We love treating ourselves to meals out but tend to not do it as much now that we have a toddler. Not because we can't afford to or that it's too hard work taking Noah with us, we just seem not to. As we eat out less now it's certainly made it more special when we do and we love going as a family.
With all this in mind when I was asked to sample Frankie and Benny's new Christmas Menu I snapped up the chance. We've been to the Blackburn restaurant a couple of times in the past and it's always been good so I was excited to visit again.
Our table booked in advance and we arrived a couple of minutes before our allotted time. We were greeted by the manager who was very welcoming, friendly and polite. He took us straight over to our table and said a waiter would be with us shortly. When the waiter arrived he was also very friendly and as the table was booked by the PR lady I was in correspondence with I thought "do they know I am here to review the menu? Is this why they are being so nice?"
(It turned out that they had no clue - so I am extrememly impressed with their customer service!)
Now let's get to the ordering. We had viewed the Christmas Menu online before we arrived so that we could order straight away and wouldn't have to make Noah wait any longer than we needed to. We had intended to go for the 3 course Christmas meal which is just £19.95 but we realised that that offer is only available during the week! I mentioned that to the waiter (Bobby) and he said it wasn't a problem and he would still do the offer for us!
For our starter we both chose the Meatballs Italiano. This isn't something I would usually go for as I tend to pick Garlic Bread but the Goats Cheese version of their classic appetiser didn't appeal to me at all. The meatball dish was presented really well. The pork and beef meatballs were smothered in a red chilli and red pepper Neapolitan sauce with toasted garlic ciabatta on the side. I am so glad that I chose something different to my norm because it was simply delicious and my favourite dish out of the whole meal. I just wish there was more!
We decided to go for the Frankie's Christmas Dinner which was F&B's take on the traditional Christmas meal. It consisted of half a roast chicken, roast potatoes, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, peas, broccoli, cranberry sauce and gravy. It was ok, edible but I wouldn't order it again. The chicken and roast potatoes were great but everything else wasn't up to scratch. The veg was cold and a little soggy, there wasn't enough gravy and the pigs in blankets weren't cooked on one side so I couldn't eat them. In comparison to the starter the main was a little bit of a let down.
All four desserts on the Christmas menu looked fantastic but I just had to go for the Red Velvet Cake which is a traditional Christmas cake over in the States. The cake was very tasty and the vanilla cream frosting was divine. It was served with a pot of ice cream but didn't come with the advertised whipped cream which would of been a lovely accompaniment to the dish.
All in all I enjoyed our meal and overall experience at Frankie and Benny's. There is room to improve on their Frankie's Christmas Dinner dish but other than that everything was fabulous. It was great value for money and we didn't have to wait long between dishes despite it being a busy evening. I also couldn't rate the staff at the Frankie and Benny's Blackburn branch any higher for their customer service skills and the welcoming atmosphere that they create, so kudos to them!
- We were sent ate here for free for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.