Established in 1995
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Surely there has to be a generic term for our beige cuisine establishments which glares at you from the darkness with its customer friendly freehand signage pleading for custom; the generic term is: "pick me, I'm customer friendly!" Frankie scribble Benny's branding fits this genre of 'pleading' eatery. Their hand-written logo scribbled in red emulates Tracey Emin's 'I Promise to Love You' collection of neon lights appears somewhat 'needy' and definitely 'knead-y.'
To differentiate between one F&B to another, you have to have some kind of food critic training - as I'm a standard punter, my F&B knowledge morphs into one collective experience. Neither is this a senile condition or due to alcoholic consumption - but a genuine case of 'F&B logistical and experience morphing.' Been in one - yep, you've been in them all - all part of the beige brigade of American-Italianism that has invaded our entertainment malls; I first noticed 'F&B' being a restaurant film fad derived from Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer's box office hit 'Frankie & Johnny' made in (1991) - which involves a restaurant stroke diner, where romance blossoms over a hot dog. All euphemisms linked with hot dogs have been removed from this review as being distasteful, and any needless discourse about whether the place was too crowded, or included any negative stipulations while ordering, which they failed to fully comply herewith - what's wrong with simply leaving what you don't want on the plate? When it comes to F&B, this will inevitably happen regardless; those who lean to coprophilia, F&B won't disappoint; notably, the experience overrides the perverse condiment choices - the joys of amalgamating American food with Italian.
F&B prides itself on the Latin American marriage culinary and tribally, evidence is plagued on the walls draped Latin American artifacts, faded pictures, faded due to being in the same vicinity as all that is beige, it drains the colour out of everything. The wooden floors are wax sticky, according to the chief greeter who tags who and what you are before being arm waved in the direction of an area of ordinariness, somewhere between no-man's land and the tables of beige. I still recall underfoot the floor being non-waxy sticky, more of a 'Wicked Vodka' or 'Red Bull' sticky. Mandatory across all F&B restaurants, I put it down to out of hours 'Red Bull' parties the youths of today go sugary mad for. After being place strategically out of the way in a darkened area, away from couples with little tigers in high chairs, I catapulted the boat out and ordered a 'Peroni' (draft) always better that the economically non-viable bottled beers the Romans insist on giving tourists, instead the 'Peroni' long glass disguised the quantity perfectly, it's tulip beauty made for a pleasurable vessel to drink from. From 'Frankie's Mains' I decided to have meat balls and spaghetti; 'The Godfather' style. Playing homage to Brando, not exactly out of character either, F&B is trapped in the 50s, my waitress had Monroe to a tee, I immediately made my mind up to increased her fee (tip). She kind of knew I think, she was attentive to my needs - normally, I would mark an establishment down if staff were too superfluous. Then again, I suppose it depends on whom it is - homo sapiens fickleness rules. I had five tomato sauced pork meatballs (four and a half were edible) on a lumpy mattress of spaghetti - Frankie tried to incorporate dried basil into the sauce - sadly, it wasn't as flavour-some as it sounded. If, Miss Monroe had stated the dish was left-over from the 'Red Bull' party from the night before I've nodded and said; "more like the night before last."
Admittedly, the restaurant chain is family friendly and even on Mother's Day on 30th March 2014; generous Frankie scribble Benny is giving away bottles of wines to Mothers' who book a table at F&B - a grand gesture as well as a day off from using your own packet meals. I will shy away from venues such as these as the avalanche of mini feet and high-pitch shrieks could break my steely patience, to the point I will have to deduct points off of eating establishments. Overall, I found my meal satisfactory - alas; I neither had the space nor wanted to risk anything artificially sundae sticky - I had enough of the sticky stuff within the first few minutes. My meatball dish was 11.25 GBP along with the 4.25 GBP tulip glass of 'Peroni' - my bill came to 15.50 GBP - Miss Monroe got a tenner tip, no doubt she'll spend a great proportion of it on lip balm.
No Madness offers for me, Suggs law
I eat alone, therefore didn't qualify for the 'March Madness' deal of 20% OFF your food bill - to qualify you had to eat two main courses, now that would be gastric madness; or simply eat with someone who can stomach 'Frankie's Mains.' Plus, as it wasn't 'Madness Monday' I didn't qualify to have 25% OFF my food bill either... I didn't qualify for any 'madness;' 'Suggs law.' I left with my sanity intact and a spring in my step, well it is March!©1st2thebar 2014
We recently visited Frankie and Benny's after receiving a voucher in the post - it's a restaurant that we've visited many times before but hadn't actually been recently. My review will be based on our visit to the Frankie and Benny's in Warrington, Cheshire which is a fairly new branch based at the Gemini retail park.
We visited on a Saturday afternoon and the restaurant was around two thirds full, with a few tables still spare. For those that haven't visited before, Frankie and Benny's is an American/Italian style restaurant whose décor represents an American diner with an Italian twist. They play classic 1950's style big band classics in the background most of the time.
We were seated straight away and the staff member brought over a highchair as requested for my daughter. First impressions were good. Then it all started to go slightly wrong. We had been asked what we wanted to drink at the time of receiving the menus to look at (a little annoying given that I'd ideally like to see the menu first to see which drinks are on offer!) and we then proceeded to look over the food menu. The drinks seemed to take an age to reach our table. It also got a little annoying that we could see our drinks sat on the bar for ages with several staff just walking past them or standing over them while having a chat to colleagues.
When they were finally brought over, the server placed them down and went. We then waited another ten minutes until we got fed up and stopped a member of staff and asked if we could put our order in. At first we considered that they were just busy but it was clear that one or two members of staff weren't doing all that much while others were run ragged.
I had a chicken burger that cost £11.95 and my husband ordered a chicken and ribs combination for £15.95. That is one of the most expensive things on the menu, but saying that my burger is one of the cheaper things on the menu. Most main meals seem to fall within those prices. A lighter option menu is available, as is a breakfast menu and a set menu. There is quite a large selection including pastas, pizzas, burgers, steaks and fish dishes. Both of our meals were served with chips and a small pot of coleslaw as the menu stated. My husband's came with corn on the cob too.
