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Our Top 5 Diners In Broome County

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We love diner food. It’s affordable, quick and delicious. Although, there are dozens of diners scattered throughout Broome County, we decided to give you our top diners from each town and a few reasons why we love them so much.

Binghamton

-Chris’ Diner: Most of the CommuniKey team either resides Downtown or on the West Side, so there’s no shortage of good breakfast spots within walking distance. But we always seem find ourselves heading over to Chris’ diner on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The food is great, especially the pancakes that are the size of your head. Chris’ also serves up lunch and dinner too.

Honorable mentions: Rolando’s, Park Diner, Danny’s Diner, Elsie’s Diner

Endwell/Endicott

-Broadway: We can’t say enough good things about this place. They have a huge menu and you can’t really go wrong with anything you get there. Our personal favorites include: their huge 3 egg omelettes (with home fries, obviously), gyro platters, and open faced hot turkey sandwiches. We’re also big fans of Broadway’s desserts, particularly their rice pudding.

Honorable mentions: The Pantheon, Nadius

Vestal

-Skylark: In our last post we lauded Skylark for their great food, affordable prices and late-night hours. Well nothing has changed. We’re Skylark’s #1 fans. You can typically find us here after 11 PM, but Skylark can be enjoyed at anytime. If you’re craving breakfast, we typically opt for their 2 egg specials or breakfast sandwiches (make sure to get a hot, buttered corn muffin on the side). And for dinner we’re all about the classic burgers and fries. PS: Rumor has it that they take credit cards now.

Honorable mentions-Take-A-Break (formerly Plaza Diner), Pete’s Legacy Diner

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-The Village Diner: We just discovered this place recently but we’re already hooked. Their unique spins on traditional diner food will have your mouth watering. So far our top breakfast picks are the bananas fosters french toast, root beer float pancakes (yes, you heard us right), homemade corned beef hash and their sausage biscuits and gravy. We haven’t stopped here for lunch yet, but that’s definitely on our to-do list as we’ve heard great things about their lunch menu.

Honorable mentions: Red Robin, The Reveille

Other

Apple Hills: Not exactly sure where this place is officially located (JC?, Maine?, Whitney Point?), and yes, not technically a diner (more of a cafe), but this place is by far our favorite spot in Broome County for breakfast. First let’s start with the atmosphere; Apple Hills is located on a farm out in the hills of Broome County, where you can enjoy your breakfast in a serene setting, especially during the warmer months when you can sit outside. Although they are open each day for breakfast and lunch, our personal recommendation is that you stop by on Sunday mornings. Why? Well let’s see: their Sunday breakfast specials are always great, their toast is thick-cut and buttery and their hash-brown casserole (only available on Sundays) is out-of-this-world good.

Honorable mentions: Harris Diner (Owego), Our Country Hearts (Maine)

Next time you’re looking for a spot to eat check out one of these places!

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Our Top 5 Late-Night Dining Destinations

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It’s late. Like past midnight late. You’re hungry. And you may or may not have had an alcoholic beverage or two. What do you do now? Get yourself over to one of the following 5 places to satiate your late-night hunger attack before it gets SERIOUS.

5. Pasquale’s Pizza-Location is everything and proximity to the bars on State Street make this place an ideal late-night dining destination. Also the pizza is pretty damn good. I ate here as student and still continue to visit Pasquale’s on occasion. My personal favorite is the Rat Wing Pizza which is Pasquale’s take on buffalo chicken pizza (with ranch and bbq sauce). Check them out if you haven’t already.

4. The Spot-Literally, The Spot never closes. They are open 24/7/365. I think I heard a story once that during a blizzard, on Christmas Eve, the owner of the Spot personally picked all of the employees up so that they could make it to work and keep the place open. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if it was. The Spot dishes out both dinner and breakfast items at night, but I typically opt for the breakfast items. Something just feels so right about digging into a 3 egg omelet or stack of blueberry pancakes at 3 AM.

