Walking into Wahlburgers on Sunday arvo, the sun was shining, the staff were smiling, there was a nice vibe and from our table we had a view of Jonson St from the deck above Woolworths – the experience was ‘pretty darn good’. The service was friendly and quick and there was soon a margarita in hand, plus, if you’re there at the right time Thursday to Sunday, you can also catch live music, making it a good spot to while away the weekend.
Wahlburgers is a USA-based family-owned casual burger restaurant and sports bar with 94 stores, including in Sydney at Opera Quays, and now in Byron, with Surfers Paradise opening in a few weeks (opposite the beach on Cavill Mall). It’s owned by Chef Paul, and singer/actor brothers Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids on the Block founding member) and Mark Wahlberg (remember Marky Mark – he’s also done lots of movies). There are plans for around 20 more Aussie stores, at which, in our honour, they even serve an Aussie burger; the Our Burger with beetroot, pineapple, a fried egg and bacon. Chef Paul also created Vegemite Aioli, especially for us Aussies.
They have a wide array of food and drinks on the menu. There are classic burgers and some fancy ones including Truffle Burger and Portobello Mushroom Burger, as well as the plant-based ‘Impossible Burger,’ which is done in what they call a simple style with cheese, caramelised onions, lettuce, spicy tomato and a generous serve of special ‘Wahl sauce’ – all the 17-odd sauces and dressings are house-made. There are gluten-free buns available, and for those who don’t want the standard ‘light’ burger bun, many of the burgers come in a salad style. For example, the ‘Crispy Schnitty’, and also the ‘Salmon and Street Corn’ salad both sounded pretty good.
There are a massive number of individual items that can be added to your order, including sides and starters, and there’s a kids menu – they will even have buttermilk pancakes, granola, smashed avo and an ‘Aussie Brekkie’ on the breakfast menu, which will be available when they start opening for breakfast.
There’s a lot more to try than just burgers – I really liked the Truffle Parmesan fries, tossed in truffle oil and served with truffle aioli, and we didn’t even make it into the ‘American Classics’, nor try items like the adults-only Spider (yes, an ice cream spider, but with Jack Daniels), or the dessert menu (the Bananas Foster, with vanilla ice cream, bananas and caramel sauce, which also comes as an ‘Adult Shake’ with dark rum and banana liqueur).
Whilst there’s plenty for the youthful palate there’s also a full bar range of beers (including the house ‘Wahlbrewski’), cocktails, wines, and plenty of individual base and premium spirits, raising the possibility of personalising not only what you order, but also what you drink, making this restaurant a place where everyone can find their ideal choices.
Wahlburgers Byron: Upstairs at Mercato 108-114 Jonson St.
Open Mon–Sun, 11am–9pm (soon to be open for breakfast).
Ph 1300 924 528 or wahlburgers.com.au