I’m really, really full, mummy – JD, 4
We went to American Italian restaurant chain, Frankie & Benny’s last weekend with my brother and mum – four adults, one child and a baby.
It wasn’t great but it was ok – certainly ok for the price. Here’s how it went…
JD, Mark and I arrived first with Little Miss J and stood at the entrance by the menus, unsure if we were supposed to take our own seats. We sent pleading looks and psychic signals to passing waiters for a few minutes before one came over and showed us to our seats, with my brother and mum arriving soon after.
Despite being a Saturday lunch time it was quiet – certainly not full like you might expect for the time of day. This meant there was plenty of room for Little Miss J’s pushchair and paraphernalia.
Our waiter was friendly and attentive and came back several times throughout the meal to check that all was well. JD was quickly given an activity pack with pencil crayon, which kept him busy until his food arrived.
The waiting staff were also happy to bring over a container of cold water when we needed to cool Little Miss J’s bottle, which was made up just before we left and still too hot to drink.
The new menu includes a good range of vegetarian options. To start, I opted for the mushroom soup, which was quite pleasant with a good consistency and just the right amount of spice. However, the two chewy dough balls floating in it really didn’t work for me – too claggy.
My brother had the bruschetta, which was made with fresh tomatoes and seemed a generous size, while Mark had garlic bread sticks, which consisted of a generous portion of freshly cooked dough sticks and a soup-size pot of garlic oil. More than I could have managed, but Mark approved.
My mum opted for the mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce, which she described as delicious.
As a side, we ordered two portions of garlic bread, which was a thin round of dough, covered with garlic oil – probably too much oil, but it was still tasty and more than enough for five.
JD had a ham and pepper pizza with salad from the children’s menu, but minus the cheese. The waiting staff were unfazed by our request (believe me, some restaurants look at us like we just asked for fried dog) and the pizza that arrived was good enough for JD to demolish most of, despite there being fewer toppings that he generally gets elsewhere.
I had the mozzarella burger, which was crisp, cheesy and didn’t taste too fatty. It also came with a little salad and a very generous helping of thin-cut chips. My brother opted for the same.
Mark had the calzone, which was stuffed to bursting with huge meatballs and covered with a pleasant enough but rather from-the-can tasting sauce.
My mum’s main, sadly, was a bit of a disaster. She order arrabiata, but the penne that arrived was so over cooked it barely retained its shape and was covered in only about a teaspoon of sauce that, from what we could detect, wasn’t at all spicy. She couldn’t eat it and instead filled up on some of my chips.
Mark and I shared a baked vanilla cheesecake, which was drizzled with a raspberry sauce and really quite good.
JD had a scoop of mango and a scoop of lemon sorbet, which he managed to fit into his “cold” stomach despite having proclaimed 10 minutes previously that he was so full he needed to go to sleep.
Apart from JD, we each ordered soft drinks entitling us to unlimited top-ups, but the food portions were so generous, none of us really made the most of that offer.
JD had an apple juice which came packed with crushed ice – not sure that’s how a child would typically prefer their drink but JD sucked it down nonetheless.
My brother and mum ordered espressos at the end of the meal, which were luke warm on arrival. Mark had a latte, which he said was pleasant enough for a chain restaurant.
When the bill came, it transpired that a ‘kids eat free’ offer was on, meaning the whole meal for five people came to £68. Pretty reasonable.
The service at Frankie & Benny’s Lincoln is good, the food is average (if you avoid the arrabiata) and the prices are fair. Fine for a quick family lunch out, probably not ideal for a special occasion.
Disclosure: I was provided with a £50 voucher for the purposes of this review. No payment was received and all reviews are 100% honest.