Issue 47, Number 11
[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n a frigid night late last year, a buzzing crowd of fans clogged the sidewalks outside Toronto’s ritzy SoHo Metropolitan hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of Paul Wahlberg and his actor brother, Donny. The siblings were in Toronto to promote the opening of the first Canadian outpost of their restaurant, Wahlburgers (Mark, brother and third co-founder, was absent).
Eye-popping green banners welcomed guests into the spacious 120-seat sports-bar filled with neon-green metal chairs set against a backdrop of wood-panelled walls and flat-screen TVs. The design for the new space is inspired by the original location in Massachusetts, which was designed by architect Stephen Sousa.
Wahlburgers’ resident chef, Paul, has concocted a menu of favourites, which hearken back to the family’s beginnings in Hingam, Mass., with offerings such as the BBQ Bacon Burger, topped with white cheddar, bacon, avocado, jalapeños and barbecue sauce ($9.95), or slightly more eccentric options such as The Thanksgiving Burger, topped with fresh-ground and seasoned turkey dressed with signature orange-cranberry sauce, homemade roasted-butternut squash and mayo ($9.95). Libations include beer on tap, and “adult” frappés, in flavours such as S’mores, made with chocolate ice cream, vanilla vodka, whipped cream liquor, chocolate syrup and graham-cracker crumbs ($15).