3. Champz Sports Grille-Champz is the newcomer to the Binghamton dining scene but the food they’re putting out late-night is INSANE. Chili dogs, loaded tater tots, bacon wrapped hot dogs on a stick, and fried macaroni and cheese bites round out an already stacked menu that is sure to crave even your biggest late-night food craving. There’s even rumors of a BBQ cheddar bacon cheeseburger on a tater tot bun. Champz is changing the late-night food game in downtown Binghamton.

2. Skylark-Oh Skylark. You bring back such fond memories of delicious late-night food with friends and family. Whether it was to take a study break or to satiate a drunken food craving, you were always there for me. Your only downfall is that you don’t take credit cards. But it doesn’t matter, your 2 egg specials with a grilled corn muffin on the side will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about.

1. Binghamton Hots-I’ve had an obsession with this place since it opened in a few years back. Hots actually got started around the same time CommuniKey did so you can say we kind of grew up together. Anyways, although they have a rather expansive menu (burgers, wraps, salads, finger foods, etc), I can’t help myself to anything other than a Hot Plate at night. It’s the perfect combination of spice, starch and fat. If you haven’t had the pleasure of sampling a Hot Plate yet I suggest you do that ASAP. My personal favorite is 2 cheese burgers, french fries, macaroni salad, bacon, hot place sauce, mustard and extra onions (don’t judge).

Now when the clock strikes midnight you have your complete cheat sheet on where to grab a bite to eat. Just promise us that you’ll enjoy responsibly and get a ride to these places if you’ve had a few beverages.

**UPDATE**

Since writing this post we found out that:

1. Skylark now takes credit cards (yay)

2. The Spot is no longer open 24 hours (boo)

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The Great Endicott Pizza Debate

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When you grow up in Endicott you learn at a very young age what good pizza is. In fact, pizza is such a serious thing in Endicott that friendships have started and ended based on pizza loyalties.

I’m not here to settle the great Endicott pizza debate, but only to offer my humble opinion on where I feel are the top 5 best places to grab a pie. You may disagree with my rankings, but what’s undeniable is that this town has some pretty amazing pizza. Let the mouth watering begin:

#5-Joey’s-Although the proverbial newcomer to the Endicott pizza scene (opened in 2002), Joey’s has made their mark with their crispy, delicious, brick-oven pizzas. Watching them make the pies is almost as fun as eating them. My personal favorite is their Pizza Bianco, which is Mozzarella & Ricotta cheeses and prosciutto.

#4-Roma’s-Putting Roma’s on this list is likely to cause some controversy. Not because the pizza isn’t delicious but because Roma’s has its fair share of fans as well as haters. Personally, I’m a big fan of Roma’s pizzas, especially the white with bacon, onion and tomato; that’s right, I bet you didn’t even know you could order that.

#3-Tony’s-Tony’s is one of my favorites and has been for years. Their pizzas remind of me of NYC style thin crust pizza. Their pizzas are large, cheesy and down-right amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about them right now. I’d be remiss to not mention Nick’s here too. Their pizza reminds me a lot of Tony’s (I think Nick actually used to make the pizzas at Tony’s back in the day?) and is equally as delicious.

#2-Rossi’s-This place is an Endicott staple. Seriously, Rossi’s is so quintessentially Endicott there’s almost a 100% chance that you’ve had it at some point in your life. I prefer their signature square pizzas but honestly the round ones are just as delicious. Their most popular pie is the buffalo chicken pizza, and for good reason, it’s heavenly.

#1-Consol’s-Their “Hot Pie” style of pizza has been pleasing Endicott residents and visitors alike for decades. Consol’s is the definition of traditional Endicott pizza: the paper-thin crust, perfectly cheesed/sauced pies and the take-out orders wrapped in that iconic white parchment paper. All of these things combined make for an Endicott culinary tradition that is unmatched by any other restaurant. Want something special? Try one of Consol’s grilled pizzas.

I’d also like to give an honorable mention to St. Anthony’s grilled pizzas. These heavenly grilled morsels are only available three days out of the year at St. Anthony’s annual Italian Feast Days. Luckily for us the feast days are right around the corner (June 12th, 13th, 14th).

