Nestled in Northgate Plaza on Binghamton’s Front Street, Cheesesteak Boss has an unassuming exterior. Though its distance from Downtown Binghamton and campus alike disarmed both Caspar, my photographer, and I, we came to enjoy and love the restaurant’s atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. Given that I’m hardly ever in this part of Binghamton, I was excited to try their $20 Restaurant Week three-course dinner selection.
After ordering, we didn’t have to wait long, as every course came out on a tray together shortly after. Caspar and I chose the fresh-cut truffle fries and the truffle salt potatoes for our appetizers. Immediately upon opening their containers, we were overwhelmed with the subtle, delicious smell of the truffle oil, which elevated the humble dishes with a beautiful earthy aroma. The fries were crisp and pungent, while the boiled potatoes were buttery and rich. They both came mixed with pecorino romano cheese and parsley, and they remind you of a homemade dinner. The two potato dishes were the perfect opening to our meal and warmed us from the chilly fall evening.
Our main course included a steak cheesesteak with cheese whiz — the most iconic option for the Philadelphia delicacy — mushrooms, onions and peppers. When I opened the sandwich’s wrap, I was amazed at the sight of the toasty bread, shaved ribeye and sirloin steak, cheese and vegetable toppings. Upon tasting, the meat was seasoned well and the ratio of the steak to the cheese and toppings was perfect. Each bite was heaven. Caspar was particularly impressed with the texture of the bread — a place where many good cheesesteaks fall short. It was soft, yet not soggy, and it definitely elevated the sandwich.
We also ordered the spud bowl, which consisted of chopped chicken over fries in a bowl, with onions, peppers and mushrooms. Though unorthodox for a self-styled cheesesteak restaurant, we found the dish to be fulfilling and warm. The chicken was crisp and the toppings added to the plate without overwhelming everything else. The ingredients were distributed evenly, allowing for each bite to have a little of everything.
Though we were struggling to keep eating after the appetizers and entrees, the desserts were truly memorable and worth the stomach room. I ordered the peanut butter bars, while Caspar had the assorted cookies. The bars, made locally, were a bit too heavy for my liking, but they were smooth and rich, so Caspar gladly finished my half. The peanut butter and chocolate combined to make the dessert fitting, with the fall season and Halloween on the horizon. The assorted cookies, of which we received four, were a clear hit. They were a light finish to a heavy meal, and the subtlety of their various spices and textures made them a delightful way to end the night.
More importantly than just the food, however, was the ambience and service. The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating, and Cheesesteak Boss truly maximized the small space with string lights and posters. We felt at home there, as if we had finished a big family meal, or just got dinner with our childhood friends on a cold winter night.
During Restaurant Week or not, Cheesesteak Boss is worth the 10-minute drive from campus. It’s truly hard to make a cheesesteak well, and even harder to find a good one in Binghamton, but with Cheesesteak Boss only a short drive away, rest assured you need to look no further than 1250 Front St.