Sparky's in Northampton
Sparky's is a restaurant that started in brooklyn, expanded to Manhattan, and just opened a location in Northampton a couple months ago. They serve "not so fast food"--free range, grass-fed hot dogs and burgers, fries made with organic, local potatoes, and so on. I think it's a great concept, so I was happy to see that they're continuing to expand and decided to stop in for a bite last night.
I had a hot dog with kraut and mustard with fries because I like to keep a good dog simple, but they have lots of hot dog toppings available--chicago style, chili cheese dogs, and so on. Right now they're sourcing them from the same farm that supplies their NY branches, but the servers told me that they're working on developing relationships with more Western Mass farms and sourcing the dogs locally. I believe that the meats for the burgers is already local.
The hot dog itself was terrific, it had excellent flavor, nice snap, juicy and will prepared. The kraut was fresh and tasty. My only quibble was with the bun, which is very tasty and more of a "real" roll than you expect on a hot dog... which is exaclty the problem. The bun slightly overwhelms the dog, which is a shame since it's so good. It would be great if their bakery could produce slightly smaller rolls. The fries were quite good as well, although not quite crisp enough and a tad greasy--maybe the oil wasn't hot enough? it was very quiet when I visited, so maybe that was the problem.
I haven't tried the burgers and I'd be hesitant to, as the hot dogs are great and it takes skill to cook a good grass-fed burger, since the fat content is lower... either way though, I'm delighted to see them expanding and sourcing locally. it's a great boon for those of us who like junk food but also like to support good agricultural practices and eat healthier meat!
I'd been on a Sparky's hot dog kick for a couple of weeks, but I had a bacon cheeseburger last night and it was really great-- better than I had remembered from the first time around. They don't care how you want it cooked, so it ends up being pretty much medium-well, but it's a tasty burger.
Also: egg sandwiches. They have really good egg sandwiches for breakfast.
I was not, however, a fan of the grilled cheese and tomato soup.
(Yes, i do eat there all the time. I live *way too close* to Sparky's.)