Through the decades we still maintain that the charcoal-grilled pork spiedies served at the 1947 Binghamton tavern Sharkey’s are the Platonic ideal of the Italian-accented skewered meat dish. Yes, it doesn’t hurt that Sharkey’s almost looks like it’s still operating in 1947, and it’s hard not to love what, to be perfectly frank, can still be described as an old man’s bar with a dining room in back.
Sure, they have made some subtle updates to the place; it’s not run-down or disheveled, but little effort has gone towards modernization, either. You want to go full Sharkey? Dine in one of the old dark wooden booths along the windows. And be sure to play a few games of shuffle bowling, though the game has seen better days.
The spiedies are perfect, although we recommend you ask for them well-done, which not only maximizes crustiness but also ensures that all the meat chunks are cooked through (occasionally, we’ve received a semi-raw chunk at the end of the skewer). Other spiedie places around town add vegetables or cheese (horrors!) to the mix, and cook the meat on a flattop. The meat is then served on a dry and bready sub roll. All of that is wrong in so many ways.
You want meat, no vegetables, no sauces, NO CHEESE, and you want it charcoal-grilled. Serving the meat on thin sliced soft bread ensures a perfect proportion of meat to bread. And spiedies really should be eaten alongside a big pitcher of beer. We’ve tried to do it at home on the grill. So far, we still haven’t achieved complete Sharkiness.56 Glenwood Avenue Binghamton NY 13905 607-729-9201 Sharkey’s Website Sharkey’s on Facebook Sharkey’s Left at the Fork Review