At a Glance
What is it?
A burger (and more) joint made famous on the A&E series of the same name.
Where is it?
At the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s on the Center Strip.
What kind of food is served?
Burgers, mostly, but also sandwiches, salads, chili, and more.
What is the atmosphere like?
Simple industrial design that is open to the outdoors.
How is the service?
A little slower than I’d like but not terrible.
What are the prices like?
A little more expensive than I’d like but not terrible.
What else do I need to know?
There is a kiosk nearby where you can grab and go.
What’s the bottom line?
Maybe not the best burgers in Vegas but pretty darned good.
The burger wars in Las Vegas have reached a fever pitch with the opening of the city’s first Wahlburgers, a beef and bun joint made famous by the A&E reality show and its celebrity family sponsors (actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg). While late to the game their name recognition gives them instant credibility in a town overrun by burgers both great and not so great.
The main restaurant is located toward the back of the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s, just to the left of the escalator that takes you up and over the valet parking area to the hotel. It has a simple industrial design with lots of metal and concrete, which doesn’t exactly create a warm environment but is fine since this isn’t trying to be a fancy restaurant. A big bar opens onto an outside dining patio so there is lots of light and fresh air coming in – nice on the days when it isn’t a billion degrees outside.
The menu is fairly simple – you’ve got your burgers, which start with the 1/3 pounder and then go double and triple decker, all arriving with lettuce, tomato, onion, “government” cheese, signature sauce, and housemade pickles by default. You can add a bunch of other stuff including a variety of cheeses, bacon, caramelized onions, fried egg, avocado, and more. You can get it on thick-cut bread as a melt or with bacon and BBQ or even pulled pork on top.
There are a few sandwiches including their open-faced Sloppy Joe, a turkey burger with stuffing and cranberry sauce to get that Thanksgiving feeling, chicken, fish, hot dogs, and the like. A few salads seem anachronistic on this menu but will give you a good chance to make fun of whichever your friends orders it.
Pay attention to the sides, which include fries, onion rings, tater tots, housemade chili, and macaroni and cheese with smoked bacon. There is also a kids menu and several deserts, floats, and housemade frappes.
I tried the basic 1/3 pound burger and a side of the aforementioned mac and cheese and was pleased with my choices for the most part. The burger was juicy and substantial – bigger than your average fast food joint but not as overwhelming as what you normally get in a sit-down restaurant. The meat was flavorful and the toppings were fresh.
The mac and cheese was great, with lots of creamy cheese, penne pasta, and chunks of bacon.
Both the burger and the side were a few degrees cooler than I would have preferred. They weren’t cold but not hot and that was a little disappointing.
Prices are on the high side but not out of line for what you’ll find at a restaurant on The Strip. Burgers start about $10 and go up from there, sandwiches are all in the $10-$15 range, salads all around $10, sides $5-$8, and desserts in the $5-$8 range as well. My bill for a burger, mac and cheese, and a glass of lemonade was about $25 before tax and tip.
Service was fine but because I got seated at the very busy bar I had to fight for attention from the spread-too-thin bartender, which meant things took a little longer than they probably would have if I had been at a table. If you’re not in the mood to deal with either, they have a grab and go kiosk in the mall also.
Overall I give Wahlburgers a thumbs up although not an overly enthusiastic one. There are other burgers in Vegas I like better but these are definitely a cut above your typical McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King style eats. Now, if Mark Wahlburg himself was serving the burgers…