West Hartford center is filled with unique restaurants and stores. From timeless favorites we’ve visited since we were kids to new discoveries around the area, the center is always changing and improving. Located within sight of the Kingswood Oxford soccer fields, it’s the perfect spot for students to hang out or study after school.
The Place 2 Be is a new restaurant that opened in June 2021 on Memorial Road and is known for its “Instagrammable” brunch options and decor. It’s conveniently located within walking distance of school. The restaurant markets itself towards millennials, focusing on its bottomless brunch. It also appeals to teens with its fun decor, unique atmosphere, and affordable prices.
After passing by the restaurant on the way to school and hearing all the excitement about the food, I met a friend there for Sunday brunch to see if it lived up to the hype. Following the hour-long wait outside, we sat at one of their many outdoor tables and ordered through their website. The website was easy to use and straightforward, except for the fact that half of their menu items were marked as sold out. After a quick 10-15 minute wait, our food arrived. Because of the online ordering, there wasn’t much interaction with the staff.
The menu consisted of five different categories, each offering a multitude of choices: coffee and tea, breakfast, lunch, sides, and drinks. The coffee menu was by far the most impressive, with a wide variety of uniquely-flavored lattes and seasonal drinks. The diverse breakfast menu offers many options such as a variety of omelettes, avocado toast, waffles, over-the-top pancakes and french toast, and breakfast wraps. These are not just your normal breakfast items: the waffles and pancakes are topped with fruit, cookies, cereal and candy. The lunch options include a variety of salads, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.
The Place 2 Be is known for its milkshakes, which are typically topped with cotton candy, cake, and candy surrounding the cup. With gummy bears and a mountain of whipped cream, they are no ordinary drink. As for the taste of the shakes, I’m unsure of the quality because every single option was sold out when I went.
Because many of the more unique meal options were sold out, my friend and I settled for some of the more basic choices: grilled cheese and a caesar salad wrap. The three-layered grilled cheese was good, but ultimately, the only thing that made it different from other grilled cheeses that I’ve had was its appearance. There wasn’t much that stood out about the caesar salad wrap either; it’s a reliable choice but not a memorable one. Next time, I would like to opt for something more adventurous (assuming it’s available).
It’s hard not to notice The Place 2 Be as you walk through Blue Back Square. The open window showing large hanging chairs complemented by greenery draws you in. There are lots of seating options, with something offered for every occasion. Sitting outside is a good opportunity to observe the Center around you, while sitting indoors provides a comfortable environment. The fun and colorful atmosphere inside makes it distinctive from other restaurants in the area. A large bathtub, which is a reference to one of their drinks, can be found inside as well.
It’s a popular location around lunch time, with waits up to an hour, so I would recommend adding your name to the online waitlist. The Place 2 Be is indeed the place to be on the weekends, as they have a booming brunch crowd.
I recommend going with a group of friends after practice or a game or for brunch on the weekends. What the restaurant lacks in menu item availability, it makes up for with the inviting atmosphere. I am confident that students and teachers alike will highly enjoy this new addition to Blue Back Square.