I’m up in Boston attending a conference for the next few days, but before entering Beantown, my boss and I headed to Hingham Shipyard and took in some deliciousness at Walhburgers.
The place is owned and operated by Paul, Donnie and Mark Walhberg—with Paul really being the food expert behind the entire operation (he’s also the executive chef and owner of Alma Nove).
After a 4 hour drive—and one disoriented dyslexic GPS—we (and our growling tummies) were happy to finally find the place. I had been talking about Wahlburgers all week, so needless to say, I was excited to get my grub on. When we got there the line was huge but that wasn’t going to stop us. We were starving, and Hingham is a confusing (but beautiful) area to find, so we were more than happy to wait.
As we were waiting in line, the hostess let us in on a little secret.
Donnie Wahlberg was actually there. Eating a burger. At the back table.
As I’m sure you can imagine, my teeny-bopper heart started beating 45,847,258,924 beats per minute.
“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh”
That’s what the heartbeats sounded like. (That, by the way, was a reference to the NKOTB song “You got it (the right stuff)” in case you didn’t know.)
After waiting at least half an hour, we finally got our seats. I was about 10 ft from Donnie. And I started thinking: How was I going to eat? What if he walked by me? What if he looked at me? Or said hello? What if he told me “Hey Puerto Rican, please stop taking pictures of me! How would I react?!
85,000 questions and scenarios running through my head.
And you know what, he did pass by. A number of times. He was so close to me. So close! We were breathing the same frickin’ oxygen!
Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, I turned around and asked “Donnie, would you mind taking a photo with me?”
He, kindly, agreed to not one, but two photos. (The Gods have smiled upon me again, I know!)
He was so sweet and seemed genuinely interested in knowing how we were, what we ordered, whether we liked the food. I told him I ordered “Donnie’s Choice” (BBQ Bacon Burger) with Sweet potato tots and he was like “that’s what I ordered!” We then told him we had driven from NYC and Wahlburgers was our first stop, and he seemed truly appreciative that we (and everyone else) was there. He greeted everyone with a sincere smile and a thank you.
He then shook my boss’ hand and left the place. When I asked my boss “what was it like to shake Donnie Wahlberg’s hand?” he replied with “Um…”
I guess he wasn’t as star struck as I was.
Anyway. Now to the food.
As I mentioned before I ordered “Donnie’s Choice”—The BBQ Bacon burger, which had BBQ, avocado, jalapenos and white cheddar cheese. I also ordered sweet potato tots, which are seriously the most delicious pieces of potato heaven EVER!
The burger was good and hit the spot. Was it the most amazing burger I ever had? No. But I honestly don’t think its supposed to be. What you’re getting when you go to Wahlburgers is the Wahlberg experience—you’re getting a taste of their home, their life & family, the food they grew up with—from the moment you walk in through those doors.
And that’s really where Wahlburgers succeeds and shines. You honestly do feel like your home, like you’re coming to visit family. The staff was among the nicest I’ve ever encountered. Every single one of them. They were the most helpful and warm people I’ve ever met. Even the seating—which is cafeteria style— encourages you to become friendly with total strangers.
And that alone is worth the trip to Wahlburgers. So if you’re in the Boston area, grab your GPS and head to Wahlburgers, where the burgers are good, the potato tots are tiny bits of heaven and the people are among the most awesome you’ll ever meet.
And if you’re lucky, you may even run into a Wahlberg.