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Frankie and Benny's Blackburn
Frankie & Benny's
Member Name: louisechackett
Frankie & Benny's
Advantages: good menu deals, cater quite well for children
Disadvantages: Staff aren't the best in this branch
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!
Summary: A nice place to eat as a rule