Frankies and Benny’s Plymouth Worth the Visit

Recently we decided to head out for a 3D film, the Vue in Plymouth has comfortable seating and is easy to park and get access than the Reel which is more in the city centre. After the film we were starved and the Barbican complex has no shortage of restaurants to choose from, but we chose Frankies and Benny’s.

Now I know Frankies and Benny’s has a large following throughout the country, but I will only comment on this particular restaurant, because today I’m telling you about my Plymouth restaurant experience.

They were busy as all the Frankies and Benny’s are, but we were offered a seat straight away and our waitress was helpful and attentive, she went to get our drinks and then came back for our order. I had the meatball siciliana calzone and my partner had the burger.

While the calzone was fantastic as I remember them it was a little salty for my particular taste, though the chorizo probably added to that and wasn’t their cooking that was the problem. The burger was juicy and fantastic as it was expected to be, which makes Frankies and Benny’s in Plymouth now one of my favourite restaurants when heading to the cinema.

After the meal we were way too full to have a dessert, though I must say they all sounded absolutely fantastic.

I will definitely be back again for another meal, maybe next time I’ll give the burger a try.

Food Quality – 8

Food Presentation – 9

Atmosphere – 9

Service – 9

Overall Experience – 9

You can find Frankies and Benny’s at Barbican Leisure Park in Plymouth, PL4 0LG and they are open from 9am all the way through to 11pm, except on Sundays when they close at 10.30pm.


A True American Diner Experience at Route 38

I’ve driven past Route 38 so many times when entering and leaving Cornwall on my way to and from Plymouth, but when you see a diner on the side of the road, you wonder how good the food is.

We decided to stop in recently and I knew we’d made the right choice the minute we arrived at the door and ended up standing in a queue. No one is going to stand in a queue for bad food.

Now as you know by now I love burgers, I could eat them every day so of course a burger was a logical choice for me. The food was outstanding and the atmosphere was a buzz of excitement, it is such a busy restaurant and yet we were seated quickly.

The service was attentive, they were there checking on us even though the staff were running around clearing plates and taking orders. The food didn’t take long to come out which was pretty amazing seeing they were so busy and it was worth every penny I spent.

The burgers were true American burgers, they were hearty, real meat and delicious. We also both had a chocolate milkshake, now be careful when ordering a milkshake. If you order just a milkshake, you get milk and flavoured milk, you need to tell them to add the ice cream and then you get the real deal.

All I can say is that Route 38 I will be back for more!


Well I headed back to Route 38 this week and all I can say is what a disappointment. From the fantastic experience the last time, this time was everything but. I had the burger again and my friend had the Philly cheese steak sub.

The first thing we noticed is that my burger was burned and I mean black on the one side, inedible. But when my friend tried to eat their sub that was a whole other story. The sub was more like a burned baggette, it was so black that it fell apart with a knife. The steak was so tough that barely any of it could be eaten and to top that off the cheese wasn’t even melted.

While I could not fault the potato skin starter or the delicious chocolate milkshakes, the main meals were much to be desired.

So I’m sorry folks, but anyone wanting to visit Route 38 be aware it could go either way. Maybe they have a new chef or maybe we just came on a really bad day, there was a commotion at the petrol station next door but well before we even received our starters, so can’t see how this could have affected what I was hoping would be a superb meal.

Food Quality – 5

Food Presentation – 7

Atmosphere – 10

Service – 10

Overall Experience6

You can find the Route 38 Diner on the A38 from Tamar Bridge heading towards Liskeard.

El Cafe Perfect For a Sunny Day

El Cafe is a great little place on the water’s edge on the Hoe in Plymouth. I found it by mistake a couple of weeks ago when strolling along on a warm afternoon and it looked so delightful and relaxed I had to stop in.

The great thing about El Cafe is that there are no airs and graces, you can sit back on the patio in the sunshine and enjoy a selection of coffees, breakfasts or sandwiches. While the service is a little slow at times, the atmosphere is completely laid back, a great place for a quiet coffee away from the hustle and bustle of the city and perfect for that light snack when wandering around the Hoe.

