Frankie and Bennys – Newcastle upon Tyne

Frankie & Bennys is an American Italian chain combining the best of popular American food with traditional Italian dishes.  The chain first started in 1995 and now has over 150 branches across theUKand abroad.

Frankie & Benny’s restaurants are themed to reflect a 1950s Italian-American diner.

I particularly like the old photos and the Italian lessons played in the toilets! The restaurant itself plays classic American 1950s pop albums which are available to purchase in-house.

Lunch menus are available Monday – Friday, 11am until 5pm, you get 3 menus to choose from the main menu, lunch value menu and the specials menu. The lunch menu has over 30 dishes to choose from, 1 course will cost you £5.95, 2 courses £7.95 and 3 courses £8.95

The Specials Menu is available all day Sunday – Friday, and 2 courses costs £9.95 or you can get 3 courses for £11.90.

Mr Gourmand preferred the dishes on the specials menu and started with the Southern Blue Mushroom which consisted of two flat mushrooms filled with mozzarella, garlic and breadcrumbs, oven baked and served with fresh rocket, Italian hard cheese and balsamic glaze.

As this was Mr Gourmands first trip to Frankie and Bennys he had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised when his starter arrived.  Aesthetically the plate looked very appealing and the mmm noises coming from Mr Gourmand while gulping mouthfuls of food and air simultaneously could only be interpreted as his approval.

As a regular to Frankie and Bennys I’ve tried the majority of the dishes so decided to go for items I’ve never tried before.  I usually eat from the lunch value menu and this time was to be no different.  I started with the Bruschetta which is a homemade mix of fresh tomato, red onion, basil, olive oil and cracked black pepper served over toasted garlic ciabatta bread, finished with a balsamic glaze. Four huge slices of garlic bread were served with a delicious tangy salsa, the amount of food was far too much for one person so Mr Gourmand helped me out!

As Frankie and Bennys pride themselves on their American Italian food Mr Gourmand felt it would be wrong not to have a burger so his main course was the  New Yorker burger, a 6oz* grilled hamburger topped with BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese, mayo and bacon, piled high with Cos lettuce and fresh tomato in a toasted sesame seed bun. This was complimented with house fries and tomato-chilli relish on the side.  Mr Gourmand was astonished at the value and quantity of food presented and I could tell from the sulky look on his face, that was also splattered with the odd bit of relish, that he was secretly ashamed of himself for not dining here before today.  His starter looked superb and he described the burger as ‘as good as he’s had,’ which is some compliment from a man who has clearly had his fair share.

I went for a simple Chicken Caeser salad which consisted of Grilled chicken breast, crispy Cos lettuce leaves, white anchovy, tomato and fresh garlic ciabatta croutons drizzled with a Caesar dressing, topped with Italian cheese and served with a wedge of lemon.  When the salad arrived It was huge, I certainly was not expecting the amount of chicken placed on my plate, again Mr Gourmand had to help me out, a common theme on a Gourmand food visit.  The anchovies were fresh and as a regular, I was once again more than impressed with the meal presented before me. Thoroughly recommended.

Mr Gourmand finished off his meal with the Apple & Rhubarb crumble which was served with warm custard and I had a coffee (£1.95).  During the meal we drank 2 unlimited refill Diet coke (£4.50)  and the total bill came to £25.35.

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