FOOD MONSTER: Comfort grub at Frankie & Benny's
After an evening gym session, a friend and I just fancied going out for a bite to eat to re-fuel.
I know, it kind of defeats the point of going to the gym, but we were hungry.
So we headed across the road to Frankie & Benny's to get our fill.
Now, you do know what to expect from a Frankie & Benny's restaurant and that is what we wanted – comfort food served quickly.
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However, when we walked in, things didn't get off to the best of starts.
We were left waiting at the front of the restaurant for a few minutes before we were greeted by a waitress.
And then a table had to be cleaned and set up for us before we were shown to it.
The restaurant and staff did seem fairly busy for a Monday evening, so we were prepared to give them a little leeway.
As soon as we sat down, we were asked if we wanted any garlic bread or dough balls.
I decided to go for the garlic bread while my friend plumped for the dough balls.
We also ordered our drinks, which arrived promptly.
And then again. The barman had for some reason poured our drinks order twice.
The waitress brought them over to the table, explained what had happened and gave them to us on the house.
A simple but nice touch which went some way to making up for the wait when we arrived.
The music being played in the restaurant added to the atmosphere, with several people tapping away to the beat of the tunes.
Our starters arrived and we tucked in.
My garlic bread was a thin and crispy based pizza style offering, covered in garlic.
It was enjoyable in flavour, if slightly overdone in parts making it a bit too crispy for my liking.
My friend said the dough balls themselves left a little to be desired with a slight rubbery texture but the pot of garlic butter was full of flavour and saved the dish.
The plates were cleared and not long after our mains arrived.
I had settled on the grilled chicken breast sandwich.
A large chicken breast was served in a toasted ciabatta roll with lettuce and tomato, it came with a generous helping of fries and a pot of coleslaw.
There were also a couple of onion rings thrown in for good measure. The chicken breast was juicy and full of the flavours you would expect having been cooked on the grill.
The coleslaw was tangy and the fries were fine.
My friend had gone for the classic cheeseburger and fries.
It was a chunky burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese, gem lettuce, tomato, red onion, dill pickle and mayo.
Again there was a good portion of fries to go with it. There was that much filling in the seeded bun that my friend was having trouble eating it without making a mess!
It is fair to say that half the filling ended up on his plate.
Again, the flavours were good and the meals had done exactly what we had wanted – filled us up quickly.
We were offered desserts, but there was no way we were going to be able to find room for them.
We asked for the bill and when it was delivered to the table we were in for a surprise.
All our food had a 'P' by its side and had strange prices next to them.
We queried it with the waitress and apparently it was a special offer.
On Monday nights, between 5pm and 10pm, you get 25 per cent off all food in a 'Monday Madness' promotion.
We had not known about this and it was most definitely a pleasant surprise.
The free round of drinks was also very welcome and something they didn't have to do.
The service throughout the evening had been pleasant and cheery.
And the food, in most parts, was good and just what we had wanted after a workout.
Overall, the Frankie & Benny's experience was enjoyable and having settled the bill, we left content.