Sam's has long been one of my favourite places to eat in Manchester, and luckily ny husband agrees (something to do with high meat-content on menu and dishes the size of a small house, no doubt). Also, it's just around the corner from All Bar One at the top of King Street, one of those rare chain bars that actually seem to get it right by providing a vast selection of beers and ciders for the boys, and a very reasonable selection of wines and cocktails for those more ladylike among us.
So we started with a cheeky glass of prosecco (me) and some dull beer or other (him) and then teetered our way to Sam's for dinner (actually just me doing the teetering - the cobbles outside of Sam's were no doubt specifically put there to plague heel-wearers). Sam's was as cheerful and busy as ever, and we were put in a cosy corner by a display of bottles of Laurent-Perrier (a sign from above, perhaps?)
You have to love a restaurant that has the confidence to describe two of its menu items as "famous" - particularly as one is a bowl of onion soup costing over a fiver - but both the soup and the corn beef hash (the other "legendary" food item) are quite disturbingly good, and so addictive that we have to order both whenever we go. This time, we also had the seafood cocktail, which is more exciting than most as someone was clever enough to think to put crab in there as well as prawns, and the mixed grill, which was frankly of ridiculous proportions and left even my husband beaten.
Puddings are less exciting, but the Baileys and banana cheesecake we shared was nice enough, and the wine list is reasonably priced with lots of palatable stuff under £20. The young waitress who served us was asking where we would be going next - clubbing perhaps? Crazy lady - after eating here, the wisest plan is to go home and sleep it off.
Sam's Chop House is at 19 Back Pool Fold, Chapel Walks, off Cross Street, Manchester M2 1HN, tel 0161 8343210.