Where - 324 Keilor Road, Niddrie
Price - $24 + Delivery Fee
Website - http://www.franksristorante.com.au
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
Well hello everyone. As we haven't done a "Crossing the Road" yet in 2018, a little refresher. "Crossing the Road" is a review category dedicated to delivery parmas, the ones we would never get to if we stuck to pubs alone ... Let's be honest, delivery parmas are usually pretty terrible, but lets call this an effort to find that diamond in the rough.
For as long as I can remember, there has been Frank's. For as long as there has been a Niddrie there has been Frank's, and I'm pretty sure in the infinite vacuum of nothingness that existed before the earth as we know it formed, there was Frank's.
Growing up I always remembered Frank's as a seafood restaurant and thus not of much interest to ParmaDaze, however it seems to have pivoted in recent years to a more Italian vibe. It has been on our list to try since I noticed recently that they do a parma, but the fates were against us this week and we were unable to get to the restaurant itself ... Luckily, I noticed they also list on Uber Eats, so as we don't really score Crossing the Road reviews, lets call this a trial run to see if Frank's is worth an official, in house, ParmaDaze review.
Wow. Top billing in the app! According to Uber Eats the "Cotoletta alla Parmigiana" is the most recommended item available at Frank's. (Also, who is ordering a $42 steak delivered... That can't be good, right?)
This isn't the first time we've run across a "Cotoletta", the first time being late last year at the fantastic Baden Powell Hotel, So po-tay-to/po-tah-to, if its a schnitzel with cheese and napoli on top I'm happy
A few clicks later and our order was placed. Frustratingly Frank's doesn't seem to offer any sort of beverages (alcoholic or not), so you've got to be pre-prepared on that front.
We wre originally estimated at 30 mins delivery, in reality it was about 45 minutes before the parmas arrived at our door. We unpacked.
Three plastic containers, one salad, one parma, one chips - Definitely not the norm for the parma as it didn't quite fit the container and was a little wedged-in.
Once the lids were popped everything looked pretty good. Salad looked fresh, parma looked plump and the chips looked thick, I'd be darned if they weren't our favourite Bad Boy Chips, or at least a very close facsimile.
On Crossing the Road reviews we know that delivery food never looks good in delivery containers, so lets plate this bad boy up so we can really see what we're working with
Looks good, we quickly tucked in. The schnitzel was pure white, thick and juicy. The crumbs were a little soggy, but I'm sure that's the fault of the 20 minute drive in a plastic container and not the fault of anyone at Frank's.
The toppings were quality - Rich napoli and a tasty cheese blend, with plenty of coverage of both. I don't think there's anything in the definition that says a Cotoletta can't have ham, as the Baden Powell had a lovely smoked ham that was the absolute best part of that dish. The Frank's parma was a fine dish without ham, but a slice or two would have really elevated this dish.
The chips were great, but suffered the same soggy fate as the parma, would have been fantastic fresh from the fryer but by the time they arrived were no longer in their prime
My biggest problem with the Frank's parma & chips? It was cold. Now I know cold food is pretty much a staple of the Uber Eats experience, but it was particularly depressing in this case as the dish had so much potential to be great, it was just marred by poor temperature control.
The Salad, the one element of the parma that was supposed to be cold, fared pretty well. Other than the chunk of tomato that really should have been sliced thinner than an orange-wedge, the cucumber was fresh, the onion was crisp, it was well dressed and the lettuce survived relatively un-wilted. As far as delivery salads (which are normally universally shit) go, this one was okay.
The price tag of $24 for this one seemed fair. It was filling and the ingredients weren't at all skimped on, and with the glory of coupon aggregator sites you can usually find a 10%-15% off Uber eats floating around.
My criticisms of the parma at Frank's all seem to be the fault of the transportation process and not of the restaurant itself, which has cemented my decision that we will definitely be visiting the restaurant itself for an in-house review some time in the next few months. Until then it's probably worth a crack, either delivered, pick up or eat in!