Took the kids and wife here for tea and always think of it as an ideal place to go to give the kids a treat and have tea out for a change.
It was a Friday tea time when we went and it was predictably busy. Not too busy though to be seated straight away by the attentive and welcoming staff we always encounter there. I can't speak for other branches with regards to this but the customer service has always been excellent at this branch.
We sat down in one of the American style booths which offer a generous amount of space for a family of four. The tables are well equipped with the varied menu's on offer. They are colourful and make for a pleasant easy read, with a number of images to accompany the food descriptions. (this is standard for all branches though). Only criticism here is if you are short sighted or have vision issues like me, remember to take your glasses ok.
Although we did not order a starter on this occasion, I have had one in the past. The combo starters are a particular favourite of ours. The staff are normally quick and efficient with bringing drinks and they came to our table within minutes of ordering. The free refill offer on soft drinks and coffee is well worth it. The range of beers and even cocktails is both extensive and impressive too.
Having ordered the food, it took a while to arrive, but based on the number of people in the place at the time, it was acceptable. About 45 mins if i recall. The kids were hungry but kept busy by the activities provided for them at the restraunt, colouring books etc so time passed by quite quickly. Would think they need to work on the speed issue a little though.
Was it worth the wait??? On the whole i would say yes. Portion sizes are generous without being over-bearing. The kids had pizzas which i would say were a good 9 inch in size, and hot enough to indicate they were straight from oven to table without spending too long at the pass.
The wife had New Jersey chicken, no complaints at all there. I ordered the biggest size burger on the menu. Some mighty cheeseburger monstrosity straight from an episode of Adam Richman's Man V Food. That is what i hoped it would be anyway.
Dont get me wrong, the burger was big, it was nice, it was hot enough. There was just one problem. The bun it came in. To use an analogy it was like dipping a rich tea into a bru, not built for the task!!! The moment i bit into the burger, the bun had already begun to disintergrate between my fingers. Now a fresh bun, you would expect to perhaps go a little flatter and a tag soggy as it succumbed under the moisture of the beef and the squeezing effects from holding tight enough to keep all the contents intact. This bun did not. It kind of crumbled and broke off in chunks. If you can try to imagine glaciers as they break of the shoreline of the south pole in different sizes and shapes, you would have a pretty accurate picture of the picture i am trying to paint here. The bun was not mouldy or off in any way. It was however boldly apparant that the bread was not of high quality and was recently defrosted.
Whilst i can appreciate the need for restaurant food to be preserved, this was taking it a touch too far, thus the joy I had for the food I was eating, I have to say turned to dissapointment. I would not order the burger again.
Desserts, as per most diners of this type are good. The children were given generous portions of ice cream that was well presented and flavoured and again, efficiently served, with a smile. Shortly after that we requested the bill which arrived promptly, left a well deserved tip and left the establishment, but not before the children were giving their gesture of Frankie and Benny balloons. Another reason why it is a family favourite.
We were bidded farewell and thanked for visiting which is a nice bit of customer service. The bill was not cheap but in terms of value for money for the whole experience, no complaints. Will i be going back? no doubt we will be. Does my burger experience put me off the food there? No, just a bad choice but would never get one again, From previous experience, don't go for the spaghetti bolognese either. You can't go wrong with pizza, chicken or ribs..
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