Address: 46 Blue Jays Way (Soho Hotel), Toronto ON
When I attended: November, 2014, lunch
Although I was at Wahlburgers on opening night to get a glimpse of the Wahlberg brothers on the green carpet (read about the opening night), I decided to return to the restaurant on my lunch to try out the offerings. At noon, the restaurant was packed and pretty much the norm since the opening.
The decor is representative of the Wahlburger franchise with green accents all around. There are three sections of the restaurant, including a dine-in area with a bar, a ‘grab-and-go’ line where you can choose to take your food upstairs to the express eating area (like a food court), or do take-out. Great news is that the lineups for take out move quickly. Do note that there is an 18% gratuity added on to customers who dine-in or sit at the bar. If you do stay, there are plenty of TVs showcasing live sports games as well as clips from their reality TV show of A & Es Wahlburgers.
Now onto the food. Is it good or is it a fancy burger joint with a celebrity name attached to it? My verdict is that is worth the visit.
You won’t get a sloppy joe or an over-the-top burger here. Instead, the burgers are simple made with locally sourced and house-made ingredients, with the burgers made with 100 percent Canadian beef. The burgers are cooked to medium unless requested otherwise. With burgers around $10, I think this is a great deal and the sides are a MUST. More about that in a second.
My friend and I split the BBQ bacon burger that was topped with white chedder, bacon, avocado, fresh jalapenos and BBQ ($9.95) as well as the signature burger (1/3 lb. $9.25). The signature Wahlburger burger stood out to me as the meat was tender and the combination of the Wahl sauce, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato and onions makes for a delicious burger. The Wahl sauce with ketchup, mayo and a blend of spices goes well with everything, so don’t be afraid to ask for more on the side.
The signature Wahlburger even comes in double-decker and triple-decker option. I need to do this! Also in December 2014, Wahlburgers will start incorporating Canadian-themed dishes as part of the “burger of the month” program.
As for the sides, I think they were the highlight of my meal. During opening night, the tater tots was what kept me and my belly happy in the frigid weather. At lunch, my friend and I decided to share the Yukon gold fries, sweet potato tots and the onion rings. The sweet potato tots had a crispy hash brown like texture and were ultra tasty. I did not know that something this small could blow me away. The onion rings were essentially red onion strings with a light batter, the way I like mine.
With our meal, we both ordered a frappes (milkshake) which brought back memories of being in an old-school diner. Even cooler, Wahlburger offers adult frappes, yes with a shot of alcohol! Sweet!
Wahlburgers offers a variety of sandwiches and salads and a long list of alcoholic drinks including ‘Wahlcoctions’, wines and various beers including the ‘Wahlbrewski North’ pale ale on tap made by Mill Street Brewery.
The restaurant will be open seven days, Sunday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Reservations and call-ahead take-out orders will not be taken at this time (Source: Wahlburgers News Release, Soho Metropolitan Hotel).
Wahlburgers is more than a famous name, their burgers deliver! The onion rings and potato/sweet potato tots are delicious and another reason to draw me back to the restaurant.
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* The meal was complimentary but the reviews in my post are entirely my own.
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