REVIEW: Frankie and Benny’s, Lambton Street, Sunderland

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Chain restaurants are not my thing.

I prefer something a little less robotic and processed so I didn’t have high expectations when I headed to Frankie and Benny’s.

Joined by my three-year-old, Tate, and Echo wife Katy Wheeler, we were seated in a booth on arrival before being offered menus.

To give the staff their dues they were quick off the mark with my son, offering him a colouring pack which kept him quiet for about 10 minutes.

The menu is a reflection of the restaurant description, a “New York Italian Restaurant”,

So you can get your chops round a selection of burgers, pizzas, pastas and for the more waistline conscious there are a few salads.

To start we opted for the bread and olives (£3.95), which we all shared. I had the calamari (£5.95), it was tasty, but a little greasy.

Katy chose mozzarella and tomato salad (£4.95) which she enjoyed and her clear plate spoke for itself.

After our starters we waited for our mains and we waited, and waited. In that time Katy did enjoy several white wine lemonade. Tate became restless and I’m not surprised as our mains took a stomach-rumbling 45 minutes to arrive.

Katy tucked into the New Yorker wrap (£9.25), which was a flour tortilla loaded with chicken and smothered in BBQ and pepper jack cheese sauces.

It looked mouth watering and Katy gave it the thumbs up. I was less enthusiastic about my New Yorker which came in the form of a calzone pizza.

Unlike Katy’s wrap, my pizza was lacking in toppings and it definitely wasn’t “full to the brim” as the menu described.

Tate’s chicken pasta was excellent though. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the cheesy sauce was smooth and not too sticky.

To finish Tate had an ice cream sundae and he got a balloon which calmed him down after nearly two and half hours sitting in the restaurant.

Our meal including drinks came to £57.35.

Cara Houchen