I've missed you guys!
I sincerely apologize for being MIA the last few weeks, but homeownership is really kicking my butt. I've been posting some home-related progress on my Sometimes Foodie Instagram account (check my stories) so you guys can see how much work this has all been. Even with all the help I've been getting from my amazing family and friends, I just haven't had the energy (or time, or funds...) to keep up with all the latest food trends and blogging. I'm sure I must have missed at least three Oreos by now, but I'm back today with a quick review of Wahlburgers!
A pop culture and food-junkie's dream.
Earlier this month I sold at Camden Comic Con, which is an awesome free event I've participated in several times, but this year was special. The convention hosted some really awesome food trucks, and since I have no life and have no hopes of going into the city to get some blog-worthy grub, I seized this opportunity! I went outside and immediately spotted a food truck plastered with Mark Wahlberg's face! His brothers were on there too...but come on guys, it's Marky Mark! Don't worry, it wasn't a sleep-deprived paint-fume-fueled hallucination on my part, Mark Wahlberg actually has his own burger joint in Philadelphia, Wahlburgers! Being the huge pop culture junkie I am, I had to have it. Sorry other food trucks, but I gotta "Feel it, feel it!"
Are you guys ready to drown in Marky Mark YouTube links? Because there's gonna be a LOT of them.
The truck is black with a doodle/chalkboard theme to it and a playful image of the Wahlberg brothers is front and center to lure in pop culture foodies like me. So yeah, it wasn't really "plastered" with Marky Mark's face, but in my heart, it was. If you're a stickler for spelling and grammar, this isn't the truck for you. The spelling pokes fun at the Philly/Wahlberg accent, and there's a few choice lines written in green or orange to hammer the dialect home.
When it comes to branding. it feels like they were trying to downplay the Marky Mark aspect of the business and focus on the fun dialect and word play. (Get it? Wahlberg. Wahlburgers!...maybe I should start wearing a mask when I paint...) With that being the case, I am guessing they are trying to get people to look at this business as less of a celebrity gimmick and more of a true restaurant in it's own right. So let's check out the grub!
My one complaint about this food truck was that the menu was very hard to read. It was printed on a standard letter-sized piece of paper and taped to a window. Food trucks are pretty high up, and the glare from the sun made this menu as hard to read in person as it was to photograph. However, as a graphic designer I really did like the design and layout of it. I just wish it were bigger and in a location less prone to glare.
Incase you're having a hard time reading the menu, the options are:
The Our Burger - 1/3 lb. burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, "government" cheese, Paul's signature wahl sauce & housemade pickles. $11
BBQ Bacon - 1/3 lb. burger, white cheddar, bacon, fresh jalapeños, housemade BBQ sauce & avocado spread. $12
Alma's Favorite Chicken - Seared chicken breast, crispy iceberg lettuce, fresh tomatoes and dad's buttermilk ranch dressing. $12
Portobello Sandwich - house marinated & roasted Portobello mushroom cap, white cheddar, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, & Paul's signature wahl sauce. $10
Each item comes with tots on the side, which are nice, but I felt it was expensive for what you were getting. Then again, I'm really
cheapfrugal and I don't eat out very often. This pricing was actually competitive with the other burger food trucks at the event and it's similar to what you'd pay at a sit-down restaurant, but for me this was a splurge. Unless Marky Mark's burger really wow's me...this is going to be a one time only review.
I bought two "Our Burgers" for my sister and I, and about 20 minutes later they were finished and ready for pick-up. Not a bad wait time considering how busy all the trucks were at the event. (Many of them ran out of condiments and beverages before the day was through.)
Visually, the burgers weren't all that impressive. The bun hid the majority of the fillings making it look similar to a $3.00 Sonic burger. (Especially since Sonic is also known for serving burgers with tots.) I took a closer look inside and the contents looked more like a restaurant or diner burger, so I felt slightly better about the hefty price tag.
At this point in the day I had roughly 4 hours of sleep, having stayed up late preparing for the event, and I skipped breakfast in an attempt to sneak a few more minutes of precious sleep in, so I was HUNGRY. I scarfed down most of this burger without taking a bite shot and went completely stuff-your-face primal on the tots.
Everything was great. The burger was juicy and not overcooked, the cheese was flavorful, the produce was fresh, the housemade sauce and pickles were delicious, and the tots were extra crispy, but was it worth $11? Sorry, Marky Mark, but I don't think so. It was significantly superior to Sonic and other fast food burgers, but it was also fairly smaller than most restaurant burgers.
I ate my burger, and the tots, and it wasn't enough. I wanted more. Which is good for Wahlburgers as a business, because in my hunger-crazed state I could have easily eaten two whole burgers, maybe even 2 and a half, with tots, but that would have cost me $22+ bucks. My wallet says no, but my stomach, my stomach says, yes! (Sorry R. Kelly, no links for you. Well....maybe just this one.) My penny pinching ways stopped me from indulging in another order, but it was really tasty and hit the spot on a very busy and tiring day.
If you're a junk-food-loving pop culture junkie, Wahlburgers is a must, at least once. Even though I satisfied my stomach with their food truck, I still feel the itch to see the brick and mortar restaurant in the city. (Which in my dreams plays Marky Mark music videos on loop.) The food is great, their dialect-friendly branding acts as a love-letter to the city it caters to, and it gives you a reason to step back in time and sing Marky Mark lyrics while stuffing your face. Food snobs can skip this one, but for decent grub and light hearted fun, I'd say this celebrity burger shop is worth a visit or two.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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