Restaurant: The Charles Bradlaugh
Address: The Charles Bradlaugh 1 Earl Street Northampton NN1 3AU
Chosen burger: Home made beef burger
Consists of: Beef burger, Cheddar Cheese, Chorizo, Salad garnish
Price: £8.00 (+£0.65 Cheddar Cheese)(+£0.65 Chorizo)(with chips and salad)

The journey continues on our search for Northampton’s finest burgers. We are searching for those burgers so perfect they could send the most refined of gentleman into a meat crazy frenzy. And so we visit the Charles Bradlaugh, a lively pub located a short distance from the Northampton town centre.

The Charles Bradlaugh is known for being able to show Northampton revellers a good time. The converted shoe factory always has a host of interesting events on, including stand-up, quizzes and a host of live music ranging from traditional rock to jazz & blues. Combine this entertainment with a good atmosphere, friendly crowd and a late night drinking license and you have a fine establishment to be frequented on the weekend. It is named after the 19th century political activist and famous atheist Charles Bradlaugh, who was Northampton’s Member of Parliament in 1880. Before this descends into a history lesson however, let us get back onto the burger business at hand. Did the Charles Bradlaugh’s home made beef burger manage to take the precious 5 stars?

charles bradlaugh beef burger

Well, unfortunately not. We had high hopes for the Charles Bradlaugh but the burger came up short in so many different departments. First and foremost is the beef. When we read ‘home made beef burger’, we had visions of a juicy patty brimming with flavour. What we received was nothing of the sort. The beef was overcooked, a fate no patty should have to endure. By overcooking the beef, any hint of tenderness and suppleness was eradicated along with any rich, beefy flavour that may have existed. Instead, the beef was terribly dry and slightly rubbery. The seasoning was also amiss. The burger was flavourless, bland and devoid of almost any seasoning, failing to make a real impact on the palate.

As we have always maintained, the patty is the foundations for the burger. The simple and unassuming toppings failed to build upon the poorly laid foundations. There is a fine line between sophisticated simplicity and unforgivable dullness. The Charles Bradlaugh fell decisively into the latter. The dry sesame seed bun was oversized for the patty and again fell into the depths of blandness. The dryness of both patty and bun meant that the burger was in dire need of some sauce, be it a relish, salsa or something to add an injection of excitement and moisture to the burger. What we received instead was the dreaded sachets of sauce.

We thank our lucky stars we paid the extra for the additional cheese and chorizo because without out it, the experience may have become duller than any dishwater known to man. However even these two accruements failed to make any real impact. The cheese, whilst melted, had suffered the same fate of the patty and had been overdone, impairing any creamy quality that was to be had. We had hoped the chorizo would add a salty and spicy kick to the burger; the reality was disappointing. The kick simply did not exist and the chorizo simply added to the plainness. The haphazard salad that accompanied was fresh and is one feature of the burger that was done correctly but really it is the same as being happy that your car has a cup holder but no wheels, engine or doors.

In one word, the burger was lacklustre. We had expected more from the Charles Bradlaugh, but it seems that the care needed was missing. The overcooked patty, oversized bun and sachets of sauce made the taste reminiscent of a friend’s barbeque rather than a home made burger indulgence. For the pub’s house burger, we had expected more. The large chips were cooked well but again painfully average and the whole experience was rather underwhelming. The home made beef burger receives a deserved and disappointing 2 stars.

The gentleman’s rating: star