Upon entering South City Publick House, you’re transported back to early 20th-century Binghamton as you enter the pub through swinging doors. Located on the corner of Vestal Avenue and South Washington Street, the pub features vintage photos of the city before Binghamton University was even established. The restaurant also has a bar at its entrance, but my friend and I were seated in the main area enclosed by brick walls and furnished with dark, polished tables.
For this year’s Restaurant Week, South City Publick House is offering a $12 lunch fixed-price menu that includes an appetizer, entree and dessert; likewise, the dinner is priced at $25.
There are three choices for an appetizer: acorn squash soup, a caprese salad or pub salad. I opted for the soup, which was a sweet and savory start to my meal. It’s a perfect option for an autumnal feel.
For my entree, I selected the harvest salad, which consisted of fresh leafy greens, sliced apples, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. Personally, I chose a strawberry vinaigrette for my dressing to complement the fruitiness of the salad. It was fresh and light, and the pub doesn’t shy away from serving large portions for the main course.
As I’m not a vegetarian, I would’ve liked chicken or a different protein on the salad, but nonetheless it’s a great pick for nonmeat-eaters — though there aren’t any exclusively vegan entree options.
For those seeking a more filling main course, the fixed-price menu also offers an array of sandwiches, eggplant lasagna and a sirloin tip wrap.
Each entree comes with a side dish of homemade potato chips, french fries or the orzo veggie salad. I picked the orzo veggie salad, which consisted of red onion, tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese topped with parsley, adding a Mediterranean vibe to my meal.
Last but certainly not least, I was faced with the decision to pick my dessert, either a red velvet cookie or an apple cinnamon crisp. The server offered the dessert to go, but as full as I was, I couldn’t wait to try the next course.
I decided on the cookie, which spanned the entirety of a small appetizer plate. It was served warm, beautifully crumbling apart with each bite. However, it wasn’t just the sweetness of the red velvet that delighted my taste buds — the cookie also had bits of milk and white chocolate throughout.
Luckily, I was also able to try a bite of my friend’s apple cinnamon crisp. Though I enjoyed its sugary taste and crunchy texture, I still preferred the red velvet cookie. It was so tasty that my friend, who doesn’t typically like red velvet, admitted to enjoying the cookie’s heavenly oven-baked goodness.
Overall, it’s a great spot to score a reasonably priced meal without being in the heart of Downtown Binghamton. I would definitely recommend it as a place to grab a bite and meet up with a friend, given the pub’s friendly yet relaxing ambiance.