This is the time of year when comfort food comes into its own.
The ever-shortening days and long, dark nights makes the urge to tuck into something hot and filling irrestistible.
And though we’d just finished a killer workout, that’s how my partner and I found ourselves replacing all the calories we’d just burned off at the ultimate comfort eating place: a burger joint.
Franks Hamburger House in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, is a Northampton family-run business, where the beef you’re eating comes from locally-based cows and the pork sausages we had for starters were from Northamptonshire pigs as well.
On a wet and windy Monday night, the restaurant provided a cosy sanctuary from the elements and was bustling, yet the service remained excellent.
The interior is bright and cheerful with reds and browns the dominant colours. Seating is functional and practical at long benches with food served on boards.
The menu is very reasonably priced and, after soft drinks of diet Coke and Coke at £1.80 each, we chose starters of mini-honey and mustard sausages, £4, and flatbread with humus and tzatzkiki, £3.
They were absolutely delicious and whetted our appetite for our main courses.
Burgers with various toppings are the main choice on the menu, though you can have other dishes like chicken, duck or vegetarian options.
I chose the Elite burger, £8, while my partner had the Middleton burger, £10. All burgers come with a basket of “bottomless” fries and salad garnish.
My Elite burger was a delicious hunk of beef with two slices of melted mature Cheddar on top surrounded by a bun. He had the Middleton burger, which came with bacon, Stilton and beer-battered onion rings. Extra toppings are £1.50 each and he had mushroom while I had guacamole.
I don’t know what they do to the chips at Franks, but they are absolutely delicious and incredibly more-ish. Having polished mine off in rapid time, I decided to ask for another portion – assuming they would just re-fill the little basket on my wooden board. How wrong I was.
A few minutes later, I was presented with a massive portion of fries, which I couldn’t manage a fraction of, so ended up taking them home. The phrase my mum used to always say to me: “eyes bigger than your belly” sprang to mind.
Our friendly waitress said a lot of people are surprised at the refills, which really are bottomless!
Having said that (and with chips set to one side), we both decided to have a dessert to round off our lovely evening. I had ice cream, £4 – which is again locally provided from Gallones and always delicious – and Jaffa cake sundae, £5, for him, which was a decadent concoction of biscuits, ice cream and cream.
Franks has several hamburger houses acrossNorthamptonshire with a new one due to open soon in Towcester. And it is also a regular sight at the Saints ground in Franklin’s Gardens. There’s also a more expensive steakhouse over the road from the burger house in Wellingborough Road, which owner Tom Hewer describes as being more for special occasions.
It’s an expanding local empire and the reason why speaks for itself... superb food that tastes really good.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good
PARKING: Free after 6pm or nearby pay and display
COST OF OUR MEAL: £40.60
RUTH’S STAR RATING: 9.5/10
157 Wellingborough Road, Northampton