Saturday, November 8, 2014

Plan B Burger Food Review

Naked Burger with Fancy Fries

Burgers, Bourbon and Beer, Oh My!

It's difficult (impossible?) to hide my excitement whenever a new burger establishment pops up, especially one that borders on the edge of fancy. Connecticut favorite Plan B Burger just opened up their first mid-atlantic location... in the nation's capital, as luck would have it. Cue choirs of angels singing: It's time to get my "burger on."

Despite its name, Plan B Burger should never be confused with someone's second choice. Burgers this original and tasty deserve top billing, and their idyllic location next to the U.S. Navy Memorial guarantees that lots (and lots) of people will try them. I stopped by for a late afternoon lunch yesterday, which is a good thing: Even at 3:00 PM, there were only two empty tables available. Evidently, those aforementioned "lots of people" already know how good this place is.

Pickles and Peppers

The hostess couldn't have been nicer, and gave me my choice of tables (I love options, even if it's only between A & B.) The entire staff at Plan B is top notch, in fact; but it's still week one. I'll be sure to follow their progress with keen interest. So far, so great. Plan B (at least the section I was in) looks like a snug fit; but I was able to have a full conversation with someone across the table, without overhearing what the table next to us was up to. The music is a bit loud for the middle of the day... R.E.M.'s "Crush with Eyeliner" perhaps a bit extreme for DC's lunch crowd. Either that, or I'm continuing to get even older by the day. As far as looks go, it's hard to argue with the view: The Lone Sailor and National Archives is literally steps away from the restaurant's panoramic window views.

Hot Wings

My order was taken straight away; but I did have to wait 10+ minutes for a glass of water (I'm off sodas... wish me luck.) Two appetizers (Pickles and Peppers, Wings) arrived 20 minutes in, and were well worth the wait. I normally shy away from fried pickles, but the Post seemed to love 'em, so I thought I'd try them. Thank goodness I did (score one for the Post... it's about time) the pickles were delicious. Salty and lightly battered, they come in an assortment of pickle chips, spears and jalapeƱos... allowing for variety, and (in my case) non-stop dipping for more. At just $7.49, it's the second least expensive appetizer on the menu, and a must-order.

The wings, a little pricier at $10.79 are available in six different flavors including INSANE. I settled for HOT; but I certainly didn't have to settle for average taste... These wings are insanely scrumptious. Modestly sized, they're exceptionally flavorful and easy to handle. Best of all, they're not too crispy, relying on a sensational sauce to do its talking. Two wings in, and I was "all ears." Next time, I'm going for broke... Insanity, here I come.

On to the main event, Plan B's Naked Burger ($10.79, $.79 extra for a pretzel roll.) If you want lettuce, tomato and their special sauce, go for the Tavern Classic ($11.49) but if a burger's truly exceptional, it doesn't need anything more than a bun and meat. Expect some confusion when ordering (no medium-rare, etc. here.) Plan B uses two descriptions (no pink, some pink) to label the cooking process. Since the patties are handmade, you simply have to allow a little wiggle room; but fear not, you can still ask for rare and well-done, and they'll hook you up.

I went with some pink, and it was fine (closer to medium-well.) More importantly, it was incredibly juicy and simply flavored. It was also generously sized (at least half a pound) and packed inside a soft pretzel roll. You simply HAVE TO order your burger on one of Plan B's pretzel rolls. It's not hard like most, but softer... like a sandwich. The end result is pure nirvana (think Smashburger, only four times thicker.) Seriously, it's one of the best mid-priced burgers out there.

You get your choice of 10 sides, but choose carefully. Plan B's only miss were their Fancy Fries, which are anything but. Crispy enough, mine arrived close to cold and with little to no flavor. Looking back, I wish I went for Tater Tots or Fresh Potato Chips. Next time. If you feel extra ambitious, you can ask for Disco Fries (with cheese and gravy.) I wonder what Donna Summer would say?

For a first visit, first week, Plan B hits a home run. Their menu sports 21 different burgers and an almost equal number of yummy-sounding apps (salads too, if you care.) No more trudging down to Penn Quarter for a good meal, and sayonara to Ollie's Trolley: There's a new burger in town, and I heartily approve.

Plan B opens every day at 11:30 AM, and closes at midnight (Sunday - Thursday) and 1:00 AM on Friday & Saturday. Click here for the full menu.