We waited around 25 minutes for our meal which I thought wasn't too bad given that my husband's meal required to be cooked well done. When it arrived, the order was also correct although I will note that one time (at another location) they got my order wrong and I was served blue cheese on a burger when I was pregnant which I was very upset about as I had no idea before I'd eaten a mouthful and it was something I'd tried so hard to avoid. I had ordered another burger from the menu instead.
The food was also hot on this occasion, although I do find this to be very hit and miss at Frankie and Benny's in general and a couple of times in the past I have had to send my meal back as the chips have been cold and inedible. That said, I've never had to do that at this particular location. I'm not the type that complains unless it's absolutely necessary.
We were left alone to our meal - no one checked to see if the meals were ok but I can't remember whether that's standard in Frankie and Benny's or not. When we finished the dishes were left on the table - they weren't collected at all which is a bit annoying when we want to finish our drinks before paying up. We also had to stop them when passing to ask for the bill so we didn't feel that we received great service while we were there on the whole. They accepted the voucher via my phone and we paid up - the meal came to around £28 in total with the discount applied. I would advise to try and get hold of a voucher before visiting any Frankie and Benny's because it can be costly. I will also point out that the staff member made a point of grabbing a balloon for my daughter at this point which I thought was a nice touch.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and I can say the same for my husband - we both said that it was delicious. It was cooked to perfection and went down very well. That said, I cannot justify the prices they charge - although I suppose the menu is on view before entering the restaurant so the cost is known before entering. I feel that we could have had a more enjoyable time at a pub restaurant location for a lower price. The atmosphere within the Frankie and Benny's chain is more of a burger bar / diner feel than a proper restaurant in my view and that's something that I feel is key in my view of the prices being high. The food served is no bigger than in a pub restaurant either most of the time and the general feel to the place is more fast food than restaurant too so the prices to me are not justified.
One final thing - Frankie and Benny's make a thing of birthdays if requested. They turn the lights out while they bring your birthday cake out singing happy birthday if you ask them to. The whole restaurant sometimes claps - something that some kids love (although some look very embaraased!) They'll do it for adults too! They play several small songs such as 'congratulations' as well.
I've rated our visit, and my thoughts on Frankie and Benny's in general, 3 stars in total. The food is lovely and I do enjoy my visits but the service needs to be better, perhaps by employing more people. I also think it is very expensive for the food portions and for that reason it is only a place we visit now rarely rather than regularly. Having said that, I did thoroughly enjoy our meal on this occasion although I have known it to be hit and miss a lot.
Thanks for reading :o)
In my home town one of the only restaurants was a Frankie and Benny's so I got used to eating there as a teenager. Since moving to York for University I have visited the York Branch many times as well and it's always a pleasant experience. I also regularly visit the branch on Brighton Marina which I would highly recommend although it is always packed!
Frankie and Benny's is a New York Italian style diner. I really like this theme and it shows throughout the restaurants. The decorations are always really interesting and make you feel like you're in a diner from the 50s. Some of the restaurants also have American style booths which are really nice to sit in.
The theme lends itself to a bustling atmosphere which there always is, even when the restaurant is quiet. The music fits perfectly and is at a good volume that you can always hear it, but it doesn't disrupt your conversations.
As I've said the food is 50s style American Italian so there are burgers, pizzas, pasta and some slightly more modern wraps and salads.
There are quite a few different menus for Frankie and Benny's which they update seasonally.
The Breakfast Menu offers a breakfast until midday every day for £5 with unlimited tea or coffee for £1.5o. I have never actually been for breakfast, but I imagine it would be quite nice - like you always see in the old movies when they go out for breakfast at the diner! There is a large range to suit most tastes and I am keen to try it one day if I can be bothered to get up early enough!
The Lunch Menu is my preferred option; we often just pop here for lunch because it is such great value: 1 course for £5.95, 2 courses for £8.25 or 3 for £9.25. It's available from 11-5 Mon-Fri. There is a huge range of meals - 25 main courses with lots to choose from including burgers, salads, wraps, hot dogs, pizza and pasta. The starters are all really good but the desserts never really appealed to me off this menu apart from the ice cream (which is amazing)! On the lunch menu you can also add an unlimited soft drink which is always nice.
There is also a Specials Menu that seems to be fixed for a few months which kind of defeats the object of a 'specials' menu. In my head specials should change every day, but I guess it's just a different menu. The dishes on this menu are a bit more expensive, but not hugely; 2 courses for £10.95. This menu is not available on Saturdays.
The Main Menu is quite a bit more expensive. Mains are between £10 and £15 and steaks can be anything up to £22.50 depending on the cut of beef. There's a huge range and they're all really good, but I rarely go off of this menu because I'd rather go in at lunch for the lunch menu offer.
In my opinion the food is top notch for what you pay for. I have never been disappointed by the taste. Everything comes out hot and it always looks nice.
My favourite meal is the goats cheese wrap with fries. Their fries are amazing, but the herby potatoes available with the burgers are even better! I'm also a big fan of the potato skins as a starter; potato skins aren't around as much as I'd like them to be so it's good to see them on the menu!
I'm a vegetarian so I haven't tried any of the steaks so I can't comment on them.
Frankie and Benny's isn't a fancy restaurant so don't go in expecting that. Go in expecting an American Diner and you'll love it.
Frankie and Benny's is consistently good service; I have never felt it was overly memorable as being superb, but it's good. When I have a refill they always offer me another drink if I'm running low so I don't have to ask.
I remember on my birthday we were by far the last table in and they still brought out my dessert with sparklers and sang to me which I thought was a nice touch. I know from working in restaurants personally my customer service would have gone right out the window because I would have just wanted us to leave!
Having said that, if you don't like being made a fuss of and having people sing to you, do not under any circumstance let them know it's your birthday. It's great for kids though!
Overall I'm going to give it 4/5. I've knocked one star off because it's not quite perfect. Would definitely recommend for anyone who likes somewhere with a lot of atmosphere and good, reasonably priced food. I would definitely recommend going for their special lunch set menu because of the excellent value!
