With the city’s baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays closing in on the MLB East Division Championship (which they have since won) and their first play-off spot for 22 years, the city had a real buzz about it when we visited in September. Kicking off the first of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays that evening at the nearby Rogers Center, it only added to the feeling of excitement warm, sunny September afternoon air in downtown Toronto as we made our way to Wahlburgers – located conveniently on the aptly-named Blue Jays Way.
Owned by the Wahlberg family, i.e. Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg (star of Ted, Max Payne and more) and his brother Paul, the Toronto restaurant is the first to open in Canada, with the majority of the restaurants currently found in the USA. It’s a quickly growing chain; their US website shows outlets are due to open soon in Orlando Florida, Las Vegas and Philadelphia to join their New York and Massachusetts restaurants.
As we entered Wahlburgers we were told that there would be a ten minute wait for a seat. When we noticed a selection of empty tables towards the back to the restaurant, we were informed that these were for people ordering takeaways only, rather than getting table service. It seemed strange that this option wasn’t offered to us when we first came in, especially considering it was the same food menu!
As we were happy to do this we took a seat, decided on our burger choices and went to place our order at the takeaway bar. It was only then that we realised why the waitresses weren’t keen on getting people to this area of the restaurant. The experience was chaotic to say the least, with the staff behind the counter unorganised and unable to keep track of who had ordered and who had not. It was unsurprising then that we had to wait a fair while for our food to actually arrive!
Thankfully, when the food did come that was quickly forgotten. We both ordered the BBQ Bacon Burger, topped with white cheddar, bacon, avocado, jalapenos and a tangy BBQ sauce.
Burgers in a box always feel like a fast-food experience, but thankfully these did not have the greasy taste that generally accompanies such food.
The beef itself came in a chunky patty, cooked fairly well-done but with twinges of pink in there giving it a more authentic taste and showing that it was a high quality meat.
The bun was nicely toasted inside and out, and was easily up to the job of holding both the burger and the large amount of toppings that added to the overall flavour inside.
Overall, Wahlburgers was well-worth the visit. There’s a great selection of burgers on offer with good quality food. Whilst the service wasn’t fantastic, it’s hard to judge this on just one visit – even more so on a day when they were particularly busy due to the baseball game.
There’s also the novelty factor of eating in a restaurant owned by a Holywood actor – some of the pictures and quotes that lined the restaurant’s walls made for an interesting experience. Whilst I didn’t get any good photos of these, this is perhaps this is why it’s worth paying a visit yourself, if you’re ever in this part of the
Wahlburgers Toronto can be found at 46 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2G5. This review took place on 25/09/15. You can visit their website at www.wahlburgers.ca.