Frankie and Benny’s
Last night I went to Frankie and Benny’s restaurant in Earley. I had never been to a Frankie and Benny’s before, which is described as a New York style Italian restaurant. I was not sure what to expect but the overall style and atmosphere can best be described as rather similar to TGI Fridays but slightly more upmarket.
We arrived and were reasonably quickly shown to a table but that’s where the quickness of anything stopped! We waited for an age for anyone to show us any further attention, until by staring at one of the waiters he came over to take our order. After placing the order we once again had a long wait before the drinks arrived. The starters arrived shortly afterwards and they looked good but quite small. However, once we started eating our disappointment with the place disappeared. The food was absolutely delicious and very rich. I had mushrooms on garlic ciabatta, with a cheese sauce.
There was another wait before the main course arrived but when it did it was huge! I ordered a triple decker chicken club sandwich with fries. I could barely eat it all and certainly had no room for desert. We ordered some more drinks during the main meal but they did not arrive until after we had finished eating. I asked our waiter what was happening and he explained that some of the staff were new and “lacked confidence”. Not a very credible explanation for a restaurant that was only two thirds full at best while we were there. Some people we saw get up and leave in frustration at the slow service.
One other VERY annoying feature was the dimming of the lights and playing of a “Happy Birthday” music track followed by Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” both of which were too loud. This seemed to happen about every ten minutes and became increasingly irritating. When the bill came it was reasonable – £42 for two.
The redeeming feature of the night was the quality of the food which was excellent. I don’t think I will be rushing back there but for a birthday gathering of friends it would be fun.