Eating out and being gluten free or having any type of special diet can be challenging. When I first discovered that I could not eat wheat I dreaded going out for a meal, and found restaurant menus very limiting.
Today, it is a very different story and eight years on I love going out to eat. I take the time to either call the restaurant and find out if they have a gluten free options or do a quick Google search. There are lots of restaurants local and chains in the UK that have a have gluten free menu.
Frankie and Benny’s is now one of those. They have had their own gluten free menu for a number of months now, but I only discovered this after I saw something on Twitter. In the past when I have been eaten there I have just stuck to what I know is safe.
Their gluten free menu is simple, but there are a number of starters, mains and deserts to choose from. Normally I find starter and desert menus in chain restaurants limiting, but I was quite happy with the selection, although I would have liked to have seen something a little more imaginative than ice cream based deserts on the the pudding menu.
There was a meringue based desert and a fruit and sauce pudding which was good to see, and I was tempted to have the selection of fruits and dipping sauces, but it was a Saturday and this is known as my guilt free day… I eat things that I would not normal eat during the week like chocolate and my favourite gluten free biscuits.
When it came to choosing a pudding I had the banoffee sundae. I enjoyed it and was pleased to find that it was not a small serving, but I think at that point my eyes were far bigger than my stomach.
The selection of mains was good and I chose the skinny burger which was tasty and it is the first time that I have seen a burger in a chain restaurant. It came with jacket potato, but I would have liked chips with it. It was explained to me that the Frankie herb potatoes are gluten free, but they cook them in the same oil as something that is not gluten free – so it would be up to me if I wanted to risk it, I chose not to.
I was disappointed to find that there was not a single gluten free pizza or pasta option in a restaurant that has an American Italian theme to it. Gluten free pasta and pizza bases are very accessible and many Italian restaurants do have a gluten free pasta or pizza option. Perhaps this is something they might introduce in the future.
Overall gluten free eating at Frankie and Benny’s is now going to be a more enjoyable experience. I am pleased that Frankie and Benny’s have a gluten free menu.