I would highly recommend El Cafe if you are looking for something simple where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. Of course the problem is that the sun rarely shines here in Plymouth, but if you are lucky enough to catch a day of sunshine, you will not be disappointed if you pop into El Cafe.
Food Quality – 7

Food Presentation – 7

Atmosphere – 8

Service – 5

Overall Experience – 8

You can find El Cafe in Hoe Road, right on the water’s edge in Plymouth.

Piermasters Not What I Expected

Since moving to the Devon area I’ve heard about this fantastic fish restaurant on the water’s edge in Plymouth, Piermasters. Of course when given the opportunity to dine there with some friends recently, I jumped at the opportunity.

I love seafood, so heading to a seafood restaurant on the water couldn’t get any better for me. I was really disappointed by what I found, I’m not sure if it was the after summer exhaustion or just the staff were completely disinterested, but the overall experience was not what I had read in the many reviews on this apparently top seafood restaurant.

When we arrived we were offered a small menu and while I am positive the fish was fresh, the quality was not what I expected from a restaurant that had glowing reports. We ate our meals desperate to get out of there as the solemn and somewhat miserable staff marched about. Maybe the entire experience was ruined by the waiting staff, a smile and polite word can go a long way.

I will go there again just to see if they have improved and will update you when I do.
Food Quality – 5

Presentation – 7

Atmosphere – 4

Service – 4

Overall Experience – 5

Piermasters is located at 33 Southside Street in Plymouth.

A Great Burger at Varsity in Plymouth

I had never been to Varsity in Plymouth before, I had seen it in passing and when my parents came for a visit, we decided to give it a try and were we glad we did. We arrived at the restaurant only to find it was pretty quiet, it was the calm before the evening storm I think.

We found ourselves a table and had a look through the extensive menu, but it was the burgers that really jumped out at us. As we headed over to the bar to place our order a very friendly barman gave us a big welcoming smile, what a pleasure. So different from these glum waiting staff that normally greet you.

The prices were affordable and to be honest I was expecting the worst, but was really surprised when the food arrived. The burgers are the best I’ve had in a while and believe me I love burgers. The one I had was stacked with cheese, bacon, egg and two burgers. Fair play I only ate half of it, but it was worth seeing what was included.

My folks both chose the bacon and cheese burgers and we were all delighted with our choices and left the restaurant happy and full, there wasn’t space for dessert, but I am sure from the quality of food presented to me, the dessert would not disappoint.

For the amount of food on the plate the presentation was amazing, the quality was second to none and the atmosphere was relaxed and informal. I am sure when it gets later it can get really packed, but for lunch this was the ideal spot in the heart of Plymouth that I will definitely be visiting again.

Food Quality – 8

Presentation – 7

Atmosphere – 7

Service – 9

Overall Experience – 8

You can find Varsity at 33 Derry’s Cross, they are situated on the roundabout.

Hello There

If there is one thing we have no shortage of here down south it’s restaurants, from the pubs to the fine dining establishments and from the funky and trendy restaurants to the great and relaxed seafood restaurants.

With such a big selection and my love for food, I thought my reviews would help people make a decision on where to visit when planning a night out, whether you are planning a romantic night out for two or a fun night out with friends or family.

Each of my restaurant reviews will be rated with one being the worst possible experience to ten, the best experience you could hope for.

I travel often, so keep an eye out for restaurants from around the country. Also having been in the industry for many years I always look for quality, fresh produce and exceptional service. Some may find I am too critical, but when you go out for a meal you want an overall enjoyable experience and I will be filling you in on where you can find these fantastic dining experiences.

This blog will be updated regularly and I’ll put in some photographs of the food as and when I can. Bear in mind that I am an average person and this is my personal views on the restaurants I have visited. I am not a food critic, just a person who has years of hospitality knowledge and knows what to look for.