SPRINGFIELD – Why go with plan A, when Plan B is SO much better? Located in Springfield, Mass, Plan B Burger Bar is a sassy spot specializing in hand packed burgers and smooth, satisfying bourbons.

Lena DiGenti and her team are very particular when it comes patties, so their selection of choice beef is ground fresh throughout the day.

“The beef has to be ground fresh right away. So we brought our grinding in-house. We grind a minimum of twice a day and we won’t serve any burger that was ground the day before.”

While they do offer crazy burgers, like one served on a pretzel roll topped with cheddar, spicy mustard, and pickles, they believe there’s something to be said about keeping it simple.

“We really, really like the idea of being able to taste the actual flavor of the beef,” DiGenti said. “That flavor is so strong and so delicious when you can actually taste it. Probably our most popular items are our mini cheeseburgers, which all that it is just meat, cheese and bread.”

Served on a spike, the minis are a triple tier of deliciousness that comes with addictive parmesan fries.

If mini burgers are your thing, but you want a little more variety, DiGenti says to order Plan B’s Burger Flight.

“This is for the fear of commitment person. It comes with a Tavern classic with the lettuce and the special sauce and tomato. And then you also get an Italian job which is a chicken burger with pesto and roasted tomatoes and peppers, and it also has a little salmon burger which has some pickled red onions and a cream corn sauce.”

For bigger appetites, there’s the Double D – a burger that’s way more than a mouthful.

“We’ve got double meat, double cheese all stacked up. So if you’re really in the mood to eat a lot, it’s there for you.”

You can even order a Burger Salad. But if you’re trying to cut calories, think again. With a fire-grilled patty, cheddar cheese, french fries, and frizzled onions on top, this is a “salad” by name only.

“It’s kind of all the ingredients that you would have in a bacon cheeseburger, but in a salad.”

If you do want all of that ground beef goodness without the guilt, any burger can be ordered ‘in the grass’ which at Plan B means presented over a thick-sliced wheel of iceberg lettuce.

“It’s almost like wedge salad,” DiGenti described. “It’s this big piece of iceberg lettuce and you just cut into it.”

While Burgers are their specialty, there’s much more to this menu. Baked Jalapeño Poppers are stuffed with chicken, bacon and cheese topped with a cilantro cream. And if you’re a blue cheese lover, get read to fall in love all over again. The fiery Buffalo Shrimp are sprinkled with housemade crumbled blue cheese. Bite sized Beef Wellingtons are served over a creamy blue cheese sauce. And the signature housemade Blue Cheese Chips are impossible to resist.

“That bite of the potato chip in the blue cheese and the jalapeno and a little bit of tomato. The contrast of the richness of the cream sauce and the heat of the jalapeno and cutting it with the tomato, it’s like one of the most perfect bites,” said DiGenti.

The perfect ending is definitely the so-called “B Cup” Dessert. This Hostess-inspired treat features rich flourless chocolate cake filled with white chocolate mousse, all dipped in chocolate ganache.

“We love all things old-school. So it looks just like a Hostess cupcake, but in actuality it’s like this deep, rich, flourless chocolate cake. It’s absolutely delicious,” she said.

All of that creativity is not limited to the menu. The atmosphere at Plan B is beyond whimsical, with something to see in every corner of the restaurant.

“We love things that make you think,” DiGenti explained. “We love that we had these pictures over here of a cow tongue and cow eye that you can’t really tell what they are and you look at them and have no idea. We love that our meat sign flashes the M on and off, which says ‘eat meat,’ and some people think that the sign is broken. We love things that make you wonder a little bit.”

It’s a level of love and dedication that gives the staff at Plan B, an A plus.

“It’s hard to make this fresh food every day. It’s hard to be creative every day. So the people that are here are really passionate about that; just people who think that everybody deserves good food and a good time.”

You can find Plan B Burger at 1000 West Columbus Ave. in Springfield and online at planbburger.com. They also have several locations in Connecticut, and are coming soon to Boston.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.



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