There’s my list. Some will disagree, but what we can all agree on is that Endicott truly has some amazing pizza. Get out there and have a slice…or a whole pie!

3 Resolutions For Binghamton In 2015

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The new year is all about making resolutions and starting new beginnings. Now that 2014 is behind us here are a few resolutions for Binghamton for 2015.

1. Stay Positive-OK we didn’t get a casino (at least not yet) BUT there is still a lot to stay positive about here in Binghamton. The NY State Regional Economic Development Council recently awarded the Southern Tier over $80 million in funding in 2014, with a good portion going to projects in and around Binghamton. Similarly the local, state, and federal government continues to invest in infrastructure upgrades in Binghamton that will make this area aesthetically and structurally primed for future growth with projects including 1) the Riverside Drive reconstruction 2) the Clinton Street gateway project 3) the Kamikaze Curve overhaul 4) plans to revamp parts of the River Walk 5) plans for new building construction downtown at 70-72 Court, 69 Collier Street, and 50 Front Street. And we can’t forget to mention the growth and prominence that Binghamton University continues to play in this area, particularly with their on-going plans to build a high tech incubator downtown and a pharmacy school in Johnson City. We’re pretty excited what 2015 has in store for Binghamton and the surrounding area.

2. Keep Up That Entrepreneurial Spirit-It’s amazing how much the business landscape has changed in Binghamton over the past 5 or so years. Growing up here we were witness to the mass exodus of downtown by local businesses. Court Street was a literal ghost town with dozens of empty storefronts and decaying buildings. But things have changed, and in a big way. Since we started CommuniKey in 2011 we’ve seen a GIGANTIC up-tick in new businesses opening and prospering in downtown Binghamton including (sorry if we missed anyone!): Binghamton Hots, BingSpot, Burger Mondays, Galaxy Brewing Co, Water Street Brewing Co, Uncorked Creations, Muckles Ink’, Freshy Sites, The Old Union Hotel, Zona & Co, Elsie’s Diner, Chroma Cafe & Bakery, Alexander’s Cafe, Sip of Seattle, Southern Tier Crossfit, Bikram Yoga, Social on State, Thai Time, Champz Sports Grille, The Loft @ 99, The Ranch, Venue Sports Bar, Brewed Awakenings, and The Colonial (coming soon). Many of these businesses have invested large amounts of money into remodeling older buildings which has not only preserved them, but helped improve the aesthetic beauty of Binghamton. And we would be remiss to not mention all of the new student housing that has opened in recent years.  The future and strength of Binghamton is going to come from that entrepreneurial spirit that once made this area so great. We need our residents to continue to support our small business community and always be looking for ways to contribute to this economic revival. Who knows, maybe the next IBM is about to be born in Binghamton.

3. Reduce Crime-Binghamton is at a cross-roads, an almost mini Renaissance if you will.  People are moving downtown, new businesses are opening every week, and residents are spending more and more time at downtown establishments. There are few things that can halt Binghamton’s progress but one of those things is crime. In order for Binghamton to flourish, residents and businesses (current & future) alike need to feel confident about investing in this area. There needs to be reductions in petty and violent crime. There is no easy way to solve this issue but it needs to receive the same attention that job creation and infrastructure upgrades do. Through collaboration between citizens and local government we can help to reduce crime and improve the standard of living in this area.

Welcome 2015. We are excited to see what you bring this great city this upcoming year.

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3 Ways To Get You Into The Holiday Spirit

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Thanksgiving is in our rearview mirror and Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. The Holiday season is in full force. Time for shopping, rest & relaxation and quality time with friends and family. The Holiday season is pretty magical and there are many ways that people prepare for this special time of the year. We thought we’d take a few minutes to share our favorite activities that help get us into the Holiday spirit.

