After more than a year of false starts and dashed hopes, Long Island is getting a Wahlburgers. On Friday, the chain — a potent blend of celebrity, reality TV and burgers — is to open in Port Jefferson Station.
That means we can finally experience O.F.D. (“Originally from Dorchestah”) burgers, Alma’s macaroni (that’s Mom), grilled banana-fluffanutta (fluff plus Nutella) sandwiches, frappes (Boston for milkshakes) and floats.
Mark and Donnie, singing-and-dancing actor-producers, are the most famous of the Wahlbergs, but it’s brother Paul, a trained chef, who is the culinary power behind the chain. The first location opened in 2011 in Hingham, Massachusetts. Port Jefferson Station is lucky No. 13.
Todd Kosakowski, one of the franchise owners, said that his group intends to open more locations on Long Island and in New York City, with another Suffolk store planned for 2017.
Wahlburgers accommodates about 200 customers and is divided into three distinct sections: One dining area for customers who have ordered at the counter; another, quieter area has table service; there’s also a full bar with 30 rotating beers on tap (among them right now, Allagash White, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Dogfish 60 Minute, Blue Point Toasted Lager, along with Bud, Bud Lite and Miller Lite.)
No matter where you are, there are Wahlburgs: posters from films (“Lone Survivor” and “Contraband” starring Mark), TV shows (“Blue Bloods” starring Donnie), album covers (New Kids on the Block, Donnie’s band) as well as framed collages of old family snapshots and video monitors showing clips from their A&E reality show (new episodes air at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays).
As for live Wahlburgers, Kosakowski said that a grand opening, with a red carpet and plenty of family, would be forthcoming in the new year.
The menu is heavy on the burgers made with a blend of Certified Angus brisket, short rib and chuck and built from the bottom up — the “toppings” are underneath the patty because Paul believes they taste better that way. The O.F.D. ($9.95) features Swiss cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms and tomato jam. Most burgers are served on potato buns, but The Melt ($9.95) — topped with a thick slice of “government” (American) cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, pickles and mustard sauce — comes on thick, butter-griddled toast.
Sandwiches include Thanksgiving Day (turkey burger, stuffing, mayo, orange-cranberry sauce and roasted squash, $8.95) and crispy haddock (panko-crusted fillets with lettuce, tomato and balsamic tartar sauce, $8.95). You can get a salad made from any burger or sandwich: They chuck the bun and chop up the filling with mixed greens.
There are also thin onion rings, Tater Tots, sweet potato tots and Yukon fries (all $3.95) plus mac ’n cheese with smoked bacon and garlic-panko crumbs ($5.95) and house-made chili ($4.90). Four flavors of ice cream are spun into frappes or provide crowns for floats (both $5.95).
Wahlburgers opens every day at 11:30 a.m. and stays open until midnight Sunday to Thursday, to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
4837 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station, 631-473-8525, wahlburgersrestaurant.com