As I had to pop to the neighbouring city for an appointment, I decided to take my mum and little girl to the Frankie and Benny's restaurant there. We always enjoy Frankie and Benny's and thought it would be a nice treat and make the most of our trip.
I have visited many Frankie and Benny's restaurants on my travels and it is a firm favourite- they have over 200 restaurants nationwide. There is a search facility on their webpage enabling you to find the closest restaurant to you.
Frankie and Benny's restaurants serve American/Italian food such as Burgers, Pasta dishes and Pizza. The story on the menu's suggests that Frankie left Italy as a child and moved to New York with his parents who then set up a restaurant. The business was then taken over by Frankie and his friend Benny in the 50's and went on to become the restaurant that it is today.
Frankie and Benny's restaurants also have a fully licenced bar serving a wide range of drinks including cocktails. My personal favourite cocktail from their menu being PS I love you which is made with Baileys, Disaronno, Amaretto and cream. Yum!
I love the décor of Frankie and Benny's restaurants. They are all similarly styled in a 1950's style with dark wood, beautiful lighting and black and white photographs and adverts from the era. The King's Lynn restaurant was spotless clean, and all tables were cleared promptly.
Frankie and Benny's restaurants all play songs from the 1950's, such as Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett. The music is not played loud, it is more background sound and helps to create a lovely ambience.
The CD's can be brought from the Frankie and Benny's website and I'm quite tempted as I always enjoy the music when we visit.
Today we visited the restaurant in King Lynn, just off the Hardwick roundabout. As it is on a business park there are shops nearby including Mothercare and Boots so you can easily do a spot of shopping before or after your visit.
Upon arrival at the King's Lynn restaurant we were promptly seated. As my daughter was in her buggy we were asked if we would like a highchair or whether we would prefer plenty of room at our table for our buggy. As my daughter was quite sleep we decided to leave her in her buggy and were found a nice roomy table.
The restaurant was quite quiet with only a handful of other diners at the time, however I have also visited this restaurant when it is very busy and also received very good service.
The waitress then took our drinks order. My mum opted for tea (this is re-fillable) and I opted for a coke. The drinks were brought back very quickly.
Shortly after the waitress returned and gave my daughter (who is 9 months old) a balloon and asked if she could tie it to the buggy bar for her. I thought this was a really lovely and attentive touch and it was a lovely way of including her.
My daughter was thrilled especially as she had not had a balloon before (our lovely dog would want to play and accidentally burst it) and this kept her amused and happy for sometime and the lovely waitress was rewarded with big beaming smiled every time she came near.
As we were visiting at lunch time we were given the lunch time specials menu. This menu s available from 11am-5pm Monday to Friday. One dish is £5.95, 2 dishes are £8.25 and 3 dishes are £9.25. You can of course order from the main menu if you prefer, however the lunchtime menu does represent excellent value for money.
I decided to order 2 courses and settled on the Garlic and Cheese Mushrooms and for main the Black and Blue pasta (I really missed blue cheese when pregnant with my little girl as you are not supposed to eat it so I'm not making up for lost time!). With the pasta you can either have a salad or chips - I opted for chips knowing that sleepy little miss would soon perk up and want one.
My mum decided not to have a starter and to just have a main course and ordered the Louisana Hot Wrap with salad.
There are lots of choices on the lunchtime menu. Starters include: Brushetta, Crispy Coated Chicken strips, Amazing Skins and Garlic and Cheese doughballs.
Main dishes include: Penne Meatballs, Penne Carbonara, Cheeseburger, Classic Hotdog and Chicken Caesar salad.
Neither of us opted to have dessert however the dessert menu includes: Cinnamon Waffle Crunch, Mamma's Hot crumbles and Brownies and Ice Cream.
My starter arrived very quickly and was absolutely lovely. I would definitely order this dish again. Both mains also arrived promptly and were lovely although the Louisana Hot wrap, was a little hotter than my Mum had anticipated.
Tilly-Mae happily ate some of my chips (mummy was too full from the pasta) and at the rate she was eating them they must have been the best chips ever. I have to say they did look really nice.
The waitress popped back to ensure everything was ok and to see if we wanted any further drinks and to smile at Tilly-Mae enjoying the chips.
After our meal the bill was brought promptly, and we were wishes a nice day with much fuss being made of my little girl which she loved.
One of the other nice touches of these restaurants is that they play Italian lessons over the speakers in the toilets. I think this is a lovely touch. I have always found the toilets to be spotless clean.
The baby change facility that we used today was lovely and spacious and very clean, with a pull down changing table with raised sides to prevent escapes. Very handy since my daughter does not like to sit or lay still even at nappy change time!
We had a lovely lunch which was very reasonably priced for what we had with the bill coming in at just over £19. The food was really lovely and the staff attentive.
Frankie and Benny's have a great menu, friendly staff and a great atmosphere make which make it's restaurants a must visit and I can highly recommend the King's Lynn restaurant...
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
Frankie and Benny's have been in Belfast and Bangor for some time, but have only recently opened branches closer to where I live. The Frankie and Benny's in Coleraine would be the one I'd visit the most, but I have also been to the Ballymena branch a few times. For the purposes of this review, I will be discussing these branches in particular.
The history of Frankie and Benny's is that in 1924, a ten year old Frankie Giuliani , moved from Sicily to New York back. They moved into a predominantly Italian neighbourhood called Little Italy, and there they opened a restaurant. In High School Frankie met Benny, a third generation American, and when Frankie's father retired in 1953 Frankie & Benny took over the business combining the best of popular American food with the best of popular traditional Italian dishes.
The Coleraine branch is located in the Riverside Retail Park, a large retail development on the outskirts of the town, with ample parking available around the restaurant. The Ballymena branch is also located on the outskirts of the town at the Larne Link Road. Again, there is ample parking available close by. Both of these restaurants opened late last year.
As with any other restaurants within the chain, they are instantly recognisable by the décor. There's lots of dark wood, with dark wood panels and a lot of the most popular dishes in large letters arranged around the ceiling panels. With all the dark wood, it could look very dark, but the addition of chandeliers brings lots of light into the restaurant. The kitchen is open plan and you can see the kitchen from the restaurant, including a large wood fired pizza oven.
