2015 Best Burger Search: The Garibaldi Hotel
Restaurant: The Garibaldi Hotel
Address: 19-21 Baliff Street, Northampton NN1 3DX
Chosen burger: Me, Myself & I
Consists of: Double House Beef Burger, Salad, Cheese, Bacon, Firecracker Sauce
Price: £9.50 (+ £3.00 onion rings)
Gentlemen, it has been over a year since we last reviewed our first ever 5 star burger. 2014’s first 5 star burger was served up to us by a brand new pub on the Northampton scene at the time, the Garibaldi Hotel. The bohemian boozer was the first pub to fully embrace the craft beer craze and has continued to serve up incredible craft beers and ales to the fine folks of Northampton. Remembering the 2014 burger that had left such an indelible imprint on our burger souls, the Northampton Gent team headed back to the Garibaldi Hotel to find out if the craft beer kings still had the magic 5 star burger formula. If you are unfamiliar with the pub, now would be a very good time to read our review here.
Me, Myself & I
We decided to find out if the Garibaldi was able to repeat history by ordering the same meal that performed so well in the past. The Me, Myself and I burger, with its double house beef patties, cheese, bacon and firecracker sauce always looks like a winner on paper – and the De La Soul reference never hurts – so we were excited to discover if it could be done justice on a plate.
So let us begin with the foundations of any good burger; the patties. It pains us to say, they did not blow us away. It is said that you can tell a good hot dog sausage based on its snap. The same is not true of beef patties. The burgers were firm and densely compressed to a point where we could have heard a distinctive snap had we broken the burger in half. That is not a redeeming feature of a burger, especially when compared to the loosely textured burgers that had stolen out hearts in early 2014. Unfortunately the firecracker sauce failed to cause fireworks on the palette and was somewhat drowned out from the juice and grease of the patties. There were some marvellous elements of the burger however, such as the fluffy, ciabatta like roll which almost managed to contain all the juices – the bottom bun finally succumb after a valiant battle. The cheese was wonderfully melted over the patties, adding a mellow, savoury flavour which worked well with the saltiness of the bacon. Where the Garibaldi Hotel really excelled were with their sides. The fries were grease fee and moreish whilst the real winner was the onion rings. The addictive, freshly cooked onion rings had a tasty batter that was delightfully crispy, forcing us to finish them even after having consumed the meat feast that was the Me, Myself and I.
So how did the Garibaldi Hotel’s burger stack up? Well, the Me, Myself & I burger had a lot going for it, but unfortunately failed to match its 2014 counterpart. The potential for another 5 star burger is there on paper, but the beef patties need to be addressed. As the foundation of any good burger, not getting the patty perfect is like building a house on sand. For a pub that does such a brilliant job offering such a great selection of craft beers, ciders and ales, we have our fingers crossed they will be able to change the patties and comeback with a real five star contender in 2016. Combine two mind-blowing patties and harder hitting, spicy firecracker sauce with the impressive elements the Me, Myself & I got right and the Garibaldi Hotel could be back onto a winner.
The meat feast that was Me, Myself and I was a good burger, but not the burger be all and end all. Had this had been the 2015 search for Northampton’s best onion rings; the result most certainly would have been different.