Delicious food paired with a fun, vibrant atmosphere -- that’s the charm of the cleverly named Wahlburgers, a burger joint owned by the Wahlberg brothers. That’s right -- actor Mark Wahlberg, actor and New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg, and their chef brother Paul are behind the family operated franchise where great burgers meets sports bar diner.
On Saturday, Wahlburgers officially launched their first Canadian location at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto with a grand opening. Complete with a green carpet (their signature colour), the event drew in throngs of screaming fans that had lined up for hours outside the restaurant. Unfortunately, Mark had to cancel last minute due to work commitments, but Paul and Donnie were on hand to greet the fans and media, along with Donnie’s blushing new bride, Jenny McCarthy.
I had the pleasure of meeting Donnie and Jenny at the private party afterwards, where the down-to-earth couple mingled and posed for pictures with guests. Sneaking in hugs and kisses every chance they got, they were oozing sweet newlywed bliss.
I had been salivating over the anticipation of their burgers all day, and luckily for me they did not disappoint. Bursting with simple yet big flavours, Wahlburgers are synonymous with comfort and succulence -- just what a good burger should be. My favourite is Marky Mark’s creation, a Thanksgiving burger filled with ground turkey, stuffing, butternut squash, mayo, and an orange cranberry sauce. Its sweet and savoury combination makes it an instant winner. Another much loved item on their menu are their sweet potato tots that are deep-fried to perfection and highly addicting. My tastebuds are happy to know that poutine is also in the works.
With a successful location in Hingham, Massachusetts and more Canadian openings at Pearson airport, Ottawa and Waterloo next year, Wahlburgers is proving to be more than just a famous name with handsome faces attached. It’s a true burger joint that will have fans and foodies coming back for more.