There are a variety of menus available, subject to time of day and also dependent on the day of the week.
The breakfast menu is available until midday and includes classics such as omelettes, fried breakfasts and pancakes for £5, with unlimited tea and coffee available for £1.50 extra.
The lunch menu has over 25 main courses including pasta, wraps, pizza and burgers for £5.95 for 1 course, £8.25 for 2 courses or £9.25 for 3 courses - and if including buy Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Schweppes Lemonade or Fanta you can get unlimited refills for £2.55.
Main menu has a variety of American-Italian inspired choices including salads, pasta, pizzas, burgers and an extensive grill menu.
Specials menu is available on Sundays to Thursdays and 2 courses cost £10.95. Again, there is a wide selection of choices available.
The desserts menu has a selection of sundaes, pancakes, waffles and other classic desserts such as cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding.
Each menu also has a variety of lighter choices for those who are watching what they eat.
Quite often when I am in Frankie and Benny's, it's a Saturday afternoon, so I tend to offer from the main menu.I have always found that the food is served promptly and is always of a good quality, even when busy. I had a mystery shopping assignment in the Coleraine branch on the May Day bank holiday and while the place was completely packed, I had no complaints about the service or the standard of the food. I also was in the Ballymena branch on Good Friday, and despite it being a bank holiday, the lunch spcials menu was still available. This is a major plus to me as a lot of places round here exclude bank holidays on specials menus.
My only complaint with Frankie and Benny's is the prices on the main menu. I rarely have change from £20 for a shared starter, main course and a drink. But I don't mind paying for a decent meal as a treat.
http://www.frankieandbennys.com/ for further information and prices
My friend and I do like to take our children out for tea as often as we can reasonably afford as it is a nice treat for them but also quite nice for us too as single parents to get out and catch up whilst the children are happy. Our most recent trip out was to Frankie and Benny's in Blackburn where we have both visited on numerous occasions.
==What is Frankie and Benny's?==
Frankie and Benny's is a 50's style New York Italian restaurant and bar. They serve various dishes along this theme and so you will find items such as pasta, pizza, burgers and salads on the main menu. They do cater for children and have special children's menu's both for the younger child and the older and it is nice that children are catered for so well really. Children are always given a pack including a puzzle book and a pencil and often a small game too so that they are kept entertained whilst waiting for their meal.
What I like particularly about Frankie and Benny's is the fact that they do offer lots of deals and so you can find a lunch menu where you can get one course for £5.95, two for £8.25 or three for £9.25 and this is available from 11am-5pm Monday to Friday so if you can stomach a slightly earlier tea than usual I would totally recommend heading there around 4.30pm and taking advantage of the menu. There are other special menu's available such as two courses for £10.95 all day Sunday to Friday for example and I would thoroughly recommend checking out the website prior to going to see what deals there may be.
In my experience Frankie and Benny's are all decorated to look much the same with a real "diner" feel and have photographs dotted around of famous American Italians. They always have fifty's music playing as opposed to anything current and I do believe you can purchase a CD of it.
==Frankie and Benny's Blackburn==
As I mentioned I have been to this particular restaurant quite a few times over a period of probably around five or six years as it is the closest one to where we live and in an area we know well. The restaurant is situated on Lower Audley St Retail Park and is next to a Chiquito and across the road from a Pizza Hut so there are a good few options for food in the local area.
We did not need to book a table and I have found the only time we have needed to book a table was when a larger group of us went for a pre Christmas meal and as there was lots of parties on at that time they requested we book in advance. We arrived at the restaurant at 4.55 and were shown to a table by the duty manager. He did not offer us the lunch menu and I know that in the past depending on who has shown us to our table we have been offered it as we are in the restaurant before that 5pm cut off point. We did not make a fuss about this but it would have been nice to be asked. The booth in which we were seated was clean and there was clean cutlery already on the table for us all as well which was a positive thing.
As we were sat at our table we were asked would we like to order drinks which we did. A diet coke costs £2.75 and I do think the drinks in particular are a little over priced in this restaurant if I am honest. The children did get a bottomless drink included with their meal price though. Children's meals cost £3.95 which I do think is reasonable for a drink, main meal and dessert. My son chose fanta whilst my friend's daughter had apple and blackcurrant squash. The drinks were brought to us quite promptly and we were asked would we like to order any garlic breads etc whilst we looked at the menu. We declined as I think it is nice to browse the menu properly and decide what you want without having to rush.
I opted for the two course specials menu and had bacon and bolognaise bake which was gnocchi in a bolognaise sauce with mozzarella and bacon. My friend chose an American hot pizza off the main menu which cost £9.25. Both the children chose a margarita pizza each as their main meal. The food came after around fifteen minutes or so and so it wasn't too long to wait really. My gnocchi was very nice and flavoursome but I did think that there could have been more meat and cheese in the sauce as it did seem to be quite sparse really. My friend enjoyed the American hot pizza and maintains it is once of the nicest pizza's she has ever had. The child's pizza is actually a full 10" pizza and to me it seems ridiculous as there is just so much wastage! The base is very thin on the pizza but even so my son can perhaps manage five pieces and then he is full up and so there must be a significant amount of wastage. We were told that the children's pizza is just the same size as the one on the adult menu so I think it would make sense to reduce the size of this to be honest. We were brought a tray of condiments to use including ketchup, HP sauce, mustard and vinegar! We didn't need to use these but it was nice to have the option there.
My friend opted for a banoffee sundae for her dessert which cost £5.25 and I had a sticky toffee pancakes. My son had hot chocolate pancakes as his pudding whilst my friend's daughter had an ice cream sundae. We had quite a wait for the desserts to arrive and this seems to happen every time we visit this restaurant and it is frustrating as it just seemed there weren't enough staff on to deal with everything. When the desserts did arrive my son's had chocolate ice cream as opposed to vanilla and so we asked the waitress to change it which she did but not without a little huffing and puffing. My dessert did not come with all the others and we had to chase it up which I didn't think gave the best impression of the staff on this occasion to be honest. The desserts were enjoyable though for us all but I do have to say mine was covered in so much toffee sauce that it was almost swimming and so quite sickly!
