The Beef: Meat, potatoes and beyond

By Dave Greber
By Howard Manges

May 1, 2014 Updated May 1, 2014 at 9:14 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Whether it's the elegance of Remlik's or Traditions, the variety of an Original Italian Grille or McGirks, the authentic flavors at Czech Pleeze or the down-home tastes of the Brass Lantern Tavern, the Southern Tier eats.

Sometimes, however, you just want meat and potatoes. And what better place than a restaurant named The Beef.

It's truly highlights the meat and the potatoes, but it's so much more.

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It's an intimate dining experience, and the epitome of a neighborhood joint with so much history, it has to be backed up by the food.

"It's a neighborhood place," said The Beef owner Kevin Grace. "It's a pub atmosphere. It's a restaurant, but it's also a pub-style neighborhood. It just brings people together from not just Binghamton, but all around the area."

Grace and family bought the former What's Your Beef in 2007. And after a series of updates, they settled on the basics.

"I think basic is best," he said.

That means a thick, hand-cut tenderloin, grilled to perfection, hand-formed and patted burger patties, scratch-made soups and sandwiches that keep the place busy for dinner night after night.

Before your main event, make sure you prepare room for the appetizers. We had the bacon-wrapped shrimp and the crab cakes, which included big chunks of crab and a house-made aioli.

And whether it's your first time at The Beef or your fifth, at some point, you have to try the burgers ground from The Beef's own meat scraps -- specifically, its tenderloins and prime ribs. It's a unique flavor -- and they come with any number of fresh toppings -- that can't be found anywhere.