If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat at a comfortable, low-key bar but don’t feel like running into everyone you know at The Colonial, South City Publick House is the perfect place to go.
The South Side gastropub, located on the corner of Vestal Avenue and South Washington Street, has a relaxed yet mature aesthetic. Upon arrival, you’re greeted to a large and sturdy wooden bar, and a dining room filled with round wooden tables and English-style pub chairs. On an exposed red-brick wall that runs the length of the dining room, there are photos showcasing early 20th-century Binghamton, and hammered copper pendent lights outfitted with Edison bulbs hang from the ceiling. The mix of rustic and contemporary items makes for a homey yet refined experience.
During Restaurant Week this fall, South City Publick House is offering a three-course lunch for $12 and a three-course dinner for $15. I went with a friend for lunch.
For an appetizer, you can choose from the house-made soup, the mixed greens salad, the orzo salad and the Mediterranean bruschetta. I chose the orzo salad and my friend picked the bruschetta. The orzo salad was light and refreshing, filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and olive oil. My friend said he enjoyed the bruschetta, because unlike most brushettas, the bread was well-toasted and didn’t get soggy from the dip.
The main course offers six options to chose from and I chose the stuffed bacon-macaroni and cheeseburger. This burger was everything I could have hoped for. Served on a brioche bun, it featured two char-grilled patties topped with a gooey Swiss and cheddar macaroni and cheese, bacon and a chipotle aioli sauce. Although the macaroni and cheese oozed out of the sides of the burger, the cheese was thick enough that it didn’t drip all over my hands. My friend ordered the teriyaki-pineapple pulled pork sandwich and was blown away. He said that because the sandwich used teriyaki sauce, instead of the traditional barbecue sauce, the juices cooked into the meat, so the sandwich wasn’t messy. Both of our meals were served with crispy house-made chips and a pickle.
There were two choices for dessert: a cheesecake parfait and a red velvet cookie. My friend ordered the cheesecake parfait and said it was so good that I had to try it. Composed of layers of crushed graham crackers, a light cheesecake filling, a blueberry sauce and whipped cream, this parfait is a must. I got the red velvet cookie, which was filled with chunks of white and milk chocolates. The cookie comes in a plastic bag, which was perfect because I was too full to eat it then, and was able to put it in my bag for later. I ended up forgetting about it and ate it the next day, and to my surprise it was soft and chewy like it had just come out of the oven.
The mix of high-quality food and a friendly neighborhood-bar vibe makes South City Publick House the perfect place for an affordable and casual meal with friends and family, or even by yourself.