First, I know what you're wondering: Why is it called Plan B Burger Bar?
No, no, no, stop thinking of that kind of Plan B.
B stands for burgers, beer, and bourbon—the Connecticut transplant's three main offerings.
Also: "We're an alternative," says Rachel Hurvitz, the restaurant's marketing and design manager. "We like to have comfort, approachable food in an upscale environment."
An alternative to...?
"An alternative to the microwave industry, really," Hurvitz says. "We don't have any microwaves in our restaurant. All of our burgers are fresh ground every single day. There's no antibiotics. There's no hormones... We cook a lot of our food from scratch."
And "Plan B" has one more meaning: "We're here if your other plans fall through," Hurvitz says. That's right, Plan B aims to be your second choice.
The restaurant, which has half a dozen locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts, makes its foray into D.C. today at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Hurvitz says the restaurant was looking to break out of the New England market and get on the national stage. "What better place to do that than Washington, D.C.?," she says. Plan B has plans for further expansion in the area with a location coming to Loudon in the spring and another in a yet-to-be-determined spot.
The menu includes 20 types of burgers, which can be ordered "some pink" or "no pink." Any burger can be served "in the grass," meaning without a bun atop iceberg lettuce. (Burger bowls = all the rage.) Whole wheat buns and pretzel rolls are also available. Among the burger options: the West Coast with a fried egg, avocado, and kalamata olive mayo, as well as the Italian Job, a chicken burger with mozzarella, roasted tomato, roasted red peppers sauce, and pesto. Non-burger offerings include appetizers like baked jalapeño poppers and lobster sliders plus "big plates" like country meatloaf and fish and chips. There's also a gluten-free menu.
Plan B has close to 100 types of bourbon—a collection that will grow over time. There are also 14 taps featuring a rotating selection of all-American craft beers.
The space itself has lots of brick, wood, and red banquettes with light fixtures that are meant to look like meat hooks but are actually made of ice picks. Plan B has also tried to pay a small homage to D.C. with a mural of an Olde Heurich Brewing Company logo.
Check out the burger menu below. Unless, you know, your Plan A pans out.
Plan B Burger Bar, 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 808-8720; planbburger.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman