Reviewed by Catherine Brown
This weekend we had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious and filling breakfast at Frankie & Benny’s; an Italian-American restaurant, situated at Dovefield Retail Park in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.
The restaurant is easy to find and we discovered adequate parking outside the restaurant itself, plus there is more in the surrounding area due to it being part of a retail centre with shops, a supermarket, bowling alley and other restaurants.
The exterior of Frankie & Benny’s has a distinctive red, white and green theme which is continued inside. Even before entering we could hear the rock’n’roll style music, which gave a clue to the New York / Italian theme of the restaurant.
The seating is a mixture of cosy booths and traditional tables, some of which were set up for larger parties. Wooden highchairs are available for guests with young children. There is also a separate bar area – perfect if you just want to drop in for one of their cocktails or mocktails.
We were quickly greeted and shown to a booth by our server who handed us the breakfast menus. After browsing the selection of drinks we chose to order 2 teas, an apple juice and milk. It was nice to see that all hot drinks come with free refills.
Once our drinks arrived we were able to place our order. As a family, we had previously eaten at this chain for evening meals (popular for pizza, pasta and burgers) but this was our first time visiting in the morning. There was a wide range of food to choose from, with breakfast served every day until midday.
I chose to try the granola sundae which is part of the lighter bites section of the menu. My husband went for the traditional cooked breakfast. Our youngest son ordered the kids version of the cooked breakfast (suggested as being suitable for children up to the age of 11) while our eldest opted for pancakes with bacon and syrup.
At this point we decided to ask if they had any children’s activities available. We were promptly handed an activity pack and crayons. The booklet is suitable for primary age children and includes colouring, puzzles, and stickers – all around a healthy eating theme.
At this point our sons required a visit to the bathroom. Along the corridor they were fascinated by the black and white photographs and newspaper cuttings of baseball players and boxers. We found the toilet and sink area to be very clean and were surprised to discover that the continental theme continued with speakers in the toilets teaching you how to speak Italian!
On returning to our table our food promptly arrived and we were impressed by the portion size. My granola sundae was served in a tall glass and decorated with strawberries and blueberries. The fruit and nut granola covered in natural yoghurt and blueberry compote was very refreshing and satisfying.
My husband’s traditional breakfast was perfect for those with a hearty appetite; 1 sausage, 3 rashers of bacon, fried eggs, grilled tomato, mushrooms, baked beans and crispy potatoes. An array of condiments had already been placed on the table and my husband had chosen to order a portion of toast. This was the only surprise to us as it turned out to be granary style bread – he would have requested white if he had thought beforehand. The toast was part of the side orders section on the menu and did come with butter and jam for those who just want a light meal.
The children’s version of the cooked breakfast consisted of 1 sausage, I rasher of bacon, a fried egg, and a pot of beans. We asked the server if they had any children’s cutlery as he was struggling with the larger knife and fork. Apparently this is only available at certain restaurants – it didn’t stop him declaring the meal as amazing!
Our eldest equally enjoyed his stack of 3 pancakes covered in maple syrup and rashers of streaky bacon. It was the first time he had tried this combination and he said the bacon was nice and crispy and the meal was very tasty for such an usual mix of foods.
Our server was very attentive and appeared to enjoy her job. The restaurant was reasonably busy but she was on hand when we required her. I was particularly impressed with the way she interacted well with the children when clearing their plates. The background music including the likes of Buddy Holly and Elvis may not be to everyone’s taste, but for us it just added to the fun atmosphere.
The restaurant appeared to be popular with couples and I can imagine returning for breakfast again as an energy boost before tackling the shopping. I would definitely recommend Frankie & Benny’s for families and look forward to trying out some other items on the breakfast menu soon. Definitely a 5/5 from the Brown family.
For more information or to make a booking visit:
Frankie & Benny’s, Dovefield Retail Park, Uttoxeter, ST14 8ER | 01889 598690