Address: 46 Blue Jays Way (Soho Hotel), Toronto ON
When I attended: November 15th, 2014
Wahlburgers opened their first franchise location in Canada on November 15th, 2014 at Toronto’s SoHo Metropolitan hotel and I was there! I froze for a few hours in the media pit in hopes to get an interview with Mark Wahlberg. No interview was conducted but thankfully I did get some wicked shots of the recently married Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy and Paul Wahlberg, the executive Chef behind the burger creations.
The opening was welcomed by a large crowd hoping to get a glimpse of the Wahlberg brothers with many disappointed (including me) that Mr. Marky Mark was not there at the opening. The “New Kids” fans did get their fair share of pictures of Donnie, who was my favourite of the NKOTB members growing up. The restaurant was closed to the public for about 5 hours where an episode of the reality TV show of A & Es Wahlburgers was being shot. At the opening, lucky patrons and VIP guests got to try the tasty eats.
For some background, the Wahlburgers first opened the original location in Hingham, MA in October 2011 as a chef-driven burger concept. Like the Boston staple, the menu in Toronto places emphasis on its use of locally sourced and house-made ingredients. Wahlburgers are made with 100 per cent Canadian beef. The custom grind, created specifically by Chef Paul Wahlberg, comes from a local butcher and is cooked to medium, allowing the juices to flow. Wahlburgers Canada is a collaboration of the Wahlbergs with Bruce Greenberg, President of Starwood Group; Michael Wekerle, Executive Chairman of Difference Capital and Henry Wu, President of Metropolitan Hotels. (Source: Wahlburgers News Release, Soho Metropolitan Hotel).
I did not try the burgers on opening night and decided to come back another day during a less busy time. Stay tuned for my review! I did have some of their hot potato tots, which was generously given by the restaurant to the cold media folks and eager fans.
Some menu highlights include:
· Mark’s Choice: “The Thanksgiving Burger” made with fresh ground and seasoned turkey dressed with Paul’s orange cranberry sauce, homemade roasted butternut squash and stuffing.
· Donnie’s Choice: “The BBQ Bacon Burger” topped with white cheddar cheese, bacon and avocado, finished with jalapenos and a house-made BBQ sauce.
· Paul’s Choice: The Wahlburgers original “Our Burger” made fresh to order with the restaurant’s special blend of beef topped with government cheese (American cheese), dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion and finished with the signature Wahl sauce.
Starting December 2014, Wahlburgers will incorporate Canadian-themed dishes as part of the ‘burger of the month’ program.
Aside from the burgers, Wahlburgers offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, onion rings and other sides and a variety of alcoholic drinks including the ‘Wahlbrewski North’ pale ale on tap made by Mill Street Brewery and a selection of adult frappes, Paul’s grown-up, alcohol-fortified version of the ice cream beverage.
The restaurant will be open seven days, Sunday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Reservations and call-ahead take-out orders will not be taken at this time (Source: Wahlburgers News Release, Soho Metropolitan Hotel).
I will report back with my review of the burgers soon. For more delicious updates, follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@themary_tang).