8 Thomas Street, Manchester, Tel: 0161 833 3197, OPEN: Sunday to Wednesday, 10am to 12pm; Thursday 10am to 1am; Friday and Saturday 10am to 3am.

Food served daily 10am to 10pm

THERE’S something distinctive about Trof.

It’s almost as if you have walked out of the rain-soaked streets of Manchester and into a restaurant in the sultry New Orleans’ French Quarter — fun, vibrant and lively.

There is no stuffiness that can be found in some restaurants, and definitely no need to keep conversation to just above a whisper in this Northern Quarter haunt.

Having visited Trof in Fallowfield — great food, welcoming atmosphere — I wondered if this one also captured that muchneeded holiday feeling.

And it did, pervading the restaurant on the corner of Thomas Street in the heart of the Northern Quarter, although this Trof is much bigger, doubling into, from what I could see, a threestorey bar.

It is perfect to liven you up after a busy day in the office — instantly energy levels are restored, and that’s before you have even taken a mouthful of food.

It really is straight from dinner to drinks, as the menu describes it, quite aptly, as the “eating and drinking place”.

Trof boasts fresh, seasonal, local, free-range and Fairtrade ingredients in its fabulous array of dishes, ranging from falafel to burgers. Lacking, however, is the choice of starters — potato wedges and warm pita bread. My friend opted for hand cut chips to complement the dish. I, as usual, could not resist the hamburger, although in my defence I have not had a restaurant burger, for a good few weeks.

The special recipe was made with dry aged chunk mince and fresh herbs and spices, costing a very reasonable £6.95. The third person in the party ordered the veggie burger (£6.95) — essentially a falafel burger — one of the many vegetarian options, on this fantastic eclectic menu. Both burgers were served with chips.

Service was simple and with a smile, anything more would have seemed out of place.

It is understandable why Trof boasts about the source of its ingredients, for it really does make a difference to the food. Fabulous succulent burger, with the herbs and spices taking it from pub food to that worthy of a restaurant.

You can never beat hand-cut chips.

The measure of a good meal, especially when having a burger, is not feeling stodgy and tired afterwards.

This meal certainly didn’t sit on the stomach, and, in fact, there was even a little room for the dessert.

We all chose the chocolate cheese cake (£2.95), the richness of which indicated that this was homemade. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish mine, as much as I would have liked too — definitely one to share.

Although I didn’t have one this time, the smoothies at this place are simply divine.

Trof is a great place to go for informal and fun dining, a welcome change from some of the restaurants which make-up Manchester today.