Wahlburgers takes the burger to celebrity status
by MVBRB - "Burger Guyz" (Contact) | 106 entries
By Anthony M. Fuda BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com
Those Wahlberg boys from Boston are doing it again. They’re invading Ohio and setting roots in Cleveland, but this time it isn’t for a concert or a movie.
The Wahlbergs brought their famous New England-based restaurant, Wahlburgers, to downtown Cleveland. Executive chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers Mark and Donnie hope to continue the success that earned the boys a successful A TV show, appropriately called Wahlburgers.
You can imagine our excitement receiving an invitation to check out Wahlburgers Cleveland! A restaurant centered around burgers called for a road trip for the BurgerGuyz, anyway! So, we hopped in the Burger Bus and headed for the streets of Cleveland. We found the restaurant with the green W and were ready for a burger treat.
Upon walking in, we looked up and saw a mural on the ceiling that featured a list of all the movies the Wahlberg boys were in. On another wall, there is a giant sign showing each brother pictured with their favorite burger.
If you read the Wahlberg story, you see that their credo involves “good food, a few laughs and lots of love.” Some of Paul’s favorite memories involve family and food, like the smell of his dad’s BBQ grill. Wanting to share the casual comfort food from his childhood, he got the idea for Wahlburgers, hoping to create a family atmosphere that would appeal to every generation.
Paul, like us, considers burgers one of his favorite foods. So we were definitely in our element.
We were guided to a table on the patio where we could enjoy the fresh outside air with our meals. Our server, Anthony Moore, was very knowledgeable with the entire menu, and helped us choose which burger would go with our individual tastes. Before the burger arrived, he brought us a tater tot bowl with the special Wahlberg sauce, which Anthony says is similar to that Mc-chain, but tastes much, much better. We tried the sauce and tots and agreed - and knew we were in for a great burger.
The menu features nine of Paul’s best burger creations:
Our Burger - Paul’s Fave (1/3 lb, lettuce, tomato, onion, American “government” cheese, wahl sauce, HOUSEMADE pickles).
Double Decker - (TWO 3oz burgers, lettuce, tomato, onion, American “government” cheese, wahl sauce, HOUSEMADE pickles).
Triple Decker - (THREE 3 oz burgers, lettuce, tomato, onion, American “government” cheese, wahl sauce, HOUSEMADE pickles).
The Melt - (1/3 lb burger, served between thick-cut bread, grilled with American “government” cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, HOUSEMADE pickles, mustard sauce).
Beast - (TWO 5 oz burgers, lettuce, tomato, pulled pork, HOUSEMADE blue cheese sauce, pickles, BBQ sauce).
Fiesta Burger - (1/2 lb burger dusted with HOUSEMADE southern spice mix, topped with jalapeños, lettuce, pepper jack cheese, HOUSEMADE: salsa, chipotle mayo, pickles).
O.F.D. - Originally from “Dorchestah” 1/2 lb burger, Swiss cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, HOUSEMADE tomato jam).
BBQ Bacon - Donnie’s Fave (1/3 lb burger, white cheddar, bacon, fresh jalapeños, HOUSEMADE BBQ sauce, avocado spread).
Mom’s Sloppy Joe - Mom’s Fave (open faced sandwich on thick sliced griddled bread smothered with HOUSEMADE sloppy joe (just like mom used to make it) crispy onions, wahl sauce, HOUSEMADE cheese sauce).
One topping they offer gives you some insight from the early Wahlberg days. The American “government” cheese is what the brothers grew up eating, and is featured on some of the burgers.
You can side your burger with HOUSEMADE thin crispy onion rings, tater tots, sweet potato tots or Yukon gold fries. (all $3.50 each)
A sandwich we have to mention, not only because I almost ordered it, but because it is Mark’s Fave, is the Thanksgiving Day Sandwich (fresh ground seasoned turkey burger, stuffing, mayo, HOUSEMADE orange-cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash)
I eventually chose the Fiesta Burger with sweet potato tots. Both excellent choices. The burger was cooked medium with a perfect pink strip down the middle and seasoned great. The southern spice mix in the burger produced a very tasty burger on it’s own, but then the toppings added even more flavor. The jalapeños entered the flavor scene right on time adding a nice kick to this burger. The salsa and chipotle mayo reigned the heat back in and made for a pleasant burger. The toppings were so fresh and juicy that the bun almost tried to exit before I finished my meal. But it made it to the end with one last juicy, flavor-filled bite. If you like a little spice to your burger, but not too overpowering, the Fiesta Burger is right up your alley.
JT, already making plans for a revisit, commented, "This place is fantastic! I loved the spacious patio with it's colorful, contemporary decor and the cabanas.Everything was so immaculate and the staff was super friendly which made the whole burger experience very enjoyable. Oh, and the burgers? The only way they could be better is if we had a Wahlburgers in the Mahoning Valley! I'm giving them an A+ must try!"
Scott had the BBQ Bacon Burger, and said, “It was cooked just as I ordered it, medium. This didn't taste like your usual chain restaurant burger, as it wasn't skimpy on the toppings. The flavors all blended well together making my meal very enjoyable. I was really pleasantly surprised.”
Scott's wife, Michelle, joined in the burger fun and ordered The Melt with a side of their Thin Crispy Onion Rings, and remarked, “My burger was fabulous. It was served on thick toasted bread that held up really well and was not soggy. I do not like my hamburgers to show any pink so I always order them medium well. I came as ordered, but was still juicy. The caramelized onions were light but had good flavor along with the mustard sauce and cheese. Overall, I highly recommend this burger. I was also surprised by the thin crispy onion rings. They were served with their special dipping sauce. The onion rings are definitely thin and crispy, but they have a light flavor and the coating is not thick or over powering. I tend to order onion rings over French fries and although these were different from your usual beer battered onion rings, they were quite good and I will order them the next time we visit the Wahlburgers’ Restaurant.”
We know that Boston and Cleveland have some great sports rivalries, and now you can add a burger rivalry in the mix.
We can see it now: Paul Wahlberg brings New England’s best burger, and he’ll square off against Cleveland’s own Michael Symon’s best burger, and the winner is -- US! Two great burgers, and either is a champion in your stomach.
Wahlburgers had a great tasting burger and a fun atmosphere. Make the right on Ontario St. and look for the green W.
One note. If you go on a weekend and park in the deck next to the restaurant, make sure to validate parking at the casino before you leave. We learned the hard way.
If you think you know where the next Burger of the Year is here in the Mahoning Valley, send the info to BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com, or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz
When you go... Wahlburgers 2105 Ontario St Cleveland, Ohio 44446 Phone: 216-302-1001 Hours: Sun-Sat: 11 am - 11 pm Menu: 9 burgers ($7.95 - $11.50), and a kid’s Smahlburger ($6) Website: wahlcleveland.com