Syracuse suffered a terrible loss upon the sudden passing of Linda “Sparky” Mortimer, owner of Sparky Town cafe and restaurant. But her legacy lives on in the wonderful people who continue to serve some of the best food and coffee in town.
Dave and I went down there this morning for breakfast. There are two places in Syracuse where you can get a superior cup of coffee with a great breakfast: Sparky Town and L’Adour French restaurant (and for the latter, that’s only Friday, Saturday and Sunday). To be honest, I’d rate Sparky Town’s coffee a notch or two better that L’Adour’s.
Dave had a breakfast sandwich of egg, ham and cheese on an “everything” bagel, a delicious and very affordable option. I went gluten-free: an egg scramble with fresh grated zucchini, summer squash and carrots, with home fries done right. That means each bite has lovely crunchy caramelization on at least one side. Gluten-free muffins were available, as were some pretty yummy-looking scones that we were too full to eat. The breakfast menu is quite complete and we know from experience that everything is fresh fresh fresh.
For total foodie happiness, a restaurant has to be successful in six areas: food, beverage, service, lighting, music, value. Very few places hit all six, but Sparky Town is one of them.
We know the food is good, we adore the coffee and teas. What we didn’t realize was that Sparky Town had just gotten its liquor license a few weeks ago, so now wine and beer are available. Some of the beer selections had us considering how well they would go with breakfast. We will definitely be back soon to try them out with dinner.
Service is attentive and friendly in an honest, non-corporate sort of way. You know what I mean. Nobody says, “I’m Jessica and I’ll be your server tonight.” We love hanging at Sparky Town because of the really cool people who run it and who walk in!
The atmosphere is what a cafe should be: welcoming, warm (love all the exposed brick), but not dirty-grungy. It’s a charming place to which you could take your grandmother or your attorney. The lighting is right, too. Not too bright, not stupid, not dark. And today’s music was perfect for a gentle wake-up: reggae. Easy on the ear, with that great groove that makes you want to begin to move.
There is only a small handful of restaurants in Syracuse that are as complete a value as Sparky Town. If you’ve never been there, it really is worth trying something new, something local, and something so thoroughly satisfying.
Sparky Town is at 324 Burnet Avenue, on the corner of Catherine Street and Burnet Avenue in the historic Hawley Green District.
Open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 8am-3pm