From the very first moment we heard about Mark and Donny Wahlberg opening a Wahlburgers restaurant in the Hingham Shipyard with their brother Paul as head chef (pictured), all I could think was FACK ME STANDIN’, TAWMMY, MAHKY’S GAWT A RESTRINT? WE GAWTA GET DOWN TO THE FACKIN HAHBAH AND GET SOME THOSE HAWT BURGAHS! Sadly, I do not live in Hingham Shipyard area myself, I live in San Francisco, aka Stinky Queah Hobo Town. Luckily, loyal FilmDrunkard Johnny Lager (check out his website over at GentlemanStumbler.com – plug, plug, I’m not paying him for this) was in the area to provide our first hand report. Here’s his account from Wahlburgers, or as I like to call it, “The Emerald Nutsacks” (peep the logo).
When I arrived, I was worried I was going to look like a (f^ck!ng) idiot taking photos of myself with the logo and everything else, but I noticed I wasn’t the only jackass going sick-house with a camera. Clearly the Wahlberg name draws a lot of water in this town, so the place was packed.
The layout is kind of odd, like a “V,” or a pair of pants. You enter at the “waist,” if you will, and down the right pant leg is “cafeteria style” self serve. If you go down the left pant leg you can get wait-service, and there’s an enormous, well stocked sports bar. Both sides have a sort of upscale cafeteria look. The music was a bit loud and reminded my wife of awkward middleschool dances.
While every single item in the restaurant had logos on it, I only saw three movie posters: Contraband, Blue Bloods and Invincible. Titles of other Wahlberg movies and projects were written on a ceiling fixture. Off to the side is single a poster of assorted Wahlberg family photos. To my surprise, and secret disappointment, it’s not as “WAHLBERG!” as I expected. We chose to sit at the bar, and I chose to try the proprietary beer they call the “Wahlbrewski.” It’s brewed by local favorite, Harpoon, so I call it a “Wahlpoon.” I found it a bit sweet and light on hops for an IPA. But, like Marky and Donny, it was a lady-pleaser. (I went back to Stella).
Most of the staff were attractive women, and all of the staff were incredibly nice. My attempts to be a smartass, asking for things like a Marky Wahlbanger (which I imagined as 6 parts fresh orange juice, 3 parts Vodka and 1 part Courvoisier), were met with a breezy earnestness that made it not fun, so I stopped.
The staff wore simple uniforms of Wahlburger’s t-shirts and caps, which you could buy at the gift counter by the door.
Head Chef Paul (Pauly?) Wahlberg was there, running around, so I asked if he would take a picture with me. Although he was clearly in a rush, he was very kind. Even when my wife spontaneously forgot how to operate her own camera, he was very patient, and charming. As you can tell in the pic, his smile is genuine.
Everything is affordable and the burgers are very much like a backyard burger: grilled and a little greasy -in a good way- then topped with “Government Cheese,” romain lettuce, dill pickles, a slice of tomato and the proprietary Wahlsauce. The Wahlsauce’s base is ketchup and mayo (Fancy Sauce!), but it also has Sriracha, and a bunch of other savory notes, so, I liked it despite myself.
There are fancier burgers too, apparently Marky’s favorite is the “Thanksgiving,” a turkey-burger with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Although the burgers are a bit small, 3 oz and 5 oz, they’re very tasty; plenty of other burger places don’t do them as well. The French Fries were surprisingly good and the sweet potato tater-tots were great, but the onion rings did us in.
I can’t help but feel that this place is bound to be an incredible success. It’s a “real-food, fast-food” place, with an enormous sports bar, and what self respecting college student or unpaid internet-non-celebrity doesn’t like that? I think the Wahlberg draw is enough to keep this place booming, despite it’s rather odd location; unless you’re from Hingham you need an Iraqi ass-map to find it, but if they put one of these within a few blocks of a college, they’ll be printing money, son. This restaurant is a peacock, you gotta let it fly!
In the final analysis, Wahlburgers is tasty, fun and affordable. An affordable bar in Massachusetts?! Well say “hi” to your mother for me, sweet Fortuna! I give it 8 out of 9 Wahlberg siblings.
[Thanks to JohnnyLogz -- check out his site to say thanks]