In partnership with new Canadian Dragon Michael Werkele, the Wahlburg brothers (Mark, Donnie and Paul) have brought their American sports bar and burger joint to downtown Toronto’s Soho Metropolitan Hotel at Wellington & Blue Jays Way. While the official launch date is November 15, Wahlburgers is open and serving masses already.
In addition to the casual and bright dining room, there is a back area for takeout and more tables upstairs. You can also find some Wahlburg family memorabilia and overall an inviting atmosphere. Some kinks with the service, which are expected given the place isn’t even officially open yet.
The menu focuses on classic burgers with a few interesting flavour combinations like Mark’s favourite, the Thanksgiving Burger (ground turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash, mayo). The O.F.D. or Originally from Dorchester ($11.95) included a very thick and juicy 8oz patty, tomato jam, bacon, swiss, and sauteed mushrooms. All sides are extra, $3.50 for tater tots, fries or onion rings and $4.50 for salad. Drinks include cask wine at $1.50 per ounce, a variety of fairly pricey beers ($8 for a bottle of Corona or Stella!), Wahlcoctions aka Cocktails ($12), and Adult Frappes ($15). The last option sounded interesting for dessert, but at that price must be pretty large so we opted against. It would been nice to have other dessert options. Besides the Frappes, your only other choice is a gluten free truffle cookie ($1.95).
So how will Wahlburgers do in Toronto? Based on the celebrity factor, proximity to tourist attractions, and the success of their A&E reality show, my guess would be very very well. If you are in the neighbourhood it’s worth dropping in for the tasty burgers and relaxed atmosphere. However, my favourite burger in the city is still at BQM and the beer selection at Bar Hop around the corner is infinitely better.