I don’t want to go out! Oh, for pizza? Ok, I’ll get m’shoes on – JD, 5
This weekend saw us take a trip to Italian American style diner, Franky & Benny’s in central Nottingham.
I quite like the dimly lit, American 1950s styling. There’s a touch of the Art Deco…
Although also a touch of the tacky…
We were in early on a Saturday evening, so there were quite a few weekend revellers present, but the atmosphere wasn’t too noisy and we were attended to quickly and given a table with a high chair and room for Miss J’s buggy.
The waiting staff were friendly and brought us drinks quickly, taking our order with a smile and taking time to chat with JD.
With the combination of hunger and muggy heat making the kids impatient and grumpy, it was unfortunate that our food took around 45 minutes to appear.
JD selected a Margherita Pizza & 3 Toppings from the Junior menu, £7.55. The choices were ham, pepperoni, bacon, onions, tomatoes, mixed peppers or mushrooms. He opted for peppers and double ham.
F&B is at its best when it’s dishing up simple, tasty Italian American food like this. It was generously sized with a thin, crisp base, tasty sauce and fresh toppings. Good stuff, reasonably priced.
For Miss J, we opted for a special from the main menu – the Chicken Club Triple Decker, £10.75, described as grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, gem lettuce and fresh cut tomato layered between toasted wholemeal bread spread with mayo. Served with house fries and a pot of coleslaw on the side.
We knew it’d be way, way too much for her, but we also knew she’d be picky about which bits she liked and Mark figured he would be happy to eat any leftovers, having missed breakfast and lunch that day.
It was a good size portion, well presented. The fries were crisp and not too oily or salty, and the salad was fresh, but the chicken was dry and chewy, the bacon was extremely dry and there was only the tiniest smudge of mayo in the whole thing, meaning the dish was left largely uneaten.
Mark’s meal was also from the Special section, an F&B New York Chicken, £14.45, described as a chicken breast topped with crispy bacon and Monterey Jack cheese smothered in our famous BBQ sauce. Served with spicy onion rings, corn on the cob, coleslaw and your choice of house fries, salad or a jacket.
Mark enjoyed the thick cut of chicken. The bacon was dry again and the chicken chewy but because it was all drenched in a tasty, thick barbecue sauce, it was still pleasant. The cheese flavour was overpowered by the sauce but added a nice texture to the meat. Overall, though, Mark wasn’t so taken that he would order it again in future.
Finally, I opted for the Goat’s Cheese & Caramelised Red Onion ‘hot wrap’ £9.45, described as a flour tortilla wrap with creamy goat’s cheese, caramelised red onion chutney, roasted red pepper and lettuce tossed in balsamic glaze. Served with a pot of coleslaw and your choice of house fries, salad or a jacket potato.
Having opted for a baked potato, the first thing that struck me was how empty my plate looked in comparison to everyone else’s. What struck me next was that baking shredded lettuce into cheese and vinegary chutney isn’t a good idea.
My wrap was filled with what can only be described as a measly helping of luke warm, creamy, tangy sludge. The photograph is far too kind – inside I couldn’t really discern any texture at all. Awful. The baked potato came without butter and the coleslaw tasted of raw onion with a very thin, watery dressing. A really poor dish, improved only by stealing the sweetcorn from Mark’s plate, which was sweet and succulent.
I’d ordered a mixed salad to go with my dish, which arrived a few minutes after the rest of the order in a searing hot bowl and covered in a claggy, salty dressing that reminded me of white emulsion, or something worse. I couldn’t eat it.
In total, including two cokes and an apple juice, the meal came to a few pennies shy of £52. To be honest, only the hot wrap was truly awful, and JD did like his pizza, but we wouldn’t go back.
Frankie & Benny’s Nottingham City Centre
29 Upper Parliament Street
Tel: 01159 799736
- Mon: 9am – 10:30pm
- Tue: 9am – 10:30pm
- Wed: 9am – 10:30pm
- Thu: 9am – 10:30pm
- Fri: 9am – 11pm
- Sat: 9am – 11pm
- Sun: 9am – 10:30pm
Disclosure: we were given a £30 voucher to sample F&B’s menu. No payment was received. All reviews are honest.