1. A Visit To Roberson-Ever since we were kids, we’ve been visiting Roberson Museum & Science Center around Christmas time. Their “Home For The Holidays” exhibit is perfect for getting you into the Holiday spirit. If you aren’t familiar with “Home For The Holidays” it’s basically a celebration of the holiday season and includes: The International Forrest (dozens of Christmas Trees/ Holidays displays with decorations that represent different cultures/religions around the world) and the Roberson Mansion (early 19th century mansion decked out in Holiday decorations). On a similar note, Roberson’s train display and planetarium also add to the Holiday experience. Still looking to do some last minute shopping? Roberson’s gift shop has a variety of Binghamton-centric items that will make the perfect gift for a loved one.

2. “Light-Seeing-You can’t drive more than fifty feet without seeing some type of holiday light display. Often times we’ll drive around to different neighborhoods checking out who has the best lights. So far we’ve found two winners (both out in Endicott). Joey’s Italian Ice has covered their entire building with Christmas lights which are synchronized with Holiday music. Another spot we’ve discovered is located on Taft Ave just north of George F Johnson Elementary School. This house is completely covered in lights and is also synced up with music which includes “Feliz Navidad”, “Carol of the Bells” and “Let It Go” (for all of you Frozen fans out there). Both display are pretty impressive and worth the trip out to Endicott.

3. Holiday Beverages-Nothing helps us celebrate the holidays more than a nice alcoholic (or non alcoholic) beverage on a cold winters night. For those of you who enjoy an adult beverage from time-to-time you definitely need to try “The Polar Express” from Remlik’s, “The Winter Ginger Smash” from Lost Dog, “The Ghost of Christmas Stout” from Galaxy Brewing Co and  “The Winter Sun White Ale” from Water Street Brewing Co. Not a fan of alcohol? Nothing warms us up like a seasonal coffee or latte from our favorite DT coffee spot, Sip of Seattle.

And remember, a CommuniKey membership is the perfect gift for this Holiday season. It’s the gift that keeps on giving because with your CommuniKey membership you can get unlimited discounts at 92 places in Broome County, all year long, including:

Food & Beverage

Lost Dog Cafe, Burger Mondays, Zona & Co Grille, Nirchi’s Pizza, Thai Time, Leroy Package Store, Southbridge Wine & Spirits, Number 5, Chroma, Chris’ Diner, Moes, Hoopla, Texas Roadhouse, California Grill, Champz Sports Grille, Uncle Tony’s, Papa Johns, South Side Yanni’s, Mario’s Pizza, Moghul, Sake-Tumi, Subway, Whole in the Wall, Lupo’s, Tranquil, TLC’s Pizza, Sweet Frog, The Ranch, Sip of Seattle, 1st Thai Basil, Alexander’s Cafe, Cyber Cafe, Baked Euphoria plus many more!

Entertainment & Recreation

Binghamton Senators, Binghamton Mets, Chucksters, Bikram Yoga, Gaslamp Gym, Southern Tier Crossfit, Skate Estate, Roberson Museum & Science Center, Broadway in Binghamton, the KNOW Theatre, Tri-Cities Opera, and the Goodwill Theatre

Retail

Glory Vapes, Endicott Florist, Muckles’ Ink, Sound Go Round, Vapor King, Desting Designs and many more.

Vanity

Progressive Laser, Knead Relief Massage, Orion Beauty & Balance, White Rose Day Spa, Tanfastic and Villa Bronze

General & Professional Services

William Orband Insurance, Frederick Lacey DMD, Firestone, Meineke, 607 Tech Solutions, The Computer Shop, East Coast Customz, The Shop and Heritage Self Storage

Happy Holidays from your friends over at CommuniKey!

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10 More of the Best Foods In Binghamton

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Two weeks ago we highlighted our “Top 10 Foods To Try In Binghamton” (read original post here). After conducting some more research and talking to the fine people of Binghamton, we decided to come out with 10 more must-try foods. Just a note: this list is comprised of dishes served up in the City of Binghamton and does not include JC, Endicott, Vestal, etc. Enjoy!

1. Wings From The Old Union Hotel-These crispy, morsels of goodness have been attracting customers to the Old Union Hotel since they reopened in 2012. Our recommendation would be to go with the garlic parm or honey siracha, but in all honestly all of their flavors are worth the trip.

