Reviewed by Norman Totton
On Sunday 16th August, my wife, Louise and I and our two daughters aged six and three went to Frankie & Benny’s restaurant situated within Ashton Leisure Park, Ashton under Lyme. It’s easy to get there and has the added benefit of ample free parking.
I admit to being sceptical as the only other time I had eaten at a Frankie & Benny’s restaurant was about five years ago and I was less than impressed, hence my trepidation. To my delight, I had a whole new and better experience, the food was great, the atmosphere very friendly, the music volume suitably adjusted and the service simply outstanding. Lauren, our waitress simply could not have been more helpful or patient even when it took our children some considerable time to choose what they wanted to eat.
Frankie & Benny’s now have about 240 restaurants in the UK with more scheduled to open throughout the rest of the year. If the existing restaurants and the new ones have the same standards as Ashton then I can confidently predict lots of happy and satisfied customers at all Frankie & Benny’s restaurants.
While I can eat pretty much anything that’s put in front of me, my wife and children are not so fortunate. My wife developed Coeliac disease about three years ago and now has to be very, very careful to avoid even a miniscule amount of cross contamination with any foods containing gluten as even the smallest amount can lead her to suffer severe tummy ache and cramps or in the worst case, an epileptic seizure. Given that eating out can be so hazardous to my wife’s health, we have to be very sure about any assurances regarding cross contamination. Lauren took the time to talk us through the separate food preparation areas and reassuring us that every precaution was taken to minimise any possibility of cross-contamination. I am extremely happy and relieved to report that Louise’s choice of Frankie & Benny’s gluten-free Hickery BBQ ribs was entirely gluten free.
Our two children also suffer from eating issues, it’s called the ‘I don’t want that or I don’t like that’ syndrome. All parents recognise the symptoms, the arms folded across the chest, the scowl on the face. The fact that they liked something yesterday means nothing today. With much patience from Lauren, they finally decided they wanted fish fingers, but they didn’t want them with chips or any of the suggested sides, they wanted pasta without a sauce so Lauren was able to get the chefs to rustle up some spaghetti to go with the fish fingers. They dived in and made short work of finishing their meal. The highlight of the meal for the children however was the dessert. They each had a ‘Candy Shop’; a platter containing scoops of ice cream, a jug of molten chocolate sauce, miniature glass bottles containing a variety of sweets, and most exciting of all, a sachet of popping candy. They devoured the lot!
I had a sirloin steak with fries, battered onion rings, mushroom and tomato. Everything was cooked to perfection including the steak which I had requested ‘rare’. I also devoured the lot!
During the meal we all had ‘bottomless’ soft drinks of our choice, and the children each had the best “mocktail” I’ve ever tasted. The children felt very grown up drinking the multi-layered and multi-coloured juice packed with crushed ice.
We all enjoyed our meals and we would not hesitate to recommend anyone to sample the new menu at Frankie & Benny’s.
(Our six year daughter was so taken with Lauren that as we were leaving, she ran back to give her a very big hug!)
For more information, to view the new menu or to book a table visit
Frankie & Benny’s, Ashton Leisure Park, Fold Way, Ashton under Lyne, OL7 0BG
0161 308 3188