Earlier this month, the famed Wahlberg family opened up their newest burger joint, and it happens to be right here in Key West, Florida. The location is prime, at the Historic Seaport overlooking beautiful boats docked at the harbor.
When some of the locals heard about a burger chain going in at the Historic Seaport location which used to be home to a local deli and liquor store, they were up in arms about it darkening downtown’s doorstep. But I say if you pay your rent and do good business, welcome to Key West!
Yesterday, I visited Wahlburgers for lunch with my husband, Steven, and our friend, Tommy. Never having ever eaten at a Wahlburgers before, I was not sure what to expect, but I was excited to try it out.
Since it is very hot right now and we had been working outside all day, we opted to sit inside in the air conditioning. The guys had a difficult time reading the menus as the print was small, so I read it over to them. But the acoustics are not that great in the remodeled location, and with the music being a bit loud (and not to our taste) they had a hard time hearing me.
I went for Donnie’s Choice, the BBQ Bacon burger. It is a 1/3 lb burger with white cheddar, bacon, fresh jalapeños, BBQ sauce and avocado spread for nearly $17 and lots of calories. I got the fries as my side, although I was really debating on getting the tater tots or onion rings instead.
Steven ordered the BBQ Bacon burger minus the jalapeños and avocado. For his side he went with tater tots.
Tommy ordered the Super Melt (minus the bread) which was a 1/2 lbs burger served between thick cut bread, government cheese, bacon, cartelized onions, pickles and housemate mustard sauce. Tommy also ordered tater tots as his side. His burger cost nearly $18.
What exactly is government cheese you may ask. Well, as I found out when we questioned our waiter, it is just regular old American cheese. Mystery solved!
We waited quite awhile for our food to be brought out. In the mean time, we took in the surroundings. While the outside area and bar looked very nice, the inside was akin to a Five Guys with lots of pictures of the Wahlberg family and their favorite burgers and no island feel. However, there are some menu items that are specific to the Key West location, including crispy fried hand battered shrimp, fried grouper sandwich, and blackened grouper BLT.
When the food was finally brought out I could hardly wait to take my first bite. The burger tasted amazing and was cooked perfectly. However, they did not come as we had ordered. I realized after that first delicious bite that the burger only had cheddar and bacon on it, and the other fixings were missing. Our waiter seemed to have disappeared, and with the length of time it took to get the burger in the first place, I did not feel like sending it back. Especially since it tasted great anyway.
Since Tommy ordered his burger with no bread, it was easier to see that the cheese, pickles and mustard sauce were missing. He actually asked for the fixings but they never arrived. He eventually ate without these extras after waiting about ten minutes and not seeing our waiter. At the end of our meal when we finally saw our waiter again he told us that they were out of the mustard sauce, to which we replied that it would have been nice for him to let us know rather that waiting around for it.
The french fries and the tater tots were standard, so while they were good, there was nothing stand out about them, which is fine. Both were nice accompaniments to the burgers. We also ordered some onion rings for the table. They were like fresh fried french onions, and Tommy and I both thought that they were delicious. Steve did not appreciate them as much as he enjoys standard, thick cut onion rings.
While enjoying our food, we ran out of beverages. With our waiter MIA, we had to hail another table’s waitress over to us that happened to be walking by for refills. And when we finally did see our waiter again and called him over, he did not ask if we wanted anything else. He just said he would bring us our bill. We were going to order milkshakes to go, but at this point we decided to just leave.
The manager did come over at the end of the meal to see if everything was okay. I told her that while the food was delicious, there were issues with what we ordered versus what was brought out, and that the service was pretty much non-existent. She did apologize and I felt it was sincere. She explained that since they just opened they were still dealing with some issues and asked that we please return and give them another try. I assured her that I would as I really did enjoy my burger, even though it was expensive and the service was subpar.
I am looking forward to going back for another burger, some onion rings and maybe a shake in the coming months, hopefully after they have ironed out their issues. I do not mind paying for good food, but I feel like my order should be correct and that the service should be good as well.
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.
And for more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!