2. Cortese Pizza-This pizza is unique. There are adamant lovers and vehement opponents of Cortese Pizza. Put us in the category of supporters. The crust is flaky and buttery and the cheese is perfectly melted. Definitely give it a try to see which side of the fence you stand on.

3. Despina’s Gyros-When you think of amazing Greek food your mind should instantly shift to Despina’s Mediterranean Taste. Despina herself has been dishing up to-die-for gyros for the past 5+ years from her Court Street location. We’re traditionalists and usually go with the lamb gyro.

4. Crepe Heaven Crepes-There are crepes in Binghamton? Yes there are! Crepe Heaven is a true hidden gem. They dish out both sweet and savory crepes. Our personal favorites are the Nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread) and the Meat Lovers (ground beef, potatoes and onion).

5. Social On State Ahi Tartare Tower-This dish is fresh, light and delicious. The fish is extremely fresh and the combination of the tuna, avocado, wasabi and crispy wonton is out of this world. This dish is too good to share.

6. Cyber Cafe Vegetarian Chili-Cyber Cafe is one of our favorite places to hang out and get some work done. Our favorite dish there is the vegetarian chili topped with some cheddar cheese and sour cream. It’s warm, filling and delicious.

7. Tranquil’s Chicken & Waffles-Brunch is hard to come by in this town. No what’s even harder to come by? Chicken and waffles done right. Luckily for us Binghamtontonians, Tranquil Bar & Bistro has perfected this dish. The waffle is light and fluffy, the chicken is perfectly fried and the chili-infused maple syrup is the perfect blend of sweet and savory.

8. Remlik’s Sushi-When you think of Remlik’s you might not instantly think of great sushi, but you should. Every Wednesday-Saturday, their classically trained sushi chef serves up some of the best sushi in Binghamton. Although they have specialty rolls every week, our personal favorite is still a basic spicy tuna roll.

9. The Texas Hot From TJ’s-Biting into a Texas Hot is like biting into a little piece of heaven. The flavor combo of the hot dog, chili, mustard and onions blend perfectly and will have your mouth watering for more. TJ’s Famous Texas Hot’s dishes out the best in the area and has had us coming back for more for years.

10. Craft Beer-We know, we know. This technically isn’t food but we felt compelled to put this on the list since it’s distinctly Binghamton. Galaxy Brewing Co and Water Street Brewing Co are brewing up some amazing local craft beers. Our personal favorites are: The NY Harvest Ale (Galaxy), Oktoberfest (Galaxy), St. Stusan (Galaxy), Cyborg Betty (Water Street) and Juno’s Sun (Water Street).

 

 

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10 Reasons to be EXCITED For B-Sens Hockey

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Fall is in the air, leaves are turning beautiful colors and everything you see has the words “Pumpkin Spice” in front of it… this can only mean one thing: Hockey season is here! Here at the ‘Key, few things get us more excited than B-Sens Hockey. What gets us so excited you ask?

1.) The Experience. How many people do you know that can say they have a professional hockey team in their back yard? Answer: not many. Nothing’s cooler than seeing a guy score a huge goal on TV and being able to say: “Hey, I saw him play in Binghamton!”

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2.) The Pre-Games. Being that the Arena is right downtown, there’s no shortage of amazing places to grab some grub before hitting the game. Personal favorites include Binghamton Hots and Zona Grille, where you’re sure to be surrounded by your fellow rowdy Sens fans.

3.) The Post-Games. What’s a good hockey game without a frosty beverage or two after, right? Luckily, there’s no shortage of popular watering holes to hit after the game, either. Dillinger’s Pub is always a popular choice amongst your brethren in Red and Black, as are it’s neighbors along State Street. If you’re looking to change it up, we recommend trying our one of Bing’s local breweries, with Galaxy and Water Street both offering strong lineups to help celebrate a victory or cope with all the blown calls that led to a BS defeat.

