got the dessert menu and decided to order the pineapple upside down cake. Unfortunately, 10-15 minutes went by and we still had not seen the server again. Since I didn’t want to wait even longer, we gave up on dessert and put our credit card down to pay. We’ll definitely go back since the food was so good, but hope we get different service.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 26, 2012 at 1:38 am #

      Hey Michael,glad you liked the food but we understand the service thing. We had a similar experience when we went back recently. We had six or seven dishes brought to our table that we didn’t order…and, yes,the wait was longer the past time for us too.


  4. mike c. August 20, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I was on my way to CPK for a late sunday lunch and noticed Plan B was open.Why not? The interior is brand new made to look old with exposed brick and tin ceiling.We sat in the restaurant side, which was comfortable and busy at 3 pm, instead of the bar/lounge part of Plan B.Apps menu looked great,but we split a chopped salad and each had a burger.The salad was so-so but iI loved my Blue Burger ,altought I do like my burgers bloody red,which is not an option there.IOver all it was very good and I will try it again.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 20, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Props for branching out and trying something new! Although you salad was just okay, we are glad you liked your burger. Keep up the good work, Mike. :)


  5. talkavino August 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Now that sounds like a place to go on “do not miss” list! Hopefully will make my way there soon. By the way, you have to overcome your fear of tartar – if done right, it is outright delicious…


  6. barbara August 18, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    We were there last night and loved it. Waiter was really helpful, helping us make a choice of what beer to drink. Even bringing samples. Loved my steak salad. husband had squeeler, also delicious. Started with the Blue cheese potatoe chips, OMG! We will be back. Thanks for your review. We moved to Stamford a year ago, and just found your blog. Love reading on places to go and try. Found 16 Handles through you, which I am not sure my family and I will thank you for as the pounds roll onto our bodies!


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Hey Barbara. Stamford’s a nice place to be…so much to see and do…and eat. :) We’re glad that you found us, but we’re sorry about creating an addiction to 16 Handles. At least it’s froyo and isn’t AS bad for you as ice cream :P


  7. w August 18, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    it is high on my list now with only 2 questions – how can you humanly kill something? (okay i know i am not a vegan or anything, but there is some reality check here), Tomatoey (SP) chili is not a turn on to me – but the burbons sound awesome!
    And in case you are wondering – the issue with ground beef has never been abound fresh ground – only the stuff that is prepared at the plants that spread the E coli around. Fresh ground i would dare to eat as a tartar with no problem.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      This is how the raising of cows can be inhumane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhlhSQ5z4V4 Sadly, this is just one of the examples. Cows also endure other horribly cruel punishments at some farms like being trapped in a cage their entire lives where they can barely move or graze. So, when they say Certified Humane, they mean they are treated kindly, are fed naturally, and are allowed to graze and live as cows do. While they both might met the same ends, the way the cows live is grossly different. We cannot support a place that would do that to defenseless animals.

      As for the ground beef, at Plan B they grind it fresh each day right there, a few times a day. We’re not brave enough to try tartar, though we do eat tuna tartar. :)


  8. grace August 18, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Love Plan B.It was the first restaurant we brought our infant with us to eat and the staff was so friendly and accommodating and the food was killer


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Hey Grace. That’s really nice that they took such great care of you and your family. :) Glad you love the food, too. :) :) :) Oooohhh yeahhh! :)


  9. uhcowboys August 18, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Great Review! Glad you enjoyed it (and knew ya would) The food there is truly awesome! Did you two happen to notice if there were unused taps??? Noticed that the Beer list had 10 brews on it…which would be the smallest draft beer selection of any of their locations,


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro August 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      You know, we didn’t see the unused taps. We did notice, however, that it seemed like quite a small draft list. We’d love more in there! :)



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