Sam's has been going strong since 1872, and the menu is a pleasing combination of the traditional and the modern: amongst the starters, Salted Ox Tongue Salad nestles serenely next to a Butternut Squash and Cheese Tart, whilst the mains encompass the legendary Corned Beef Hash as well as venison, duck and steak. The portions are truly enormous: they will try and tempt you to some bread when you arrive but it is worth resisting if you wish to survive in an upright position to tackle the sweet course.
The pub is refreshingly unsnooty - the wine list includes choices to suit every pocket (we had a joyous Paarl Heights Shiraz at £14.95), and the staff will happily bring tap water without looking down their noses and enquiring whether you want still or sparkling. This is an understandably popular venue so make sure you book ahead.
- Sam's Chop House is at Back Pool Fold, Chapel Walks (off Cross Street), Manchester M2 1HN, tel. 0161 8343210