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Thursday 12 April 2012

Review - Frankie and Benny's Restaurants

At the moment I am sat in Butlins on holiday, we have come away for a week to a large Christian festival for Easter, whilst my Dad does some decorating for us at our house - how lucky is that?

Even luckier is that on the way we stopped and stayed the night in Bristol and as part of this stop we got to go to a Frankie and Benny's restaurant and try out their new menus. I'd thought I'd share with you with thoughts on our Frankie and Benny's experience.

I have eaten at one of these restaurants before and so has dh but not for a very long time if I am honest. JJ has been for a birthday meal with a friend and enjoyed it but it is all new to the girls.  I have to be honest and say that Frankie and Benny's had not been on our shortlist of restaurants to take the kids to as we were not sure how kid friendly they would be and we expected them to be a tad expensive.  At a total bill of £51.70 for the 5 of us to have 2 courses, side orders and drinks that assumption has been blown away.  Yes it is not the cheapest restaurant there is for a family to eat out at, but it is certainly competitive.  No more expensive than the other brands we may visit such as Pizza Express.

We arrived at the restaurant at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol at 6.15pm on a Wednesday evening.  We expected the restaurant to be pretty dead but we were wrong, it was the school holidays and people were out to celebrate.  We had a 15 minute wait with a drink for our table to be ready, but this was pleasant as there was seating available for us and the kids felt very grown up in the bar area.  When our buzzer went we were shown to our table and the kids were given an activity pack each.  I have to say these were far better than any I have received before from any of the branded chain restaurant we have visited.

I was super pleased to see a 2 course set menu for a price of £10.95 and I felt there was a good selection on the menu although I have to say that dh was disappointed with it.  As a vegetarian he had one option open to him and even this contained Parmesan, so he choose to eat off the main menu and really enjoyed his veggie burger.  I opted for the chicken carbonara bake and a side order of cheesy garlic bread, which was promptly nicked by all the kids!  In general the food was good but I did feel my pasta lacked some sauce although the flavour was good and I ate it all up.

My main, Chicken carbonara and cheesy garlic bread

I was most impressed by the kids menus, there was a small childs menu which my 4 year old girls choose from and an older choice which JJ choose from.  JJ's hotdog and fries were enormous, a good enough portion for an adult and this had him overjoyed.  The £7.55 we paid for his meal was well worth it as it included a drink and a chocolate pancake afterwards.

JJ's hot dog & fries, yes this is a kids portion!

With so many kids set meals you just get offered boring ice cream afterwards and and have to pay more for a better dessert if you desire one, but not so at Frankie and Benny's - that was a winner with me. At just £.95 for my girls to have a main course, refillable drink, side order of veg, beans or salad and a dessert of theri choice I thought it was really excellent value.

Pleased as punch!  Miss E with her bananas and custard & a pasta sauce stained mouth! lol

The girls both wanted spaghetti bolognaise and again the portion sizes were large and it must have been tasty as my little ladies ate it all up and enjoyed my garlic bread. There was also then room for ice cream for Miss M and bananas and cold custard for Miss E.  I opted for a yummy cherry crumble with ice cream which looked small but was just right and dh had a piece of cheesecake, which was a tad sweet for him, but I could have happily devoured it.

Empty plates all round .... good job!

In general I was really pleased with our trip to Frankie and Benny's, the service was prompt and very attentive.  The meals looked and tasted good in the main and our children were happy with their activities.  My only qualm would be with the noise level, as the room is very open and there are not any soft furnishings it does get exceptionally noisy when busy and this meant my kids got noisy to try and be heard over it!

As we left I asked all the family for their opinion, if they had enjoyed the meal.  Here is what they said -

JJ - Yes loved it Mummy, can we eat there every day?
Miss M - my ice cream was so nice and it is dark outside, have I missed bed time?
Miss E - Can we go again please Mummy?
Dh - Yes the veggie burger was very good but at £9.45 I would expect it to be.
Me - A fabulous meal in all, a happy family equals a happy mummy.

Frankie and Benny's have just launched 4 new menus.  There is the evening £10.95 set 2 course menu that I chose from, a £5 breakfast menu which includes red berry pancakes (yummy), a varied set lunch menu which offers 25 different main courses for just £5.95 or top up to 2 courses for £8.25 or push the boat out an dhave 3 for just £9.25 available week days and a very temping dessert menu.

Disclaimer:  I received a  voucher for £50 to eat at a Frankie and Benny's restaurant for the purpose of this review.

1 comment:

  1. My eldest two are always asking to eat at our local Frankie & Benny's and we've never had a bad meal there and I always find the service is great.

    I have to agree with you about the noise levels. Sometimes the music is unbearably loud and at other times it's just generally very noisy. It can be hard to hold a conversation.


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