When we were asked to review the new menu at Frankie and Benny’s we definitely weren’t going to say no. On a Saturday afternoon we popped in to put the voucher to good use. We didn’t book a table and were a bit worried that we hadn’t, but being only 4.30pm there were still plenty of places to sit.
I love the Americana theme at Frankie and Benny’s, from the wall art to the old American music it has a really nice atmosphere for a family meal. It has an open kitchen which immediately caught Spud’s attention as he was fascinated by the Chefs. We were greeted in a timely manner and shown to our booth. I was really surprised that we were seated in a booth because in other restaurants we always get put on the outer edge due to the need for a highchair but they use the type that attaches to the table so he was able to sit nicely with us and we can still experience the heart of the restaurant. The waitress was extremely friendly and offered us some dough balls and garlic butter to accompany our drinks whilst we looked over the menu. We were asked if the boys wanted a drink but we declined not knowing that it was actually included in the price of the children’s meals. We didn’t discover that until we looked at the children’s menu again after our main whilst trying to choose the boys dessert. It did irk me somewhat because by then it was too late to give Spud any juice and guarantee a dry night.
The menu is packed full of appertising meals that would expect to see at an American/Italian restaurant from steaks to pastas and pizzas with starters, mains, sides and desserts. We decided that after the dough balls and garlic butter, which were scrummy, that we wouldn’t have starters so we ordered spaghetti bolognese for both the boys (£3.95 each), steak and fries for me (£10.95) and the mixed grill for the Hubby (£20.95) The steak and fries was just steak and fries so I ordered a side dish of mushrooms. It didn’t take long to arrive and the boys had both been given an activity pack so we didn’t really notice the waiting period.
The boys meals arrived first and I started cutting up the spaghetti for them. The portion size of the children’s meals was very generous and it was nice to see that older children could have a larger portion for £7.25. I was extremely disappointed that the ratio of spaghetti to bolognese was about 80:20 so they both had a massive amount of pasta and not a whole lot of sauce. It didn’t seem to bother Spud who wolfed down the whole bowl but Spike struggled with just pasta and ended up sharing my chips and having the Hubby’s sausage from the mixed grill. The Hubby liked his meal, but I was a bit surprised at how small it looked for £20.95. I am glad that I ordered the mushrooms because my plate looked a little bare without garnish. A little bit of salad would have perfected my steak and fries.
When we had finished our mains the dishes were cleared promptly which I liked because I hate sitting around waiting in restaurants and we were offered the dessert menu. The dessert menu was crammed full of delicious puddings so despite 23oz of meat the Hubby was keen for a dessert and Spud was getting very excited about the prospect of fruit salad. The Hubby ordered the Banoffee Sundae (£5.25) I ordered the Eton Mess Sundae (£5.25) and the boys both had fruit salad which was included in the price of their main. These arrived in good time as well and Spud definitely had eyes bigger than his belly because after a few grapes he gave up. Spike wasn’t really interested in his fruit either but happily had a few tastes of my sundae. The sundaes were both mine and the Hubby’s favourite part of the meal.
Once our dessert dishes were cleared the boys were both given a balloon which pleased them greatly and we asked for the bill. We can not fault the service at all, we hadn’t made them aware that we were there for a review we simply acted like normal customers and the waitress was first class, bar the children’s drinks incident. Our bill came to £64.30 which isn’t bad at all for a family of 4 with two courses each. The food was OK, not totally amazing but worth the money. Frankie and Benny’s is a fun, family friendly, affordable restaurant and it perfect for young families because the noise and atmosphere meant that the boys loved it and I didn’t feel like I had to try and keep them quiet!