Loving a long good Friday

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It would be great if every day was Friday.

The whole concept of what T.G.I. Friday stands for was a fascinating one for my children.

Imagine the fun you could have if it was always Friday.

I’m afraid I rugby tackled their enthusiasm to the floor with the killer statement which only an ageing parent could make: “But then you would have to go to school every day and the weekend would never come.”

That stopped them in their tracks. Mean or just realistic?

Everything at TGIs is big - just like you would expect when you think of the grand old USofA.

They have huge Hollywood stars, they invented the all-you-can-eat buffet and are famous for supersizing.

But when it comes to decorations for an American diner that is good.

There were big Star Wars characters, creatures straight from the Muppets, colour everywhere and lots of noise.

If you have ever heard the staff gathering round unsuspecting diners and singing TGIs’ birthday song then you’ll know what I mean.

The kids loved it. They were excited from the start, loved having so much to look at and were happy to get stuck in to their bag of colouring and quiz stuff - although we did have to ask for it as the waitress forgot.

First job of the day - drinks.

Jordan opted for the all American milkshake (£2.49). It was very thick, very tasty and very good. I would have been tempted by Oreo flavour but Jordan went for banana.

Jamie went for a Slush (£1.59) and loved the fact it came with a cherry on top, even though he didn’t actually like the taste of the cherry!

Throughout the meal we asked for several glasses of water.

There are two special offers available Monday to Thursdays and since we rocked up on the first night on the week they suited us perfectly.

There are two courses for £9.99 or the same for £14.99.

When I say the same, obviously the dishes are different but you still only get two courses.

We went for the cheaper version and for starters decided to share Mozzarella Dippers and Boneless Wings.

It does always strike me as annoying that there are special offers for adults to get starters but you have to search high and low to find any restaurant offering children starters.

No adult is going to enjoy a starter as hungry youngsters sit there with mouths salivating and tummies rumbling.

It would seem easy enough to offer children a small and simple starter but no, so instead we shared as usual.

The boneless wings were really spicy. They had been ‘tossed in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce’ which should have given a bit of a clue but we hadn’t expected them to be quite so hot.

Fortunately the cheesey sticks were very mild, a little too plain for my liking, but went down well with the youngsters.

For the main courses I went for Chicken Finger BLT and Jordan picked the Classic American Burger.

The food was just as good as you imagine great American cooking to be. It might not be the healthiest - and the size of the portions is eye-wateringly over the top - but it tastes mighty fine.

This is also certainly somewhere children are meant to feel like they can have a good time as well as the adults.

Jamie went for the Stripes Menus - child size Friday’s Classics with a good range of main courses for £4.99.

I have to say I find that quite expensive since it doesn’t include a drink or dessert but then the portion was large, of course.

It may be a first for Jamie but he couldn’t manage to finish it.

However he thoroughly enjoyed his Chicken Finger BLT - and yes it prompted many, many jokes about chickens with fingers!

It is the first time I actually ordered Jaden his own meal as for £2.99 there is ‘a selection of younger kids’ favourites’ on the Stars menu.

At just 14 months he looked very proud when his three crispy battered mini fish fillets arrived with nicely presented cucumber and red peppers - oh and of course a little pile of chips.

He didn’t get anywhere near finishing it either but really enjoyed the fish.

There are some fun and unusual puddings available. How about Popcorn Sundae (£1.99) or Dirt and Worm Pie (£1.79) which fortunately has nothing more obnoxious than vanilla ice cream with chocolate bits and jelly worms.

Jamie decided Chocolate Oreo Sundae (£1.99) was the way forward and enjoyed dipping his biscuits in the ice cream.

We couldn’t resist Brown Obsession (£6.49) which is clearly meant to share.

Four pieces of brownie, hot fudge topping, vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle.

Once again it was larger than even the sharing warning had led us to believe but it was absolutely delicious.

TGIs is not a cheap night out, but it is fun and the food is really good.

Just make sure you leave those diets at home.

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