We love burgers and Indian flavors so when we started hearing about Newark’s latest burger place, Burger Walla, and their combinations of classic American burgers with an Indian flair we knew we’d have to check it out soon. They use all high-quality, fresh never-frozen ingredients and make almost everything on their menu in-house. Honestly, these burgers have quickly moved up to some of our favorite in New Jersey. The burgers are not only delicious, they also have creative spices and toppings. The side dishes are as inventive as the burgers, too. Even their drink selections are thoughtful. A full tap of Boylan’s fountain drinks are available with free refills. Where have you seen one of those before? We certainly never have. Originally made in Paterson and now bottled in Teterboro, even Burger Walla’s sodas are locally sourced! We both tried the canned Limca—a lemon-lime soda from India. Both the Boylan’s sodas and the Limca are made with real cane sugar.
Yeah, this is a great addition to our list of New Jersey’s great burger restaurants.
Kai and Tamara Campbell opened Burger Walla in December last year. Kai (middle) was working the grill with two counter crew members. We were greeted warmly and all three countermen were very enthusiastic about helping us figure out what to order. They recommended the lamb and chicken burgers to start. They were right.
We thought we’d just try three burgers (beef, lamb and chicken) and come back another day for the other two on the menu (shrimp and veggie). However, once we tried the first three burgers, we knew that our meal was going to turn into a feast and we immediately ordered the other burgers. Luckily, if you’re in a tasting mood, the burgers are normally sized (think ShakeShack size) and not the gigantic diner-style burgers that are sometimes served elsewhere. They’re sized so that with a good appetite you could easily eat two burgers if you go light on the side dishes.
The lamb burger was Ed’s favorite of the night. Served with grilled onions, thick slices of crunchy pickles (these are definitely not ordinary pickles!), hearty tomato slices and Walla sauce (a sweet and spicy house sauce), the lamb is infused with a mint chutney that gives your palate a little cool burst with each bite. Who would have thought that we’d love mint in a burger? The lamb is sourced from a Colorado family farm where they are fed an all-vegetarian diet. All of Burger Walla’s burgers are home runs but this one is a grand slam.
The chicken burger was my favorite of the night. Topped with the same grilled onions, tomato, pickles and Walla sauce, this one also came with pepper jack cheese. The burger itself is antibiotic- and hormone-free Bell & Evans chicken ground with a cilantro chutney that gives it a great fresh green color. Ground chicken is notoriously chewy but this burger had nothing of that tell-tale rubbery texture. This was juicy, perfectly soft and herbaceous. The spicy cheese and the lightly sweet Walla sauce played together perfectly, too.
The beef burger was terrific, too. Burger aficionados know that when you see Pat LaFrieda’s name at a restaurant you’re in for a treat. This burger is no exception. All the burgers come on a hearty roll that soaked up all the juices from the burgers and toppings nicely.
Once we were done trying these three burgers, we already knew that we needed to order the other two on the menu so while Ed walked back to the counter, I checked out the side dishes we got.
A fellow customer who saw us taking all these pictures told us that she wished the fries weren’t that good. I must have looked puzzled because she elaborated with the comment, “because then I wouldn’t crave them so much.” That’s pretty much how I felt, too, once I tried them. I think I used the word “ridiculous” after my first fry. They offer regular ketchup and mustard as well as spicy ketchup, spicy mustard and even mayo in the seating area for fry dipping. We also ended up asking for a little cup of the Walla sauce to dip fries in because it was so sweet/spicy/delicious. We even dipped the fries in the tamarind sauce that came with two samosas we ordered. Yeah, they’re ridiculously good fries.
Normally, they have vegetarian samosas on the menu but due to a very large catering order, they were out of the traditional ones and had chicken and lamb varieties. Both were great. Crispy pastry and a slightly dry filling that makes the tamarind sauce soak in perfectly. Can’t wait to try the veggie ones! We also didn’t get to try the sweet potato tater tots because of the giant catering order. Fine with me… it just gives me more reason to come back!
Just as we’re picking through the last of the little fry pieces, our other burgers arrived.
The veggie burger is the most chock-full vegetable patty I’ve ever seen and it’s fully vegan. It’s also got Masala spices and delivers a nice little kick of heat. I undid the vegan-ness and added goat cheese to this one. A great veggie burger on par with my favorite Dr. Praeger’s frozen burgers but, of course, this one is made fresh and never frozen. Sorry, Dr. Praeger, I’ve got a new favorite veggie burger!
The shrimp burger smelled absolutely amazing when it came out. Freshly grilled shrimp mixed with garlic and paprika and ground together. There are a limited number of them each day and we were glad there was one still available when we ordered it. I’ve never tasted shrimp like this. More restaurants should be trying this. This is what makes Burger Walla so great. Yes, they make great regular burgers. But, their specialty burgers are where all the fun is.
During business hours, Newark’s surface streets have limited parking. Dinner time makes Newark’s Halsey street easier to find parking, though, even when there’s snow blocking some spaces. So, head over tonight and get some of these amazing burgers!
Check out all the pictures from our visit to Burger Walla:
47 Halsey Street, Newark
Monday to Friday – 11am to 10pm
Saturday – 12p to 6pm
Sunday – Closed
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