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In Manchester: Sam’s Chop House

July 24th, 2012 · 2 Comments · bacon, Football, London 2012, soccer, Sports Journalism, The National, tourism


It took four days, but we apparently found the restaurant district of Manchester — a little to the west of Market Street, in an area of short streets and small hotels.

And we ate at a pub that might even be semi-famous — Sam’s Chop House, established 1872.

You’ve heard about the preferences of the “man on the street?” That’s how we got to Sam’s Chop House.

While searching fruitlessly for a pub the previous night, we stopped a guy (literally, a man on the street), a Mancunian, and asked him to recommend a pub, and he came up with Sam’s Chop House. Which apparently is where the locals take foreign visitors to get an idea of traditional English food.

A big wine list, lots of beers, of course … and a large variety of all the scary things that Brits eat. (Check the menu.) Black pudding and bacon. Liver and bacon. Sausages and mash. Beer-battered onion rings.

Steak and kidney pudding, in the photo above (I’ve already eaten some of the mushy peas), which is what I had.

I didn’t think I would like it, but I’d never had it, and it seemed like something to order while in Manchester.

Turns out I didn’t take to the lambs’ kidneys, nor the suet used as the case for the dish. (And I feel even worse about it, after seeing what suet is. Not nearly enough due diligence before I made this order.)

Who saw that coming?

The photo above is a little misleading. The “pudding” is much bigger than it looks. You break through the suet “pie” and the interior is packed with bits of steak and kidney, and you can eat a lot more suet, if you’re brave enough.

Leah had the small corned beef hash, which is probably what I should have ordered, but she beat me to it. I would have gone for the Shepherd’s Pie, but they don’t serve it at night.

What on that menu is good for you? Heavy, fatty, deep-fried, organ meat …

I was unable to eat more than about half of my steak ‘n’ kidney, and I’m glad I stopped.

The place is very old-English-pubby, with lots of wood and leather (as you can see in the photo below), and very dark. That’s me after eating most of a steak and kidney pudding. (Ack).

I didn’t mind the mushy peas, and the gravy was fine, and the chips/fries are what they are. But the kidneys and the suet? No.

I feel like I should eat nothing but wheat grass and soya burgers for a month.

But I have been to a real English pub again, after a 20-year break. Now I know. And I can wait another 20 years before I go again.



2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Britt // Jul 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Glad to see you were able to get a semi-authentic meal! Seems like it might have been a little too traditional with its ingredients! I wish I had not taken the link to suet!

  • 2 Marvin Reiter // Jul 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    What! No dessert?

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