Domestic goddess and backyard explorer with a passion for freelance writing!
Published December 22nd 2014
American style dining but very slow service
It was a somewhat rainy Sunday in early December in London when the family decided to take a road trip to Birmingham, which is roughly two hours and fifteen minutes away, depending on the traffic. The decision wasn't completely random of course- there were people to meet and things to be done, but for my husband and I, it was mostly a day out exploring England you might say.
We drove by Warwick, a town roughly in the same direction, that is north from London, but a good forty five minutes away from Birmingham. So we ended up in Warwick around midday, and one of us was ravenous and desperately wanted pizza. But it seemed there was no Pizza Hut or anything similar in Warwick in our vicinity, so when we spotted what looked like a typical American style diner, conveniently located at an intersection and a roundabout where it was plainly visible; we decided to settle for whatever we could get here.
Upon entering Frankie and Benny's, it appeared to be a large, family restaurant and being a Sunday, there were adults, kids and it was reasonably busy but not packed by any standards. There were booths, a bar area behind which it was possible to see the chefs working, and an independent wooden, very typical American style decor on the inside. It wasn't long before we were seated and made our orders from the menu, which included 2 Arrabiata pastas, and a vegetarian calzone, a coffee for afterward, and potato skins and garlic bread for entree.
As we eagerly waited for our food, we realised we had been waiting for a long time before the garlic pizza and potato skins arrived. They were reasonably tasty, very cheesy but nothing totally amazing so to speak. It was clearly a busy afternoon for the staff as we saw many a burgers being flipped, and waitresses appearing slightly stressed. We waited again for quite a while before the same waitress appeared to tell us that our food was coming ... until eventually it did.
Our food arrived, one dish at a time - the onions on the pasta were slightly burnt, and the calzone was apparently pretty ordinary but quite a large portion size.
We asked for the bill, the waitress apologised and gave us a 20% discount for the extremely long wait time, and we cancelled the coffee, only to realise they had missed the order in the first place. Slightly awkward. So what can I say, perhaps on another day, our experience would have been better and other than the long waiting time, the food was okay. However, we appreciated the gesture by the wait staff and the ambience was quite cosy.