Burger joints have spread like wild fire in the Hartford area and especially in its namesake suburb, West Hartford. In the recent past, the vegetarian in your party would have been plum out of luck in a burger restaurant, but no more! A number of places offer hand crafted veggie burgers with a staggering variety of toppings.
Plan B Burger Bar
138 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
Hours: Sun to Thurs – Kitchen open 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 pm, Bar until 1:00 am; Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Bar open until 2:00 a.m.
Plan B Burger Bar, with locations in Glastonbury, Simsbury, Milford and West Hartford is a welcome enclave for the vegetarian, as crazy as that sounds! They have created a veggie burger studded with kidney and black beans that tends to be more of a knife and fork meal. Normally the veggie burger is served topped with lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese and garlic mayonnaise. My dining companion ordered the standard version, but I went for the veggie burger topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions and a bourbon barbecue sauce which packed a flavor punch. You can substitute a veggie burger for any burger they prepare, so topping options abound. Burgers here come with thinly cut crisp fries or a salad. For an upcharge, you can enjoy sweet potato fries, also thinly cut or even the nostalgic school cafeteria favorite tater tots! Plan B has a formidable beer selection with many hard to find and local beers on the menu and a bourbon selection second to none in Connecticut.
The Counter West Hartford
50 Memorial Road
West Hartford CT 06107
Hours: Open Daily, Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
While The Counter is a fairly small chain restaurant, Connecticut has only one, in Blue Back Square, West Hartford. The Counter is kind of an old fashioned milk shake, burger and fry joint with a couple of unique twists. As you sit and you will be given a pad of paper listing all of the choices you have in constructing your burger. Choose a roll, burger (an awesome oversized hand-made veggie burger is an option), type of cheese, a wide variety of toppings and sauces and you have built your unique burger. I favor a multi-grain bun, of course the veggie burger, caramelized onions, grilled fresh pineapple, lettuce, sprouts and a ginger soy glaze! This unexpected Asian inspired combination is pleasingly savory and sweet! To start, we always order the fries and sweet potato fries which come in one dish with a horseradish sauce that compliments the sweet potato fries perfectly! You can enjoy a nostalgic milkshake or malt at The Counter, but beer and wine are available as well.
124 LaSalle Rd
West Hartford, CT 06107
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Bar till 1 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Bar till 2 a.m. Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Max restaurant group joined the burger restaurant revolution by opening Max Burger in West Hartford center. Always progressive in their vision when creating a menu, they too have added a vegetarian selection, the grateful veg. This unique quinoa and sunflower seed studded burger is topped with cheddar cheese, shaved red onion, roasted tomato, baby arugula and lemon tahini vinaigrette on a whole wheat roll. If one choice is not enough at this upscale burger restaurant also on the “burger” menu is a roasted Portobello burger served with red onion, arugula, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and a lemon asparagus aoli on an artisan roll. A vegetarian chili graces the menu as well, so this West Hartford center eatery has clearly not forgotten the vegetarian.
Veggie burgers have gone main stream. Non vegetarian friends are ordering them now, fascinated by the exotic ingredients and toppings. Restaurants are stepping up to meet the demand. Try one of these hand crafted creations and discover a new dimension to dining at a burger joint!