The toilets in this restaurant are always clean in my experience and they seem to be well maintained and so always stocked with toilet roll and soap as well.
The bill came to just short of forty pounds for each of us to have a two course meal and a drink. I think this is a reasonable price to pay but a huge issue I have with Frankie and Benny's in Blackburn is that you ask for the bill and are then ignored for what feels like forever and have to go and chase people up just so you can pay. With children being with us ideally we want to get paid up and away when we have all finished eating and it always seems hard work being able to pay here!
I would recommend Frankie and Benny's because it is the kind of place you can take your kids along and all have a nice meal. There are plenty of options on the menu and so most people will be catered for and if you can go on a set menu then you can eat three courses for the price of one main on the normal menu! I would just bear in mind that the staff don't seem to know how to rush a little in this branch and so you may have a little wait on your hands in between courses and certainly when you are looking to pay.
Thank you for reading my review!
Myself and my family have eaten at Franky and Benny's on a couple of occasions in the last few months. We have eaten at the restaurant in Castleford (xcape) and also the one in Kirkstall (Leeds).
On both occasions I have been really impressed with both the service and the food in both of the restaurants.
The restaurants and staff
I found the atmosphere in both the restaurants great, The restraunts are lovely and friendly they are ideal for both families or couples. They have a nice lively feeling about them yet they are not too noisy.
The ones I have visited had an American theme and you can either sit at tables or in little pods. We chose the pods, they were very spacious and there were 4 of us.
The restaurants are really well laid out and organized. There are staff at the entrance when you first enter the restaurant that will seat you when you arrive.
After we were seated a waitress came over and introduced herself and our drinks order was taken.
On both occasions we were then left for about 10 mins before she returned to take our food order. I liked this as it gave us the opportunity to properly review the menu and make our choices, I hate it in restaurants when they return quickly and you feel rushed.
The restaurant also provide pens and drawing paper for the children which helps keep any little ones occupied. The staff are all very polite and come back part way through your meal to check that everything is alright which is nice.
I would say the food is average for cost. We have paid around £60 for a meal for 4 people (2 adults and 2 children) this was for 2 courses and included a drink each. Generally the main courses range from £10 to £15 depending on what you get.
I love the food and have never been disappointed on any of my visits. It is always cooked and presented really nicely. You can ask for your food to be cooked a certain way if you want to or if you want to make changes to the food on the menu this is also possible for example if you wanted a burger but didn't want something that was on it they will be happy to remove it. They are also happy to help you with any special celebrations, when it was my daughters birthday they brought out a dessert with a candle in it and sang happy birthday which was lovely.
Overall I on would recommend the restaurants to anyone they are brilliant family restaurants and great value.
I've been to Frankie & Benny's many times, at many different locations. I've never had a really bad experience here, although I have waited quite a while when it's busy, but I suppose that could be my own fault for not booking. Just watch out for spending too much at the bar while waiting for a table (they give you something that vibrates when a table is ready for you) as the bar staff do keep encouraging you to have another!
The menu is extensive and it can take a while to choose. Make sure you're aware that the portions are quite large (after all, it is American!) and don't be tempted into ordering unnecessary sides that you don't really want by the waitor/waitress.
The meats are always really well cooked, I've never had to send anything back (I am quite fussy with meat too) and the pastas are good for somewhere that isn't really a proper italian. My latest find is the sharing pizza, it actually is really good value compared to the other pizzas and you can get any combination of the pizzas on offer (half and half). Myself and my partner couldn't actually finish all of it, although we did have garlic dough balls too, and it was about £5 cheaper than having two separate pizzas.
The only slightly annoying thing is the 'happy birthday' music. It's very loud and goes on for quite a while. Quite funny when you first hear it, but if they play it about 5 times in one setting it can get annoying!
It's my birthday coming up so I'm hoping to pay Frankie & Benny's another visit, reason being I found out from a friend last year whilst we were eating there that if you sign up to their newsletter on their website and enter your details in the birthday club you are entitled to a free main course when you go there to celebrate your birthday. You do need ID to prove your date of birth though. The birthday club is for kids, teens and adults. The kids get a meal with dessert and drink whereas us adults just get a main course. You do also get a £10 voucher to take home with you for the next visit.
The Frankie & Benny's I use is Southampton as the one at Portsmouth was a 45 Minute wait last time I was there and Southampton is easy to book and never long to wait if haven't booked. Southampton's one is located in a busy leisure complex and from the outside you can see the Bright lighting of the neon lighted name.
The restaurant itself is in my opinion a mix of Italy with American, it's styled like a American diner playing music in the background and lively waiting staff. I find there is always something to keep yr attention in case you are kept waiting like the last visit we had, the walls have various pictures and odd things hanging about. You are shown to a table and drinks orders taken whilst you browse the menus. If anyone else is like me I always check out the dessert menu first but often don't decide until after I'm eaten my main as to which dessert I shall have.
They were quite busy last time we went and there seemed to be a slight lack of staff as we did wait ages for our mains to be cleared then dessert orders taken but other then that the staff were friendly and helpful.
I mainly eat here on lunchtimes as have the kids now but have in the past eaten in the evening and they do also have a breakfast menu I've seen advertised and often run special promotions.
The menu options are very good and without reeling off the whole menu I will give a few of each course, maybe more on the desserts lol.
soup, potato skins, Garlic and cheese mushrooms.
Pizza, burger, pasta, salads, omelette.
Desserts oh yes
Ice cream, mama's hot crumbles, cinnamon waffle crunch or brownies with ice cream.
Now that is just some examples from their lunch menu which runs Mon-Friday 11am-5pm and costs £5.95 for 1 course, £8.25 for 2 courses or £9.25 for 3 courses. Pay an extra £2.55 for a fizzy drink and you can keep getting free refills for it.
Last time i went I had Knicker blocker Glory for pudding after I'd had a huge burger with fries.
The kids menu I find is very good value especially if you compare it to a mc Donalds happy meal which I think is about £2.99 these days. The kids meal is just £3.95 for a main meal, dessert and refillable drink and a activity pack. My son had the pizza last time and no kidding when they brought it out we all thought it was an adult one as it was the size of the plate.
