Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tom's Texas Hots
Name: Tom's Texas Hots
Location: 1237 Upper Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905
Phone: (607) 771-4687
Cuisine: Barbecue (Hot dogs, burgers, pork barbecue, etc...)
Price: $5 to $10 per person
Tom's is the second (and as far as I know, last) of the area's "Texas Hot" joints I'll review. Unlike the ancient Tony's Texas Hots in downtown Johnson City, Tom's hasn't been around too long, popping up on Upper Front St. across from Northgate Plaza sometime in the last five years. They have a surprisingly varied menu of different styles of hot dogs, burgers, specialty sandwiches, and sides, but also feature some Greek-style items like gyros and souvlaki. Tom's is a surprisingly cute and clean little restaurant with friendly service, and there's even a drive-thru for those who wish to take their dogs elsewhere before chowing down. In appearance, Tom's reminds me quite a lot of Skyline Chili out in the Cincinnati area.
I am a sucker for a quality hot dog and was hoping that Tom's could successfully deliver the goods. I decided to order a regular Texas Hot (options with cheese and with peppers and onions were also available) and a Pork BBQ sandwich, and opted to eat there in the cozy environs of the small restaurant. A few short minutes later, my order was brought out to me and I was pretty happy by what I saw.
The pork sandwich was really quite good. This was vinegar-based BBQ (Carolina style, I reckon) instead of ketchup-based, topped with sweet relish and served with a side of homemade cole slaw. The slaw was quite excellent in fact and I think it had an ever-so-slight hint of horseradish to give it a little extra kick. The relish was a nice touch for a topping, while the pork was flavorful and well-seasoned, if perhaps just a slight bit dried out.
I was pretty stoked about the Texas Hot on first glance, and it would not disappoint! The dog itself was the flavorful, snapping variety and was covered by chili, chopped onion, and mustard in perfect ratios. The chili also had excellent flavor and was a little bit thicker and heartier than the chili topping I'd had at Tony's. I really could not find a flaw with this hot dog, and I will gladly return to Tom's again in the future for more.
It surprised me how good Tom's Texas Hots truly is, and it's definitely superior in every way to Tony's in Johnson City. (Admittedly, Tony's is much more fascinating to me from a historical perspective.) For a restaurant of its ilk (fast food) in the Binghamton area, Tom's is definitely in a league of its own, with good, fresh-made food made by friendly folks at low prices. This is truly one of Binghamton's hidden gems.