4.) The Camaraderie. We’re not sure what it is, but nothing brings a group of friends together quite like some bone-crunching body checks or big-time powerplay goals. Even if you walk in as a casual fan, there’s a good chance you’ll walk out with a new friend talking about how we got robbed on that penalty call or how much of a D-Bag  number 22 on the other team is.

5.) The Hometown Spirit. Few things are cooler than seeing your town’s name throughout the arena once the puck drops. If you were lucky enough to be around during the Calder Cup championship season of 2011, you know firsthand just how awesome it is when Sens-fever really hits Bing.

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6.) The lingo. Hockey as a language that is most definitely unique to the sport. Take a listen around the arena and there’s a good chance you hear fellow fans discussing “lighting the lamp”, “getting after the biscuit on the forecheck” and “undressing that defenseman with some sick mitts”. It’s okay if you don’t get it all right away, you’ll understand it by the time you leave.

7.) Intermission activities. If you get up from your seat during intermission, you might just miss the highlight of the night. From the patented “Chuck-A-Puck” promotion to watching your fellow fans (who may, or may not be adept at walking on the ice surface) take shots on net from the blueline, this is definitely something that you are not going to want to miss. **CommuniKey Pro-Tip: try to hit a game during Pee-wee hockey night during intermission, these kids get after it out there!

8.) The Change of Pace. While we have an awesome bar and restaurant scene in Downtown Binghamton, sometimes you just need to do something different on a Tuesday night. Nothing fills this void better than a little hometown hockey. Yes, you can still eat delicious food and enjoy a frosty beverage or two while you do it, but it’s nice to break up the monotony once in a while.

9.) Our Arena. The greatest thing about our building? There is literally not a bad seat in the house. No matter where you are, you’ll catch every bit of the action. **CommuniKey Pro-tip: while it might seem like a cool idea, try to avoid sitting directly behind the benches. Just trust us.

bsens arena

10.) Your CommuniKey Deal. Big news this year: B-Sens tickets are just $10 this year when you get them in advance of game day ($11 on gameday). Ten bucks, TEN BUCKS! We’re talking over 40% off normal ticket prices here, every time you go to a game. By far one of our favorite deals, hoping it’s one of yours too.

There you have it, ten reasons were psyched about ten dollar CommuniKey tickets this season.

pictures courtesy of:

http://www.sweetesthockeyonearth.com/

senators.nhl.com

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10 Coolest Buildings In Binghamton

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Binghamton is full of neat buildings and beautiful architecture. We’ve been told that there were even cooler buildings in exsistence however the urban renewal programs of the 1960’s and 1970’s wiped many of them out. Below is a list of 10 of our most favorite buildings (inside and out). Note that we are by no means architectural experts.

Kilmer Building

Where: 31 Lewis Street

History: Erected in 1903 by the Kilmer family, this building served as the headquarters of the then-famous “patent medicine”, Swamp Root. The building was recently restored in the early 2000’s and now is home to Remlik’s Grill and Oyster Bar, The Goldsmith, Touché and a variety of other commercial enterprises.

Why we love it: This building has so much class. From the marble foyer, to the moldings, to the amazing woodwork. Step into the Kilmer building and it’s like stepping back in time

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Press Building

Where: 19 Chenango Street

History: Also built by the Kilmer Family, this building was the HQ of the now defunct Binghamton Press. The Kilmer’s (with their large ego) ensured this this building was the tallest in Binghamton (which it was until the State Office Building was completed in the 60’s). Water and smoke from a nearby fire severely damaged the building in 2010. Sadly, the building still remains vacant, with very few noticeable renovations completed since the fire.

Why we love it: The cement/plaster moldings of “green men” on the outside and inside of the building. And it’s sheer height make it a pretty cool landmark in Binghamton. Get well soon Press Building!

Pressbuilding

Security Mutual Building

Where: 100 Court Street

History: Built in 1904 (no, not by the Kilmer Family), this grand building has been the headquarters of the Security Mutual Life Company for over 100 years.

Why we love it: The marble foyer, double staircase and paintings are incredible. We also enjoy the dog’s head that sits high above the doorway. It’s also pretty cool that they light this building up each and every night to reflect different seasons and occasions.