I could ramble on for ages about how good I find this restaurant but I advice you to take a look at their website and see all their menu option and offers for yourselves.
I feel this restaurant is suit to all types of people, couples, families, etc.
A few months ago my daughter and I spent a few days in Blackpool with my friend and her family from Brighton, this meant a few days of eating out! One evening I suggested we went to Frankie And Benny's which none of them had tried befoer so it was nice to introduce them to one of our favourite places to eat.
Frankie And Benny's in Blackpool is situated on Festival Park Rigby Road, Blackpool, FY1 5EP which is very close to the South Shore Travelodge and Blackpool F.C. It is a little tricky to get to if you don't know the side roads of Blackpool very well so it's an idea to use the sat nav like I had to the first time we went!
Frankie And Benny's is a 1950's style American/Italian diner come restaurant. It is both casual yet smart so I don't think you tend to feel out of place however you are dressed. The restaurant is covered in old style pictures from the 50's and plays music from that era which is always upbeat and keeps in with the American diner type feel. The tables are always set ready as soon as you enter the restaurant with cutlery and napkins. Upon entry to the restaurant you are greeted by a waiter or waitress who will hand the menus out and guide you to your table.
There is a wide choice of food on the menu which includes pizza's, pasta, burgers and steaks. For the children there are two menu's, one for the younger end and one slightly larger for older children. If you enter the restaurant before 5pm there is a lunch menu in which you can choose one course for £5.95, two courses for £8.25 or three for £9.25 which is a good offer although the menu is somewhat limited. There is a licensed bar in the restaurant so if you wish to have an alcoholic drink with your meal you can do so or just stick to soft drinks like myself!
We arrived at the restaurant at around 6pm so we expected quite a wait for a table as there was nine of us but we were seated immediately on a long table down the centre of the room. The children are issued a small fun pack along with their menus and the adults are handed their menus as the drinks order was taken. As soon as we sat down my daughter wanted to swap seats as she always wants a red napkin as opposed to the green one - of course we have to actually move and not just swap the napkin!!! As soon as the waitress had taken our drinks order another came over with a helium balloon for each of the children which was a nice touch! A short while later we placed our food order, I decided on the American Hot pizza and my daughter opted for the margherita from the childrens menu. One thing to be aware of is that the pizza's on the childrens menu are the same size as the adults! Our food arrived in just over ten minutes which was great considering the amount of people in our party! The food was extremely tasty, the pizza is one of the nicest I've tasted and has a great combination of pepperoni and jalapenos. It was nice to see a table full of different foods as normally I go with my friend and her son so there was a much wider range on this occasion. The steak looked absolutely delicious and the pasta dishes seem a really good size. The waitress gave us plenty of time to finish our meal and waited patiently while the children picked at their food after the adults had all finished. We all decided to have dessert and I chose a cherry crumble and my daughter had brownies and ice cream. The desserts were quite small in comparison to the main meals but they are sufficient enough as we were feeling a little on the full side already! The crumble comes in a small ramekin along with the cutest little jug of custard! Unfortunately we had a significant wait for the desserts which sadly seems to be the norm for Frankie and Benny's and this resulted in the children becoming very restless! When they arrived however they were delicious!
My four year old daughter has a real fascination with toilets whenever we are out (as do many children!) so of course she just had to go! The toilets are very nice and again follow the theme of the restuarant and they are always immaculate in my experience. One thing you will find in the toilets is a small vending machine with chewqble toothbrushes in and I always mean to get one just to try but always forget!
As we finished our desserts we asked for the bill which came to around £140 but for the nine of us I think that was quite reasonable.
I have a very high opinion of Frankie And Benny's at Blackpool, it is by far the best one I have visited. The staff are all friendly and there was limited waiting time in comparison to others I have found. The car park is extremely large as there is a cinema, pub and McDonalds on site also so there is plenty of spaces to park. I would happily recommend Frankie And Benny's as it is a great family restaurant which is reasonably priced and has many choices which ensures it caters for most tastes. I really like how the children receive the fun pack which contains a funky multi-coloured pencil crayon, an activity book and a small jigsaw or game so they have something to do during the waiting period for the food.
Thank you for reading my review.
This review is based on the branch at Clifton Moor, York. I have also visited a couple more branches and found the same consistent standard each time.
The Clifton Moor Frankie and Benny's is located at Clifton Moor retail park next to the cinema and within walking distance of the shops and bowling alley at Clifton Moor.
It is easy to get here driving, by bus or taxi, the only problem being that certain bus routes to this area do not operate very late. There is also another branch at Fosse Islands in York for anybody staying in or near the city centre.
It it open 7 days a week at 9am until 10 or 11pm, they have breakfast and lunch menus as well as their main menu. Visited a couple of weeks ago for breakfast and it was lovely. Have never had lunch but by looking at the menu it appears to be similar to the evening menu.
The Clifton moor branch has plenty of free car parking and disabled access. I used to eat here quite regularly and only ever made a booking when going with a big group. It does get busy so if you're planning to go on a weekend or with a large group I would say it's safest to book to allow waiting too long.
When going as a couple or with two or three others most of the time we were seated straight away, occasionally they would give us a little black box thing to take to the bar with us so we could have a drink whilst waiting to be seated and it would flash and vibrate when your table is ready. I've never waited more than about 20 minutes and this was when it was very busy and I was happy to wait in the bar rather than being stood in a doorway.
The breakfast menu consists of a typical fry up which is what i got for a fiver and it was lovely, they also have individual items if you just wanted a bacon sandwich or eggs on toast you could get this. They also do breakfast muffins which my friend got sausage and egg and she said it was also very nice. An interesting option was the bacon and syrup pancakes which reading it made me feel a little ill, but I suppose don't knock it until you've tried it! Please let me know if anyone has!
The lunch menu has something for everyone! For an italian restaurant the range on offer is quite vast. There are soups, pizzas, pastas, burgers, wraps, salads, fish and chips and more. Most items on the lunch menu are £5.95.
