Thursday, July 17, 2008

Frankie & Benny's, Romford

For all my pontificating about the superiority of English Chinese food, pie & mash and great sausages; there's one area in which my adopted home town of Jupiter, Florida reigns supreme. That would be the high street chain restaurant. I can go to any of the biggies, Chilis, TGI's, Applebees, Duffy's etc., with the whole family and eat without fear of bankruptcy, food poisoning or post dinner hunger pangs. I can choose from a vast menu and know with some degree of confidence that whatever comes out of the kitchen will be edible. It may not be perfect but it'll do the job. None of these provisos apply here. Welcome to the chain restaurant experience in Romford. Welcome to Frankie & Benny's.

There aren't so many 'sit down' places to eat in Romford. There are non-kid friendly pubs, a tapas bar and of course a golden arch but a middle of the road place for a family pitstop leaves you few choices. The menu covered all the basics - how could you go wrong with a 'New York Italian Bar Restaurant'? Pizza, pasta, burger... sounded good.

Heeding my own advice about chain restaurants, I went simple, a burger. Easy. Dr. Dave went with spaghetti & meatballs; smart choice I thought, even my 3 year old can make that. If there's anything a place like this should do well its simple meatballs and pasta. I can honestly say this was the worst burger I've ever had and I'm not too proud to eat a dogburger from a van in Romford market either so that's saying something! It was clearly frozen; there was nothing homemade about it; the texture was too fine, it was gritty with bone, it was not only a frozen burger, but a cheap one at that. The chips were below average and the whole thing was thrown together with zero care. Dr. Dave's meatballs were atrocious also. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Titleist written down one side they were that hard. They were also dry beyond belief, flavorless (unless red pepper and freezer burn count as flavor) and to add insult to injury the pasta was completely devoid of sauce. Mimi had a pizza and that was OK, probably the best thing about the place apart from the service which was provided by a very sweet and overworked girl. Oh and it was about $50 for 2 dishes and a kids pizza...

Frankie & Benny's is a great concept, the music is fun, the atmosphere is good but ultimately the food is an abomination and on this basis; FUGGETABOUDIT!

1 comment:

Turnups & Tantrums said...

Should have gone to Gingham Kitchen! I don't know why but we tend to gravitate towards places with artex. Maybe it adds to the flavour.