The wait for a Wahlburger is over. The anticipated burger eatery held its soft opening Thursday… and we obviously went for lunch.
The space blends a fast-casual vibe with a sports bar, featuring industrial-style lights, wooden tables and pipe-and-flange shelving with the same kind of bright green chairs and bar stools you’ll see at BurgerFi or Shake Shack, but with the bonus of bright green straws. (Should we call it burger green?) There are TVs at the bar, which has a nice lineup of almost 20 draft beers featuring selections ranging from Blue Moon and Bud Light to Moerlein and Mt. Carmel.
Since our intrepid diners were heading back to work, no one ordered booze (or did they?), but they did indulge in some burgers and sides. The “Our Burger” is one of the Wahlburger house faves and features 1/3-pound of meat with classic toppings including lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, pickles and signature sauce. The meat comes medium by default but you can make your choice when you order. (There’s a hostess available to seat you when you arrive, and a waitstaff.)
We also tried the Fiesta Burger, which was described as “bomb” by our staffer. The burger comes topped with housemade spice mix, jalapeños, lettuce, pepper jack cheese and housemade chipotle mayo.
Housemade sauces are a big thing here — in fact “housemade” anything is. Wahlburgers has housemade: pickles, Wahl sauce, mustard sauce, Buffalo sauce, salsa, chili, coleslaw, dressing, pulled pork, onion rings and more. Basically every dish comes with something “housemade.” Which is nice. The chain really tries to focus on their chef-inspired aspects.
Along with the burgers — which were juicy and served on a bun that was soft with a lil buttery crunch — we tried the housemade onion rings, which were quite good and more like onion straws that your traditional bar rings. Also good? The tater tots and mac and cheese.
The restaurant also offers vegetarian options — salads and a portobello sandwich (add a veggie burger, plz?) — and a kids menu, with root beer floats, creamsicle floats, frappes and cake.
Hours may vary during the soft opening period. Wahlburgers is located at 199 E. Sixth St., Downtown. See a full menu and details here: wahlburgersrestaurant.com.