The evening menu
The starters menu is good I have tried the loaded potato skins with bacon and cheese which were really tasty and filling. I also had a soup, I can't remember what kind of soup it was as it changes each time but I do remember the garlic balls it came with. They were garlic balls of bread that had obviously been just cooked they were so warm and soft and very moreish. The strangest experience I ever had was when my friend left a load of "onion rings" so I dived into them to discover it was actually calamari which I said I would never eat. Every time I visit Frankie and Benny's now I don't even look at the starters I order the calamari every single time and am never disappointed. The portion is quite generous too and the dip it comes with is lovely although as a mayonnaise fanatic I usually end up using that instead.
The mains menu is quite large with a good variety of pastas. I always go for either spaghetti carbonara or chicken carbonara. Both are beautiful although large portions and very filling and they always come with garlic bread which it doesn't say on the menu. They also nearly always leave the parmesan for me to put on myself which I much prefer to someone putting a little bit on the top and walking off with it.
The pizza and calzone menu is also a good size and both are really nice. There are also salads, steaks, burgers, ribs, fish and chips, wraps and much much more.
They have a new desserts menu since I was last here. On most of my visits I just couldn't squeeze in a dessert but I have had a sundae in there before and it was fabulous. My friend used to visit Frankie and Benny's just for a chocolate brownie fudge cake alone! Not being a big fan of chocolate I wouldn't be a fan but they are do look a bit on the large side.
The kids menu is good with options like burgers, chicken strips, eggs and sausages. The kids meals come with a dessert and refillable drinks for only £3.95.
There is also a good vegetarian range and lighter options menu's for lower calorie alternatives (I wouldn't dream of going here on a diet!).
The service has never ever been bad any times I have been here. I have never heard and friends or family complain about it either and trust me my family are a right bunch of whingers!
Even when I have been in there with a party of 12 or more the food has always come out together and I've never had to wait long even when it is very busy. The one thing I really like is that the food is always hot. I cannot stand luke warm food.
They are excellent with children and often with children and adults they have brought out a complimentary dessert with candles and had the whole restaurant singing happy birthday if they find out. Keep it hush if you want to save yourself the embarassment!
The whole restaurant is clean, the bar staff are friendly and efficient and the toilets are clean and sometimes play CD's teaching you how to speak Italian whilst you're on the loo. You'd be amazed how many times I've cringed when I've found myself repeating after them whilst touching up my make up!
I find it to be a little bit more expensive than a lot of italian restaurants. Every Monday they have 25% off and they often have other offers. The specials menu is quite big and is £10.95 for two courses.
When I go it usually costs around £20 each for starter, main course and a couple of drink. It is well worth it though for the quality of food, amount of food and the service.
For a change there is not much negative I can say. The only thing would be that it does get very busy especially on a Saturday evening, although this doesn't effect the quality of food or service if you were looking for a quiet location for a romantic meal or you just want to eat in peace and quiet you should avoid it on weekend evenings.
9/10 for me....... a little more expensive than others and because nothing gets a 10 :)
This review will be specifically about my experiences in Frankie and Bennys in my local area in Uttoxeter and Stafford branches.
--Choice of food and quality of the menu--
There are a variety of options on the menu and I can give you one main tip for when you are choosing!
The options vary from pasta and risotto to steak, burgers and pizzas and I can honestly say that whenever I have ordered a pizza or a burger, the standard of the food has been infinitely higher quality than when I ordered a pasta or a risotto. The reason for this is the restaurant is American-Italian inspired and they specialise in steaks, burgers, pizzas, ribs and all the grill stuff. They use frozen pastas and risottos and they really taste like a sub standard ready meal to me and not something you would want to spend £8 on! Avoid! This is my only issue with the menu.
Desserts are delicious American style with hot chocolate brownies and the like. I always always have dessert so this is important!!
--Quality of service--
As you enter the restaurant you are shown to a seat by the front of house waiter or waitress and offered drinks. In my experience, these have come really quickly.
I have been in at busy times and quiet times, and obviously it takes a shorter amount of time to get served when they are quiet, but service has never been awful the times I have eaten there and waiters and waitresses have been incredibly friendly and go out of their way to help. However, this will obviously vary from restaurant to restaurant but I can highly recommend my locals!
--Birthdays and special occasions--
Frankie and Bennys are great for birthday parties and any form of celebrations though they are not for people who hate being the centre of attention as they do make a big deal about your birthday! I remember going to a lot of birthday parties when I was at school at Frankie and Bennies.
The Frankie and Bennys chain of restaurants are definitely family friendly and offer kids menus. The atmosphere is usually hectic and noisy so the kids can make as much noise as they like.
--Value for money?--
I would say that Frankie and Bennys tend on the expensive side of things with prices ranging a great deal. This is worth it if you choose a great dinner, but prepare for disappointment should you choose an "Italian risotto". I visit very occasionally because of this - I would be inclined to go more often if the prices were lower as most of the food is really tasty.
Four Dooyoo stars for the dodgy pastas!
After not visiting this particular chain of Restaurants in a while, I suddenly felt the urge for what used to be one of my favourite places to eat. The Blackpool branch is located on the Festival Park Retail Park opposite the Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road.
We entered the Restaurant at around 4pm on a Tuesday expecting to beat the tea time rush. As expected there were only around 5/6 tables in. We were greeted immediately with a smile by a pleasant staff member who seated us in a booth amongst the other tables already seated. Straight away we were asked if we would like a drink and upon ordering a coke and a diet coke, were informed that neither of these were available and we would have to have bottled drinks. This wouldnt have been a major problem for me if ten minutes later another couple were seated directly on the booth behind me and then served diet cokes, draught.
A different staff member brought over our bottles of Sprite and proceeded to take our food order. We ordered the "Large" bbq chicken wings to share and a garlic bread with cheese to start. After ordering the New York Chicken (chicken breast smothered with bbq sauce, bacon and cheese) for our main, we were then informed that there were no chicken breasts. So instead I chose the New Yorker Calzone Pizza and my friend ordered the Quarter Chicken and Ribs.
Our starters arrived within 8 minutes. 5 chicken wings on a starter advertised as for 2 people to share is a very strange conception to me. Although slightly overdone, they were delicious as was the garlic pizza bread with cheese.