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The Court House

Where: 92 Court Street

History: This court house has served the people of Binghamton faithfully since the late 1800’s. A few additions/renovations have been made to the building throughout the years but it’s remained pretty much the same for 100 years.

Why we love it: The copper dome and the pillars. It’s just a cool structure.

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Christ Episcopal Church

Where: 10 Henry Street

History: This church is over 150 years old and it still serves its original purpose of bringing people together for prayer.

Why we love it: The bell tower is very majestic and gives off that “gothic” type of feel. Also, because of its age the stone has an almost mossy, green hue which adds to the coolness of the building.

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Masonic Temple

Where: Corner of Main and Murray Streets

History: Built in 1922, this building was the meeting place for the Free Masons of Broome County. In the 60’s and 70’s it was also used as a Theatre and was even home to the Tri-Cities Opera. It’s been abandoned since the early 2000’s when plans for its conversion to student housing fell through.

Why we love it: The entrance way and pillars. It’s just a neat looking building. And there’s some mystique about it being abandoned.

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Roberson Mansion

Where: 30 Front Street

History: This lavish mansion was built in 1906 by Lumber Baron Alonzo Roberson. He used the home to showcase his company’s work and craftsmanship. From what we’re told the Roberson’s were quite boring and hardly ever entertained. Since the 60’s the Roberson Mansion has been apart of the Roberson Museum & Science Center, an organization dedicated to education, art and science. Roberson Museum & Science Center is a true asset to this community.

Why we love it: The woodwork on the interior is incredible, like truly incredible. The wrought iron gates that surround the front yard are also awesome. We love a good ghost tale and there are rumors that this place is indeed haunted.

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Perry Building

Where: 91 Court Street

History: Designed in 1876 by the famous architect Isaac Perry, this building has been home to numerous local businesses over the last 125+ years. This building was also featured in the 1991 movie Liebestraum. 

Why we love it: This building looks like a giant puzzle and its completely cast iron (the only one in Binghamton).

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Lackawana Station

Where: 45 Lewis Street

History: Built in 1900 this station was utilized for passenger and cargo transport. Passenger service was halted in the 60’s. Now serves as office space for several local businesses.

Why we love it: Trains remind of us a simpler time. This building has that old industrial feel.

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Stone Opera House

Where: 45 Chenango Street

History: Built in 1892, this building served as the hub of the Binghamton Opera scene throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. From the 1930’s-1970’s it was used as a movie theatre. It’s basically been abandoned since then.

Why we love it: The red stone and the perfectly symmetrical design.

Stone Opera House

 

 

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Top 10 Foods To Try In Binghamton

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Friends, Binghamtonians, countrymen lend me your ears…..and your stomachs. We here at CommuniKey have over 100 years of combined food-eating experience here in Binghamton. Below is a list of 10 of our favorite foods that we highly suggest that you try. Note: this is by no means a complete list; there are scores of great restaurants serving up dozens of awesome dishes here in Bing.

Our top 10 (in no particular order)

1. Spiedie Sub-This Binghamton food staple is a must try for anyone living in or passing through Binghamton. If you aren’t familiar with the iconic Spiedie, it’s basically marinated pieces of meat (chicken, pork or lamb) set atop bread or a sub roll. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. There are many places in Binghamton to enjoy Spiedies but our personal favorite is Lupo’s S&S Char Pit.

2. The Hot Plate-It’s Binghamton’s take on the famous Rochester “Garbage Plate”. Hungry customers create their own personalized Hot Plates by combining a variety of starches, meats and condiments. The classic Hot Plate is macaroni salad and home fries topped with two cheese burgers, chili, mustard and onions. Our personal favorite is mac salad, mashed potatoes, buffalo chicken tenders, chili, mustard and extra onions. And our go-to spot for the Hot Plate is Binghamton Hots.

