In case you weren’t aware, we thought you should know that there’s an entire amusement park called Dollywood. It’s owned by Dolly Parton, it includes a replica of her childhood home, and it’s every bit as great as it sounds. It’s also a good example of a place that goes all-in on its theme and fully succeeds.
We can’t say the same thing about Wallyburger, a new counter-service spot in Wallingford. This place has a Wild West theme that smacks you across the face like a tumbleweed in the wind as soon as you step inside. Retro country music blares, and there are Western movie props and posters galore - not to mention a large Route 66 sign. There are also some big light-up letters that spell “EAT,” which is lucky since the themed decorations are so overwhelming you might need a reminder of why you’re actually here.
The theme extends to Wallyburger’s menu, full of things with silly names like “Bullseye” and “Dirty Dan” (those are burgers, collectively referred to as “Cow Folk”), plus “Fancy Nancy Shakes.” The onion rings and french fries fall into the “sidekicks” category. Here’s the problem: none of the food is good. We could probably just about get behind the theme if the burgers here were delicious, but Wallyburger is a complete waste of your time and money unless you’re a small child under the age of 8. In which case, you might moderately enjoy yourself, and at least you’d be wasting someone else’s money. The burgers are bland, the queso is congealed, and everything just has a little too much grease. The best thing here is the chocolate milkshake, but it’s pretty hard to screw up a drink made from local Full Tilt ice cream and a mountain of whipped cream. Even so, it’s far from the best milkshake in the city.
Wallyburger’s over-the-top Western theme is at the very best tolerable, but the food here isn’t good enough to sell us on the whole exaggerated shtick. If you’re looking for some kind of country kitchen experience, we’d suggest a Cracker Barrel before this place - because even their corny general store gimmick succeeds better than this one.
We don’t know who Dan is, but he belongs in prison for committing a heinous crime against burgers. This has fried jalapeños, homemade spicy cheddar queso, and a lemon sauce, and on paper, it might sound all right. But the massive, clunky jalapeño pieces are soaked in grease, and the queso could feasibly be the example photo for the definition of “congealed” in an encyclopedia.
A burger with sharp cheddar, onion rings, bacon, purple cabbage slaw, barbecue sauce, and special sauce. It’s too big to bite into easily - plus, the onion rings are oily, and the meat doesn’t have a ton of flavor. The dressing on the cabbage slaw is also kind of thin.
Like a basic fast food burger, and a small version of the slightly bigger “Wally Sr.” It’s boring, safe, and a little dry, so a kid might like it, but we wouldn’t recommend it for anyone else.
If for some reason you fall backwards through the front door and end up having to eat here, the fried fish sandwich isn’t so bad, despite its silly name - it has a nice crunch to it, and comes topped with purple cabbage slaw, tartar sauce, and pickled jalapeños. Ask to add lemon sauce instead of tartar.
On a certain level, these are impressive - they look pretty good for fries that are actually gross. They’re completely saturated in oil, and very bad.
These are greasy and taste like they’re fresh from a sack in the freezer.
A predictably stupid name for a milkshake, but the milkshake itself is fine. It’s hard to make a bad one.