By Rebecca Douglas
Everywhere you go in life, people will want you to eat. If you are ever overseas in Japan, the locals will tell you to visit the famous sushi restaurant in the Ginzo building. Chicago is known for pizza, Memphis for barbeque, and St. Louis for fried chicken. Here in Boston, you can get some “killer chowdah” and seafood. Or you could march your way down to Marylou’s or Mike’s Pastries, if you are in the mood for a sugar-induced food coma. Although Boston has a grand amount of restaurants ranging from the Union Oyster House to the Cookie Monstah food truck, there is a new kid on the block. The Wahlberg brothers Mark, Paul, and Donnie have set culinary roots in their Hingham backyard. Their new restaurant, Wahlburgers, has enough punch to make any burger joint burst into flames.
Located in the heart of the Hingham Shipyard, Wahlburgers first opened in October of 2011 and has made a lasting impression ever since. With a lively atmosphere, Wahlburgers caters to friends and families looking for a casual restaurant that provides unforgettable food. Wahlburgers’ prices are fair, providing an opportunity for all “burghers” to get a burger. Naturally, such a hot spot could not be overlooked. Upon arrival, I noticed an array of happy customers eating outside. The line was long, but I managed to squeeze myself inside the waiting area. There were lots of families with kids happily enjoying their “Smahlburgers” and Coca Colas in glass bottles. There were also groups of older people and couples eager to be served.
Wahlburgers provides a few service options to cater to any kind of customer. Upon arrival, you choose to sit at a table with full service, sit at the bar, or wait in line for counter-style service. The bar, tables, and counter area were filled with happy, chatting customers. The bar was fully stocked and lined with flat-screen TVs. On the wall a chalkboard advertised various drink specials dubbed “Wahlcoctions,” such as the Adult Malted Chocolate Milk ( Stolli Vanil vodka, chocolate milk, malted powder), Seasonal Sangria, and the Violet Beauregard (Stoli Blueberi vodka, Sprite, Blue Curacao). Wahlburgers provides its customers with an array of drafts ranging from domestic beers to their very own Wahlbrewski, custom pale ale from Harpoon Brewery. The wine selection is also plentiful, ranging from a sweet Fontana Pinot Grigio to an intense Zuccardi Melbec..
The walls are decorated with movie posters that the Wahlbergs have starred in. There is also a framed poster of collaged images of the Wahlberg family. As the line moved and I came closer to the kitchen, I noticed the black plaque hanging over each booth with words such as “family” and family names, movie titles, and quotations. To my left, I could see the open kitchen bustling with busy workers making shakes, frying tater tots, and restocking shelves. After some serious decision making, I ordered the BBQ Bacon Burger (advertised as Donnie’s Favorite), Sweet Potato Tots, a Black and White frappe, and a side of Mom’s Macaroni.
The food was cooked promptly and I went to pick it up at the counter. The staff was very accommodating and polite. Every table I saw was spotless. The frappe, a blend of chocolate syrup, fresh whole milk, and rich vanilla ice cream, took the phrase “a chocolate lover’s dream” to a whole new level. The cup of tots was steaming with heat upon arrival. The tott-lers were crunchy and crispy on the outside with a soft, decadent inside. They were the perfect combination of sweet and savory.
I then tried Mom’s Macaroni, speculated to be Alma Waglburger’s own recipe. If I wanted to get an understanding of what it would be like to eat at the Wahlbergs’ table, it would be here. The macaroni was served cold and had impeccable texture. The elbows were cooked to perfection, not too soft. The mayo dressing was creamy and satisfying and also a bit sweet. The red onion combined with sweet peppers added texture and contrast in the dish, while complementing the flavors to balance with the creaminess of the mayo. The taste of parsley was distinct but not overwhelming, and it played in nicely with the ratio of peppers and onion.
Finally, I tried the BBQ Bacon Burger. The juicy, rich burger was cooked to perfection; the bun was soft and inviting. The tenderness of the meat accompanied the crunch of bacon, the creaminess of fresh avocado, and spicy jalapeños. The barbeque sauce combined smoky and savory flavors with a touch of sweetness.
Wahlburgers possesses a certain sophistication that could never be found in your corner diner..