3. Little Venice Sauce-Only a select few people know the secret ingredients that makes Little Venice’s sauce both sweet and delicious and from what we’re told it is NOT apple sauce, as has been rumored. Actually now that we think about it there has been a generations old debate between Binghamtonians on what that secret ingredient is. Regardless, Little V’s sauce is a Binghamton staple and tastes great on any type of pasta. Personally, we’re fans of the ravioli.

4. Nirchi’s Pizza-Nirchi’s Pizza is a fan favorite in Binghamton. Their iconic square pizza has been feeding hungry customers for almost 50 years. Outside of the normal cheese and pepperoni, Nirchi’s offers their own take on pizza including chicken, bacon, ranch; honey mustard chicken; and Sweet Baby Ray’s. There are several locations around Binghamton waiting for you to try their delicious pies.

5. Lost Dog Rigatoni Ala Vodka-We can’t stress how amazing this dish is. Like amazingly delicious. The vodka sauce is flavorful and garlicky and the pasta is cooked to perfection. They also offer a gluten free version of this dish. PS: We recommend adding chicken and ordering it “old school style” (mixed with cayenne pepper).

6. The Jonesy-Burger Mondays is synonymous with juicy, succulent, hand-made burgers. Chef Matt takes his burgers to the next level. Take the “Jonesy” for instance: it’s a double-stack of pork and beef topped with caramelized fennel, chili pepper salad, pancetta, asiago cheese, worcestershire reduction and the house aioli. Complete your order with a side of cajun fries and a milkshake and you’ll be in for a meal you won’t soon forget.

7. Whole In The Wall Pesto-This pesto is world-famous (yes, WORLD). Its a delicious combination of olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, fresh garlic and a little creamery butter. AND Whole In The Wall’s pesto contains no artificial ingredients or fillers. We believe them when they say that this pesto is the best in the universe. PS: You can by Whole In The Wall pesto online or at your local supermarket.

8. Zona Quesadilla-These things are not only scrumptious but insanely filling. Finishing one by yourself is a feat in itself. Zona serves up a variety of quesadillas but our go-to is the buffalo chicken. Enjoy it on the Zona patio with an iced cold beer (before Winter arrives) and you’ll be thoroughly pleased.

9. Number 5 Honey Horseradish Shrimp-Number 5 is Binghamton’s quintessential steakhouse and although they serve up some of the best beef and seafood entrees in the area, our favorite item on their menu happens to be an appetizer: the honey horseradish shrimp. This appetizer is the perfect combination of sweet and savory; four shrimp, stuffed with horseradish, wrapped in bacon and then smothered in a sweet honey sauce. We guarantee you’ll be dipping your bread in that sauce once you’re done.

10. Chroma Empanadas-Plain and simple, Chroma is a true asset to the Binghamton food community. They’re making bread, cookies, desserts, sandwiches, salads and more completely from scratch. Our most favorite item on their menu though has to be their empanadas. They dish out a new variety of empanada every day but we’ve honestly never had one we didn’t like. Our personal favorites include macaroni and cheese, buffalo chicken and BBQ pulled pork.

UPDATE

We’re adding one more item to this list: Thai Time’s Pho. This Thai staple has been perfected by Thai Time. Its unique flavor combination will warm your body and soul; It’s perfect for a cool Fall or Winter day.

That’s our list. Happy eating!

CommuniKey Weekly Observations (9/22)

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Here’s our succinct take on the top things that happened in Binghamton last week. Enjoy!

Look Back At Last Week

1. Restaurant Week-This event is pretty much a holiday in Binghamton. So much so that we strongly feel that everyone should have off from work during Restaurant Week. Get out and support the local restaurants!

2. Cult Movie Thursdays at The Bundy-Every Thursday the fine folks at the Bundy Museum have screenings of cult classic horror movies. It’s a good way to start getting into the Halloween spirit. Also, our friends at Muckles’ Ink are on-hand, live-printing some stylish tees to commemorate the occasion.

3.Reaper’s Revenge-OK, so this technically isn’t in Binghamton but it’s worth mentioning that they opened this past weekend. This haunted hayride is very well done and is a must visit for anyone looking for a great time/scare.