It is no surprise that we left Frankie and Benny’s bursting at the seams, with huge smiles on our faces. The fact that we had pretty much parked in a bush because Frankie and Benny’s were sooo popular that evening even made us giggle. It has to be said we would not usually have found amusement in this but hey, we were out and about. After our dining experience the cosy parking space just didn’t matter. Well, there are more important things to worry about!
We arrived a little bit early for our reservation booking. I thought I would wear a pair of killer heals…I couldn’t walk in them but stood still, I think they looked super. So thank goodness we were able to grab a seat at the bar straight away to enjoy a lovely beverage. The restaurant was decorated really well with a large Christmas tree decked out with shiny and festive delights. Decorations suspended from the ceiling catching the light. Lovely!
One of the things we love about Frankie and Benny’s is the brilliant service, restaurant theme and the of course the music. The service was spot on during our whole visit. All the staff were polite and attentive. The balance between overbearing and feeling ignored has been masterfully worked out by Frankie and Benny’s. It was clear that the friendly staff would do all they could to make sure you had a positive experience.
The environment was a mix of fun, festive, friendly and relaxed. You don’t have the pressures at Frankie and Benny’s like you might in other restaurants, with feeling like you have to hurry up and ask for the bill before you have swallowed the last folk full of food. And, I’m sure staff were keen to keep the flow of customers but as a customer it really wasn’t felt…I like this fact..because this matters! As soon as we sat down we were offered some garlic bread which we agreed to, especially because we could have cheese on top. Yum!
For starter we had garlic and cheese mushroom (because you can’t have too much cheese in your diet, nope it’s just not possible) and chicken strips. The starters were lovely and hot, great portion sizes and rich with flavour. The presentation of the food was brilliant. The chicken strips came out in a metal mess tin lined with paper which went down wonderfully.
During our starters the lights kept going off and on and we were greeted with cakes and candles as well as happy birthday tunes. I’m not sure if I am getting old but the birthday tune was quite loud and sent my senses into overload. But this could be me being grumpy. I mean the kids appeared to be loving all the commotion and this is more important than my inability to withstand loud noises (check me out being all diplomatic).
For the main courses we had Rosemary lamb shank and New Jersey chicken. Again the portions sizes were great. Bigger than the starters, as you might hope. Someone with a very healthy appetite would definitely have the taste buds tickled and tummies satisfied. I chose the mash potato with the lamb shank.
The lamb was very tender and tasted great. The New Jersey option was really nicely laid out and was very generous in its portion size. I had a big smile glaring at me from the other side of the table, so I am taking that as very positive feedback.
Although we were extremely full up, we still took up the very friendly waitress’s offer of the dessert menu. Originally we were salivating over the cheese cake (everyone looks at the dessert menu before anything else don’t they?) but we were far to full up, bursting, popping. Yet the food had been too good to give up at this stage…we were committed. So we dug in heals our (well I did) and agreed we would not give up, we had come too far to ask for the bill. Our final course came in the form of pancakes (from the lighter option) and sorbet… lemon, mango and raspberry. My favourite sorbet would definitely be the raspberry but the lemon was very refreshing with feeling so full up.
By the end of the evening we both felt very sick (a good kinda sick I must point out)…an overindulged induced sick feeling. We settled the bill and stumbled out of the restaurant. Happy, happy, happy. We stepped into the refreshing air and looked back at the lovely glowing red sign that is Frankie & Benny’s. We waddled over to the bush which the car was in, and chatted all the way home about our lovely evening.