Sparky Town restaurant just makes me so happy!!! First of all, it’s yet another great reason to visit the Hawley-Green neighborhood (we love Sugar Pearl, too). Secondly, it has a warm, inviting ambiance that starts from the bare brick walls and gently envelopes everything and everyone inside. Folks are so danged friendly without reverting to the insincere “Hi, I’m- Jennifer-and-I’ll-be-your-server” routine. Finally, the food is really good.
I went there today with my friend and we were just blown away by the menu. All the right stuff there, folks: local, organic, whole-grain (quinoa!) enough meat to keep us carnivores happy and plenty of vegetarian or vegan offerings so we can invite all our friends.
My friend had the Mexicali Blue salad which she pronounced delicious. I could tell; every last bit was gone by the end of the meal. I had their quiche of the day (ham and cheese) with a house salad. This was the big test, for I make a darned good quiche and I grow my own salad greens. The results? I’ll give the quiche an A- and the same for the salad. The quiche was, like most restaurant quiches, not quite as custard-y as I would like. It was flavorful in a soft, comforting way but there were no herbs to make me stop, close my eyes and say, “What is that in there?” That would have been nice. The crust was fluffy and in parts flaky. Good enough. But overall it was as tasty a quiche as I’ve ever had outside my own kitchen.
The house salad was a surprise. I normally avoid these things like the plague, as they are invariably made with iceberg lettuce (maybe with a bit of romaine tossed in to make it look “upscale”), flavorless tomato slices, lye-cured, canned black olives, unpeeled, tough and flavorless cucumber slices, and maybe some kind of pickled pepper. This salad, though, was made with the best greens most restaurants can get: a nice mesclun mix. The tomatoes were tiny grape tomatoes bursting with flavor, and the Italian salad dressing automatically came on the side so I could decide how much to use. It did have the unpeeled flavorless cucumbers in it, a few sliced, bland black olives and again, no exciting herb to perk it up. But it was miles and miles ahead of almost any other “house salad” that one finds in upstate New York.
My recommendation to the chef: go over to Samir’s and get a few scoops of their pitted Kalamata olives and slice those up for your salads. Just four or five slices (one olive) would go far in giving them a bit more interest. And surely someone must have more mint in their garden than they know what to do with… it is, after all, a pretty invasive weed. Throw in a few of the tender leaves and your customers will think they’d died and gone to heaven. This is, from April to October, a practically no-cost addition to an already very good salad.
We’ll be back for many more food adventures, including dessert. This time we drank water (excellent, free Syracuse water in a glass goblet), so we’ll have to try the coffees as well. There’s free wi-fi in there, so you’ll want to add this to your list of fun places to sit and get that online work done.
Sparky Town is located at 324 Burnet Ave in Syracuse. Notice: it is a destination restaurant. It has no great parking – just three spots in the back. As in real cities, you will park on the street and walk about a block or two at most. It is well worth it.
Monday – Thursday, 8 am – 3 pm
Friday – Saturday 8 am – 8 pm