Restaurant: The Mailcoach
Address: 6-8 Derngate, Northampton NN1 1UB
Chosen burger: The Mailcoach
Consists of: Beef burger 6oz, Pulled Pork, Mozzarella Cheese, Bacon, Blue Cheese Sauce, Beef tomato, red onion, mixed salad
Price: £13.95 (with fries & coleslaw)

On a rather plain and ordinary Tuesday afternoon, the Northampton Gent’s dangerous and delicious burger adventure across Northampton continued, stopping off in the town centre to visit The Mailcoach. Could we have potentially have found a place worthy of claiming the sought-after and elusive 5 stars?

Found on the doorstep of the Royal & Derngate Theatre, The Mailcoach is the popular desitnation for theatre goers and performers enjoying a pre or post show meal and drink. The pub changed management a couple of years ago and has since introduced a new menu and importantly, new burgers. The pub was quiet as we perused the menu; the perfect environment for us to give real thought and consideration to our burger decision. Such laborious deliberation was not required however, as our chosen burger made itself known immediately. The Mailcoach’s burger selection is not the most extensive, with the pub having 5 burgers to choose from, but our choice was made easy once we laid eyes on the house favourite, ‘The Mailcoach’. A ray of light shone down on it, illuminating the ingredients of beef, bacon, cheese and pulled pork all in a bun as an angelic choir sang in the background. Suffice to say, we were excited.

the mailcoach

So, did the burger we had such high hopes for manage to deliver? The most important aspect of any burger is the beef, the foundation of any good burger. ‘The Mailcoach’ 6oz pressed patty was moist and flavoursome, with the right amount of seasoning to allow the flavour of the patty to shine through amongst the myriad of other ingredients on the burger. The patty was perfectly cooked with a blush of pink in the middle and was certainly one of the better patties we have indulged in along our journey.

Unfortunately, the patty cannot secure 5 stars alone. The accoutrements are just as important, especially when they include perhaps our two favourite toppings; bacon and pulled pork. But first the cheese. The choice of mozzarella meant that the cheese wonderfully melted over all the ingredients, providing cohesion and acting almost as burger glue, making the burger far more manageable with all the different ingredients. Mozzarella is not known for its standout flavour and is delivered a subtle, mellow taste which worked well not to compete with all the different toppings involved. Too many different flavours can most certainly become a bad thing. The cheese added a creamy texture whilst letting the burger and bacon lead the way in flavour.

We had high hopes for the pulled pork but were rather disappointed. Whilst juicy, tender and cooked as well as the beef patty, the pork itself lacked the outstanding taste that the beef had managed to achieve. Ultimately, the pulled pork was bland and should have been so much more.

The disappointment of the pulled pork was short lived however, as the plethora other toppings all met our expectations. If you have read our other burger reviews, you will know we are somewhat particular about our bacon. We like it crispy. ‘The Mailcoach’ did not disappoint, with the bacon bringing a strong, salty quality to the burger and a crispiness that worked well with the mozzarella and burger. The tangy blue cheese sauce with a hint of garlic helped offset the dryness of the savoury, sesame seed bun whilst the salad was crisp and fresh, with the red onion adding an extra crunch. With such a range of different ingredients, there is always the risk that the different flavours fail to work together; ‘The Mailcoach’ however managed to avoid such a pitfall.

So, did ‘The Mailcoach’ manage to take the crown of Northampton’s best burger? The burger was well balanced, a commendable feat considering the amount of different flavours involved and we cannot fault the cooking of each ingredient. What should have been crispy was crispy and what should have been tender was tender. The problem arises from the pulled pork, which was a flavourless extra that could easily not been included without being missed. An unfortunate drawback to what was an exceptional burger. The fries were not as crispy as we would have liked and luke warm at best however the coleslaw was excellent. Was it a 5 star burger? The potential was most certainly there had it not been for one or two snags. These small pitfalls means ‘The Mailcoach’ receives a highly respectable 4 stars. Sadly, the pulled pork was an unacceptable disappointment but we must give praise to the burger-to-bun ration which made the burger possible to eat with both hands; just the way a gent is supposed to. If you are in the mood for a burger, we would suggest you give it a try.

The gentleman’s rating: starstar

 www.mailcoachnorthampton.co.uk