Now when an email pings into my inbox offering me and a friend a 2 course meal with 2 cocktails each I am not going to say no am I? It was ideal timing because mine and the Hubby’s 5 year Wedding Anniversary is fast approaching and with it being so close to everyone’s “big” birthdays our plans were getting smaller by the day. Unfortunately there wasn’t a time between the voucher arriving and it’s expiry date for us to arrange a babysitter and head out together so I ended up using it when I went to stay with my parents at half term. My Mum and I took the boys to the Reading Frankie and Benny’s on a Wednesday lunch time.
When we arrived it was relatively empty so we got a table no problem. I presented my voucher because I wasn’t sure which out of the big pile of menus we were able to order from and were informed that it was the main menu so the lunch menu and specials were cast aside.
The cocktail menu is great. There is a lot of choice, from mainstream cocktails to fancy premium ones with the option to save money by getting a pitcher. My mum chose a premium cocktail priced at £4.95 and I chose a non alcoholic one (I was driving) which was priced at £2.95. Our cocktails arrived and I must say they were tasty. Mine was a very refreshing fruity drink which even the boys took a fancy to.
We both chose to have a rack of ribs and ordered Spud a burger and Spike chicken goujons from the children’s menu. This is when it started to go downhill. On the children’s menu it says that a drink and dessert are included in the price. We chose drinks off the back of the menu and he added them to the order no problem. We didn’t realise at the time that it is only a few select drinks included and we got stumped with a charge of £1.90 per fruit shoot ON TOP of the cost of the children’s meal. All the waiter had to do was make it clearer to us and we would have chosen a drink that was included in the price of the meal. The boys did love the children’s activity pack that they got given but Spike was disappointed that he couldn’t fit it on his head!
Our meals arrived which were quite nice but typical of a big chain restaurant. When browsing the prices we did feel that they were overpriced for what you get, the coleslaw accompanying our meal was atrocious and the sweetcorn was dry.
From finishing our main meal it took FORTY minutes for the waiter to come and ask us if we were finished. Rather than clear our plates he went to walk off so we grabbed his attention asked him for two more cocktails. Another 20 minutes later we were still sat there with our plates and no drinks. Eventually he came over to clear our plates and remembered that he had forgotten our drinks. He bought over the dessert menu and went off to make our cocktails. Obviously with a busier restaurant cocktail making skills go out the window because even though we ordered the same ones, my mums was a half measure with a least 2 inches bare at the top of her glass and mine tasted like he had massively overdone the almond syrup.
I was determined to treat my mum for once so we stayed for our desserts which took another 20 minutes to arrive. By the time they actually arrived the boys were starting to get a bit rowdy and bored. The dessert was nice and when we had finished my mum took the boys to the loo and I asked for the bill. The first bill to arrive had only discounted one cocktail each but when I explained that the voucher was for a 2 course meal with 2 cocktails EACH for 2 people he got the right hump and stormed off in a huff.
My mum took this opportunity to take the boys out to the car whilst I waited for the correct bill. We were paying for two children’s meals and the premium price for choosing the wrong drinks for them which came to just over £11. I handed over a £20 and the waiter said “Can’t you pay by card?” I was gobsmacked! He eventaully bought me the change and I left without leaving a tip opting never to visit Frankie and Benny’s in Reading again.