It might not be often — or ever — that Marky Mark is walking around Grand Rapids.
Now, however, a piece of Mark Wahlburg is a staple on one of the main streets in Grand Rapids at the base of the Marriott Residence Inn, 10 Ionia Ave. NW. The Wahlburg brothers — led by Mark, but also including Donnie and the chef, Paul, opened a Wahlburgers location there a few months ago.
For starters, it’s a very inviting atmosphere inside the restaurant, feeling local enough for a downtown worker, but as though it might be welcoming a traveler just as easily. With big TVs with sports often on, it also certainly can double as a nice place to settle in for a game.
The burgers are big, with caramelized edges that mesh well with a toasted bun and the simple toppings for “The Our Burger” are suitable when desiring a standard burger. The “Wahl Sauce” is a tasty take on a signature burger sauce, as well. There’s also an assortment of other bigger burgers, like the spicy Fiesta, giant Double Decker, sloppy BBQ Bacon and the O.F.D., which has a tomato jam, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and Swiss cheese with its two patties. There’s also the “Mark’s Choice,” a vegetarian burger.
Aside from burgers, there are a few chicken sandwiches, a fish sandwich, a collection of salads, chili and bacon mac ’n cheese. There’s a sizable selection of starters, as well, including a trio of tater tot offerings that also come in a “tots flight.”
Like most every chain, Wahlburgers offers up the calorie count for conscientious diners, as well as a huge array of sides that go along with the standard fries. That could be a side salad or kale and Brussels sprout slaw, or thin, crispy onion rings that still present the fried crispness, but for 190 calories rather than the 420 from French fries.
What’s a true burger joint without shakes? There are plenty of flavors, including a root beer or creamsicle float. Then there are the big, boozy shakes: Mud Pie and Birthday Cake.
As for the beer selection, which many Grand Rapidians prefer to accompany their burgers, it’s the usual suspects, plus some nice local choices and even the proprietary “Wahlbrewski.”
This story can be found in the March/April 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here.