Our mains then took a further 30 minutes to arrive despite the level of trade decreasing even further which I found disappointing. When it arrived, the chicken on my the chicken and ribs was extremely overdone and very chewy as it had been friend to within an inch of it's life. My Calzone pizza was cooked nicely however there was hardly any filling and the filling that was present was only in the centre.
The staff member did check that everything was ok during the meal and once we'd finished our plates were promptly cleared away. After spotting us eyeing up the dessert member, we were asked if we would like anything else. We decided to order the Cinnamon Waffle Crunch and true to form for this particular visit, there were no waffles available. We ended up choosing the 3 scoop ice cream in Mint choc chip, vanilla and chocolate which came nicely presented in a tall sundae glass with a wafer.
After dessert, our bill was presented and our payment was handle quickly and efficiently. As we left the staff member thanked us and said goodbye.
Over all I was very disappointed with my visit to Frankie & Benny's on this occasion. The staff members were very friendly and polite and seemed to take a genuine interest, however for a quiet time of day such as this, I would have expected top notch customer service with more attention to detail. If at 4pm the restaurant has ran out of most of the more popular menu choices such as coke, chicken breast and waffles as they had on this day, it wouldn't have held much hope for the evening service. The staff could have redeemed themselves here slightly by informing potential customers of any unavailable items before allowing them to order.
The average price of starters, unless taking advantage of the meal deals, here is £4-£6 a main is approximately £11-14 and desserts £3-5. For the quality of food, I would say this a little on the high side.
The lunch menu is served between 11am and 5pm. This includes £5.95 for 1 course, £8.25 for 2 courses or £9.25 for 3 courses. Although we didn't order this, I do think this is an attractive offer and would consider it next time I visited.
On our last meal out of the university year, my flat mate and I went to Frankie and Benny's. My hometown of Grimsby doesn't have a branch and even though I have lived in Nottingham for 2 years, I had never been. My flat mate decided that this had to be changed. As we went to eat before going to the cinema, we chose from the lunch menu.
As we entered the restaurant and stood waiting to be seated, I noticed that the restaurant was quite quiet. Even so, it took quite a while for someone to come and seat us which I didn't think was very good. Once we were finally seated, our drinks order was taken which was brought over within a couple of minutes. As we were sat sipping our cokes and looking over the menu, the restaurant started filling up and this is when I realised that there weren't many staff working at all. During this time, I only saw two different servers.
The lunch menu is served between 11am and 5pm Monday to Friday and consists of a variety of offers on different courses; £5.95 for 1 course, £8.25 for 2 courses or £9.25 for 3 courses. For an added £2.25, refills on soft drinks such as Coke and Fanta are available. I was very surprised to see how much choice there was considering what a good deal this offer was. Normally with these kinds of offers, there is only the choice of a few different meals but not at Frankie and Benny's. After much deliberating, we both decided to have all 3 courses seeing as we weren't going to be doing this for a while.
For starters, I had potato skins topped with BBQ chicken and cheese while my flat mate had garlic mushrooms. Her garlic mushrooms came in a small dish and were completely swimming in garlic sauce but they looked and smelt amazing. My potato skins, which were only 2 halves, did not look as nice. Instantly I could see that the cheese was not fully melted which made me question how well cooked they were. The potato skins tasted ok but parts were only slightly warm instead of piping hot like they should have been. This part of my meal could have been so much better had the potato hotter and cooked thoroughly.
Luckily, my main was much better. I have a thing about only eating hot dogs at the cinema, because they're the best, and I was surprised to see this on the menu. This is something that I would never normally have in any restaurant but I wanted to see how it compared to that of a cinema hot dog. As well as the hot dog, which was very thick in a nice, fresh bun, the meal was served with fries and onions on the side. Mustard and ketchup are also served in small pots on the side as well. The hot dog was very thick and juicy and tasted just as good as any from a cinema. The fries were fresh and extremely hot and overall, it was all just delicious.
For dessert, both my flat mate and I had brownies served with cream and ice cream. This dessert was a lovely mix of warm and cold while not being a serving so big that I couldn't manage it all. The brownies were so squidgy and soft while the cream and ice cream mixed perfectly. Considering that this third course only cost £1 after the first two courses, I don't think I could have ever gone wrong. I could have had so many different desserts from the menu and deciding was extremely hard. I guess that means I have to go back again so that I can try everything.
My main problem with my trip to this restaurant was the service. A table who came in 10 minutes after us managed to somehow have their main courses brought over before ours, even though we had ordered well before them. The restaurant was getting fuller by the minute and there was still only two people serving, which resulted in a not so good service. Not once were we asked if we needed refills on our drinks and we were only asked if the meal was ok after we had finished. Although I will go to this branch of Frankie and Benny's again, I hope the service is much better as I don't think I would let it go a second time around.
I absolutely love Frankie and Bennys restaurants and could happily eat there every day! I first went there a few years back and was quite apprehensive as I am pretty fussy and it is often hard for me to find things to eat in the majority of restaurants. This is definitely not the case here-the menu is extremely varied and combines Italian with American with something for everybody.
Me and my partner regularly go for meals at our local F&Bs in Birmingham, so much so that now the waiters are beginning to recognise us! We couldn't recommend it highly enough-the foods great, staff are friendly and helpful and the whole atmosphere of the restaurant adds to the experience too. It is laid out like a typical American diner with old fashioned, upbeat music on in the background.
I can also recommend this chain of restaurants for birthday celebrations having organised a friends there. The staff are really helpful with it all and the whole restaurant's lights get dimmed while they bring the cake out to your table with happy birthday playing in the background.
The only thing I would say is that some of the dishes are quite expensive but I think the food and general atmosphere of the restaurant justify the slightly high prices. They also run several promotional offers such as cheaper lunch menus between 12 and 5 on Mon-Fri, 25% off every Monday and there is always offers on websites such as Vouchercloud/My Voucher Codes for money off too, which we always take advantage of!
Overall, I would definitely recommend dining at Frankie and Bennys, it is by far my favourite place to eat out.