Restaurant: The County
Address: 220 Abington Ave, Northampton NN1 4PR
Chosen burger: The County Burger
Consists of: Chilli burger, cheese, onions, chilli sauce (hot or extreme!)
Price: £11.25 (served with chips, onion rings, chef’s coleslaw and salad)

Another week means another burger gents. As our 2016 journey of burger discovery continues we ventured to The County, formerly known as the County Tavern. Another new entrant for this year, the gastropub underwent a rather drastic refurbishment over a year ago, with the kitchen garnering a positive reputation amongst the gents of Northampton since that time. Situated a short walk away from the Northamptonshire County Cricket ground, the gastropub features a cosy dining area and separate, relaxed bar area. As this was our first burger orientated burger, we were curious whether these new kids on our burger block would be able to serve up a five star burger.

The pub boasts an impressive menu, with six gourmet burgers to choose from. After a quick perusal, we decided to put the eponymously named County Burger to the test.

county_burger

The County Burger

Gents we can’t stress enough how important first impressions are. Of course, they are not the be all and end all, but making a good impression helps and it seems The County has taken note of this. When we saw our plate arrive with the burger, melted cheese and caramelised onions poking teasingly out from under the shiny bun, we knew that something special was sat in front of us.

The beef, cooked slightly more towards the back end of medium for our liking, was none the less delicious, grease-free and covered the entirety of the bun. Well seasoned, slightly peppery and with a bit of heat with adorning chilli flakes scattered throughout, The County served up a patty to be proud of. Do not let the simple statement of ‘onions’ on the menu fool you either; this may have been one of the most understated gems we have ever had the pleasure of coming across. The soft and sweet caramelised onions combined with the slight heat of the burger was a triumph. Throw in creamy, mild cheese to balance everything out and two robust, toasted buns to manage everything and you have a rather tasty burger.

The real talking point however has to be the accompanying chilli sauce. Similarly to the understated onions, the chilli sauce quite literally blew us away. Given a choice between hot or extreme, we erred on the milder side to be safe and opted for hot – never has a wiser decision been made. Over our time visiting various establishments, we have become accustomed to menus greatly exaggerating their use of the word ‘hot’; often finding barely a tingle on the tongue. In this case, the word was more than apt. Served in a separate pot, this rocket fuel left each member of the team at the table reaching out for the nearest beverage to hand. It is important to understand that we at the Northampton Gent have always prided ourselves on our ability to handle heat that would normally send lesser gents into hot sauce induced comas; yet this sauce managed to cause sweating and running noses. Sniffling around the table, we pondered just what damage the extreme flavour was capable of. Whilst we dared not put it to the test, we demand that any gent that undertakes such a feat please contact us immediately for a full report.

Fortunately, the refreshing, cool coleslaw helped offset the sauce whilst the chips were hot, fluffy and fresh. The onion rings – found outside our burger as they should be – were crispy and even the side salad had a pleasant dressing. All in all, the County exceeded our expectations.

The Verdict

The County Burger is by no means a burger to be sniffed at, unless you dived into the sauce haphazardly that is. The description on the menu simly does not do the burger justice. With a lot of flavours working together, The County burger will leave your taste buds pleasantly trying to make heads or tails of the whole affair. The sauce is not to be underestimated, but works well with the rest of the dish in moderation – for those less keen on their heat, we would suggest to partake in small quantities.

☆☆☆☆

It seems criminal after putting it to the test that this is The County’s debut in the best burger search but it is sure to be a regular for the years going forward. A well deserved four stars, with the patty being a mere couple of minutes off a five star. If you have not paid the gastropub a visit, we would certainly suggest making a note to pop in soon.

www.facebook.com/countytavern