Binghamton Hots offers a rustic, comforting ambiance during its lunch and dinner hours. From the first step into the restaurant, you are welcomed with a full scope of the venue. The creative chalkboard wall above the register is a focal point, displaying the array of options they have to offer.
The lights that wrap around the exposed ducts above your head hint at the fact that nighttime is when Bing Hots gets busy, well-known for serving hungry students after a long night on State Street. Hots is probably not the first restaurant that comes to mind when Restaurant Week finally rolls around, but if you’re looking for a relaxed and greasy $12 meal at what’s easily a staple of the city of Binghamton, Hots is the place to go.
Bing Hots offers up its Old Bay Fries with Sriracha aioli as a must-have starter on its Restaurant Week lunch menu. A classic at Hots, the dish offers a southern twist on fries, with a kick. The serving size is generous, with more than enough to pass around the table. In addition to the fries, I had the house-made broccoli-cheddar soup. The soup was a tasty classic, but nothing exceptional. The dish seems to be a departure from the normal barbecue vibe its menu aims for, so although tasty, it felt out of place.
For the second course, I ordered the pulled-pork sandwich, recommended to me by the owner. The sandwich was described as having slow-roasted, hand-pulled pork with Kansas City BBQ Sauce. Although I’m not normally a fan of pulled pork, I was shocked by how much I liked the sandwich.
From the first bite, the sauce was generous, but not overpowering. The sandwich offered a surprisingly sweet tang that would be pleasing to even the most sensitive of taste buds. Even once I was full, I kept wanting to take another bite solely for one more taste. By contrast, I ordered a macaroni salad as a side. While not unappetizing, it did not offer the same zest that the pulled-pork sandwich and the Old Bay Fries did.
The photographer and I each ordered one of the two dessert options: a Greek yogurt parfait and chocolate fudge mini-brownies with raspberry glaze. The parfait was rich and wrapped the meal up with a nice counterbalance to the rich savory flavors the other foods had delivered, as any good dessert does. The strawberries, raspberries and blueberries combined with the rich yogurt to provide a nice departure and the perfect ending to the meal. The chocolate fudge brownies, on the other hand, were small and unfulfilling, and simply seemed like added sugar tacked on to the end of a good meal.
Bing Hots is not the place to go if you’re trying to skip fried foods, since it’s always worth it to opt for the fries over the soup or salad. Its food offers the usual barbecue with a fun spin that helps it stand out above other greasy food options and offers a good opportunity to sample something new.