Comedian Will Ferrell describes actor Mark Wahlberg as “the perfect human being.” But does the former Calvin Klein underwear model and rapper turned Hollywood A-lister have a brother capable of building the perfect burger? To find out I ventured to Palo Alto, home to California’s first Wahlburgers, the fast-growing family franchise that Mark, Paul and their brother Donnie launched in 2011 in the Boston suburb of Hingham, Massachusetts.

The casual burger restaurant and bar in Palo Alto sits at the intersection of University Avenue and Emerson Street—ground zero for local foodies. Just a few weeks in business at the time of my visit, Wahlburgers has a distinctly Irish vibe with its gray-and-green color scheme, and the restaurant is split in three sections: one part diner to the right, another part casual fast-food service to the left and a shiny bar in the back.

Each specialty burger checks in around $10.50. I went with a classic American-style burger, known as “The Our Burger,” which comes with Chef Paul’s signature Wahl sauce, a sriracha’d Thousand Island dressing. The meticulously crafted burger is juicy and tender, with each bite containing crunchy thin-sliced lettuce. It was a damn good burger.

A more hearty choice is the BBQ Bacon, noted as “Donnie’s Fave.” It comes with a third of a pound of beef, cheddar, bacon, fresh jalapeños and housemade barbecue sauce and avocado spread. Another unique creation is the Fiesta Burger: a half-pound patty dusted with southern spice, including jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, salsa and chipotle mayo.

All of the sides are priced at $4, and by far the best were the Sweet Potato Tots. These bite-sized delights melt in the mouth and complement the savory with an addictive sweetness.

For a drink I went with the housemade frappé ($4.95), which is made with farm-fresh milk and local ice cream. These milkshakes are thick but go down smooth, and the richness of the malt packed a punch to the palate.

Two other Wahlburgers franchises are slated for the Golden State: one near the University of Southern California campus and the other set for Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. As for the Bay Area, the chain hopes to expand to Pier 39 in San Francisco and Santana Row in San Jose within the next six years, according to Palo Alto manager Max Lee.

185 University Ave, Palo Alto.