Mr Memoirs of an Amateur Cook and I love a good burger. We make our own at home quite often and like to think that over the years we have become rather good at it. We havent had any complaints anyway!! Sometimes however, it is rather nice to treat yourself and go out to eat and have someone else make the burgers for a change!
Image courtesy of Franks Burger House
With this in mind, a short while ago we thought it was about time that we paid Franks Burger House in Northampton a visit. Franks Steakhouse has occupied a prominent position on the Wellingborough Road since October 2011 and has rave reviews. We are yet to visit the steakhouse but, as it was a weekday we fancied something a bit quicker so popped in to their ‘sister’ restaurant across the road which opened in May 2012.
The ethos behind Franks Burger House is fresh burgers made with local meat served in a contemporary setting, no booking is required. The moment we walked in we were pleasantly greeted and asked to choose a table as the restaurant wasn’t that busy. I must say, I love the simple, understated interior of the burger house. It is full of big, chunky, light coloured wooden benches and tables adorned with calf skins and Union Jack cushions; very Wild West meets the UK! There is also a well stocked bar on site with an area to sit and wait for a table over a drink. I am told that past the open plan kitchen (always a plus in my opinion! That way the chefs are really accountable as to what they are up to!!) there is a lovely patio area which is perfect for pre-dinner drinks on a warm evening.
I must admit that the menu on offer from Franks Burger House did not particularly excite me. Although I agree that a very large menu can often be a mistake and lead to average food which all somehow tastes quite similar, I don’t believe that for a self-proclaimed ‘burger house’, Franks offered enough selection. Maybe we have been spoilt by the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen who, although a large chain which I often shy away from, do offer really very tasty food and a large selection of toppings for burgers as well as various unusual meats from buffalo to wild boar. At Franks, there are eight types of burger on offer; one of those is simply a double burger, another is a plain burger whilst a third is a burger without a bun. The remaining options contain fairly ordinary toppings of cheese, bacon, chilli and avocado; there is one burger which contains a meat other than beef and that is a rather bog standard sounding chicken burger.
We both opted for the ‘Elite’ burger, a beef burger with two slices of mature cheddar, and a side portion of onion rings. The burgers came out and were very well presented each on individual wooden boards with homemade chips in a mini frying basket. There was a little bit of salad on the side, namely one lettuce leaf and one slice of onion…minimalistic yes but a little too much so! Unfortunately, I was not as impressed with the taste of my meal as I was the presentation. I found that although the meat was local and the burgers handmade, it did not have much flavour at all. The beef was not well seasoned and it would be quite difficult, I’m afraid to say, to pick it out in a line up of other mass-produced burgers. Although the bread was nice, it was not the ideal kind for a burger bun as it was far too dry and also too floury which led me to become self conscious about having flour all over my face! The chips were average. I was really hoping for some proper handmade steak cut chips however, they were quite thin and not much to write home about. On the plus side, the onion rings were rather nice with the right amount of crunch however, there was not a lot of batter on them and you certainly didn’t get much for your money!!
We had a more positive experience with the drinks. My boyfriend had a cider and I had a large glass of wine; both were very reasonable and my wine was the best glass I had tasted in a while!
The overall price was very reasonable and perfect for a mid-week meal out with burgers being around the £7 mark.
Overall, if I’m honest I was rather disappointed with Franks Burger House, particularly as I had read such good reviews of their steakhouse; I must admit that I did expect better quality food. Would I give it another go? Perhaps. It is just on our doorstep and I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt seeing as they had just opened however, I will not rush there in a hurry and will be more inclined to making my own burgers at home which are just as good a treat, if not better.