Source: Business Insider
BY: hollis Johnson
The Wahlberg brothers are taking quite a gamble.
That’s a huge jump from the seven locations open now — it seems there’s quite a bit of faith in the better burger segment.
The chain began outside of the Wahlbergs’ hometown of Boston, MA, in 2011, located across the street from classically–trained chef Paul Wahlberg’s fine dining spot.
With Paul Wahlberg’s 30 years’ worth of culinary expertise, Wahlburgers deftly enters the arena of the chef-driven better burger empires to take on Shake Shack — all while trying to dodge issues that often arise with big celebrity-themed concepts.
As more buzz builds around the chain and its expansion plans, I headed to the Boston location to see if the hype is deserved.
The Wahlburgers location in the Fenway neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from historic Fenway Park.
This location has a quick-service area, and a sit down, full-service section and bar seen here.
Four “Signature Burgers”, three “House Burgers” with choice of extra toppings, and six “Wahlfaves”, which are essentially non-burger choices. A variety of sides and salads round out the menu — but who really gets a salad at a place with “burger” in the name?
The interior is very slick and modern, and it has the ubiquitous fast-casual combo of warm woods and sleek brushed steel. The look is almost dated at this point, given how many Chipotle and Shake Shack clones have followed suit. Green is the dominant color at Wahlburgers, however, with most surfaces sporting some shade or another.
You’re given a buzzer to alert you when your order is ready, just like at Shake Shack, which seems to be what Wahlburgers is trying to emulate. After about twelve minutes or so, my order was ready. I ordered an O.F.D. Burger (“Originally From Dorchester”, a large neighborhood of Boston where the Wahlbergs grew up), a BBQ Bacon Burger, a Crispy Haddock sandwich, onion rings, and tater tots.
The smells wafting up from the tray are intoxicating. However, my order was incorrect, with both burgers missing every single topping they were supposed to have. The staff very politely took the burgers back, and returned some six minutes later with replacements which were still incorrect. Perhaps it was just an off day; I like to give the benefit of the doubt. But looking at the receipt, the order was taken down correctly, so something simply wasn’t clicking in the kitchen.