Rumour has it that Frankie Giuliani was 10 years old when, with his Mamma and Poppa, he left Sicily and landed at Ellis Island, New York in 1924.
They moved in with relatives in ‘Little Italy’, a predominantly Italian neighbourhood. Poppa soon found work, but from the home country he’d brought a little money and a lot of ambition. It was no surprise then, when the family opened a restaurant within a year, everybody helping with the building and the cooking in equal measure.
Each of them had a favourite dish to contribute, but it was Mamma’s home-style cooking that was the base from which the business prospered. Frankie went to the nearby High School and became lifetime friends with Benny, already a third generation American.
In 1953 Poppa retired and Frankie and Benny took over the business, combining the best of popular American food with traditional Italian dishes. The rest, as they say, is history…
The instantly recognisable red neon sign and warm inviting interior eases you into the Frankie and Benny experience before you even take your coat off! In typical stateside fashion, great service at Frankie & Benny’s is second to none. Nothing is too much trouble for their obliging and friendly staff.
Our experience… The Birmingham Gazette were delighted to escape the cold one Monday afternoon for a family day out lunchtime meal. When we arrived we were impressed to be shown to our seat which was in the lounge area of the restaurant with comfy diner style seating and helpful and friendly staff.
We even met up with our Marketing contact Ruby who was incredibly knowledgeable about the business and gave us impeccable service and a good variety to chose from.
Today we’re trying out the new menu, so much on offer but we went for the Chicken Louisiana Skins. Filled with chicken, red pepper, red onion and Louisiana hot sauce, topped with melted cheese and served with sour cream on the side this was the first time some of our family from overseas had ever tried skins. Where better than Frankie and Benny’s to do it? We also went for the chilli meatballs, in a delicious Neapolitan sauce with green chilli and red onion, served with toasted garlic ciabatta on the side which were a perfect treat while waiting for our mains.
Freshly prepared in the kitchen all Frankie and Benny’s dishes are well thought out and exceptional value for money. It’s a mid-range price menu, so suitable for family meals out, parties, or even celebration dinners. There are a wide variety of pasta, spaghetti, burgers, pizzas to name just a few on the menu too which means that if you’re really hungry you could share a pasta as a starter with a salad and then work your way on to one of the many main courses. We also tried the dough balls as one of our party was vegetarian.
What makes Frankie and Benny’s such a household name around the UK is hard to pin point. From the relaxed atmosphere, quick service and superb choice to the flavour packed burgers made with the finest beef, the tasty range of sandwiches; the succulent BBQ ribs – or the freshly made pizza cooked to order on a light and crispy base – the choices are endless.
After drowning in decision nightmares about what main course to go for our friendly waitress helped us chose the new Italiano 6oz* grilled beef burgers in a toasted sesame bun, loaded with fresh mozzarella, beef tomato and baby gem lettuce with mayo and red onion chutney. Served with house fries and tomato-chilli relish on the side. The crunchy fries and chutney relish on the side were to die for.
The kids had a delicious Margarita pizza and some chicken strips with fries, hardly any oil on them at all which is good and as a special treat you couldn’t go wrong. They were also given party packs on arrival which kept them busy and fruit shoots to quench their thirst went down a treat.
There are no better restaurants for a family meal out and in Birmingham there are plenty of Frankie and Benny’s restaurants for you to choose from!
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