I have been a lover of Frankie & Benny's for a while now and ever since I found out that there is one of their restaurants in The Leeds Light shopping centre, we pop in regularly for breakfast and to enjoy some nice grub.
I love the style of Frankie & Benny's, an Italian American restaurant, which is like an all American diner. Retro music playing in the background, a comfortable atmosphere, and a menu featuring a mix of Italian and American dishes, so much choice to pick from.
This week, we were invited to try out their new Christmas menu and I really couldn't wait to pop in and give our views. I am usually not one to do foodie reviews as I always assume that, since they know you're coming in, they'll be extra nice and make sure everything is perfect for you. But being a regular customer of Frankie & Benny's, I can tell you that our service was no different than normal. The staff are super friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is lovely too.
The festive menu comes as 2 courses and is priced at £16.95 with a choice of 16 different treats to choose from. You get to pick between either a starter and main course or a main course and dessert, we of course went with the dessert option as I love a good pud. If you're feeling extra hungry though, you can go for the full 3 courses for £19.95.
Whilst we looked through the menu, Charlie was given a little pack with colours and puzzles in it which I thought was a great idea to keep him occupied whilst we waited for our food.
Since it was the festive menu, I decided to go for the Frankie's Christmas Dinner. This is described as a half chicken, roasted and served with pigs in blankets, Christmas potatoes, greens, stuffing and gravy. And when it came, let me just say Wow! I knew it was going to be big but oh my, the chicken was huge. Roasted to perfection and totally succulent and juicy. The greens were crunchy and fresh, and the extra jug of gravy was perfect to pour over the potatoes for an extra scrumptious taste.
My husband went for the Christmas Chicken Pitta which is a whole, fresh, seasoned chicken breast, topped with bacon, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayo all wrapped in a pitta. Served with fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw. My husband enjoyed the thick cut of chicken with the crunchy bacon to accompany it. As it was the festive menu, it included cranberry sauce which, although my husband liked this, he said it would have probably been better without it on as it gave quite a sweet, different flavour to the dish. Okay if you like big flavours, but my husband is one for simple foods.
Before we even started looking at the menu's, Charlie had already pointed out that he wanted sausages. He doesn't like mash though and the staff were very accommodating in letting him have chips and beans instead. I like the fact that kids meals come in 2 different sizes, one for younger children and bigger portions for older children. This means that children get the right portion size for them. I was a little surprised that they don't do a festive meal for children though, I thought that a mini Christmas dinner would be great for little ones, but alas, they don't do one.
For dessert, I went for the Red Velvet Cake. This is a yummy red velvet sponge with a vanilla cream cheese frosting. Served with whipped cream, raspberry coulis and a little pot of ice cream. I loved the difference in flavours between the cake and the cream cheese frosting, it worked really well. For me, I would have probably preferred it without the raspberry coulis as I thought that this was a little too tart in flavour for me but that's just my preference. The ice cream on the side was a nice little extra which just helped it all go down nicely.
It took my husband a while to choose was dessert he wanted, but eventually settling on the Coconut Brownie Sundae. This came in a huge sundae glass and is basically coconut ice cream and warm chocolate brownies. All smothered in chocolate sauce, raspberry coulis, whipped cream and honeycomb pieces. Now he isn't usually one for big puddings but he wolfed this down. He said that the coconut ice cream was perfect, not overly sweet and worked well with the brownies. The coulis gave it a sharp edge which again worked well with all the other flavours going on in the glass.
Charlie's meal came with a choice of desserts but he wanted ice cream so went for the Ice Cream Sundae. 2 scoops of ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate buttons on the side. He went for vanilla and strawberry ice cream and loved the fact that he got his own mini sundae glass and he loved mixing the buttons into the ice cream to eat them.
As I said, we eat in Frankie & Benny's a lot so knew that the food and service would be up to scratch, but when it comes to festive meals, they have excelled themselves with choice and flavour and I really can't wait to pop back in and try some more of the festive dishes.