Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Eating out with Frankie & Benny's

I was recently offered a voucher to dine out at Frankie & Benny's with my family to check out their new menus. Clearly as I love eating and I love going out, it was an offer I couldn't refuse!  

We don't go to Frankie & Benny's all that often, mainly because there's not one in my immediate local area but there are a few just a little further out. Saying that though, I have been twice in as many weeks just now! When I lived at my old house, we were within walking distance of Frankie & Benny's and as a friend used to be a barman there, I used to very much enjoy propping up the bar on a Friday evening whilst knocking back a few Benny's Banana Mochas or Strawberry Shortcake cocktails. 

Image Credit: Frankie & Benny's
Since we've had our children, we've been to a few different branches - in the past few years we've been to Poole, Derby and most recently, Milton Keynes. Although my children are always very well behaved when dining out, they've done it a lot so not the routine and what's expected of them, I like places like Frankie & Benny's because they're allowed to be children here. There are balloons, activity bags, children's cocktails and perfectly crafted children's menus.  

So last Saturday night, at the end of a boring and rainy day, we decided to use our voucher and take the children out for the meal at Frankie & Benny's in Leamington Spa. I'm going to warn you now, there are no photos of the meal - I fully intended to but well, we were very hungry and I forgot.  I had rang up earlier that afternoon to book a table just in case they were very busy and was able to book a table for four without any fuss or bother. When we turned up we shown straight to a booth and the children we're given their activity packs. Then it was time to look at the menus.

We don't always have starters but this time we did. Mr M opted for the Amazing Skins (loaded potato skins with crispy bacon and cheddar) whilst I opted for Warm Dough Sticks with garlic butter. What I was actually brought was the Warm Dough Sticks, Dough Balls & Hot Cheese. If I'd have been paying I might have said something because it was a more expensive dish but as I wasn't I didn't and the children enjoyed sharing this with me. Mr M enjoyed his potato skins which were very tasty indeed.

Image Credit: Frankie & Benny's

For mains, I chose to have the Crispy Chicken Philly Burger (Southern fried chicken breast in a sesame bun with bacon, lettuce and Philly cheese sauce) and Mr M chose the New York Chicken (chicken breast smothered with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and BBQ sauce). Both were very nice and generous portion too. My only small gripe was that my french fries were cold, however Mr M's weren't, so perhaps I was just unlucky!

When it came round to dessert, we opted for a Brownies & Ice-Cream for share as neither of us are big dessert eaters after dinner. This was plenty big enough for two as often just a taste of something sweet is all you want. The waitress had preempted and brought us two spoons which was very helpful!

Image Credit: Frankie & Benny's

With regard to the children's meals, Frankie & Benny's have a rather good children's menu. For £3.95 small children can have a dinner including soft drink and dessert. For children with a bigger appetite they can choose from the junior menu, which at £7.55 has slightly more choice. My children know what they want and without even looking at menu the little man had asked for Margherita Pizza and the little lady wanted Spaghetti Bolognese. They both had Sketch Quencher to wash it down and opted for the side salad to come with their meal. The pizza was humungous, almost the size of an adult pizza. Obviously he couldn't eat it all but it was very nice as I tried a little bit. The little lady managed to demolish her entire spaghetti bolognese so I am presuming she enjoyed it! Unlike their parents, our children are always able to squeeze in dessert, choosing the Brownie Sundae and the Bananas & Custard and both were demolished in double quick time!

We left Frankie & Benny's very satisfied with full tummies. The staff were attentive and friendly and the food on the whole was good. There were a few small hiccups but nothing that ruined the meal for us.  Our meal including a couple of drinks (one Diet Coke, 2 pints of Boddingtons) came to £57.80, which is not unreasonable for the amount of food we consumed!  Will we return to a Frankie & Benny's? Yes, seeing as we've been visitors in the past, I am sure we will!


  1. That isn't a bad price at all, I have spent that amount on a meal for two and I doubt it was twice as nice! A question about the children's menu, and children's menus in general - do you find that children's menus are usually full of unhealthy choices? My only recent experience of children's menus was in France where usually it's just a slightly smaller portion of something "adult" like steak, but I read an article once bewailing the fact that kids can't get healthy options.

  2. I have had variable experience with F&B's. We've sat for ages in a quiet restaurant before now, only to get given variable quality food - one friend found her calzone was burnt but they'd tried to cover it up by putting sauce on the burnt bit! However, other times, they have been brilliant. We have a voucher too and are going to be trying it very soon so fingers crossed.

  3. Any tips on how to get children to behave in restaurants would be really appreciated! Do they get better as they get older?


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