Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A warm gun, covered in chili and cheese...

Happiness is a hot dog, covered in chili, cheese and onions, followed by an ice cream cone. That may not be how The Beatles wrote it, but I can attest to its accuracy.

Last Friday night, upon my arrival in Northampton, I decided to put an end to my hunger by trying the newest establishment on NoHo’s main street: Sparky’s. An import from New York City, Sparky’s brands itself as “All-American Food”, and with a full array of hotdogs, hamburgers, and French fries, it’s definitly hard to argue with that.

The NoHo version is tucked away on Main Street in a single thin room in a row of restaurants and shops. The seating is somewhat limited, and all on the left side of the restaurant, while the counter for ordering and the grill and fryers all occupy the right. The menu is quite extensive, giving you a number of options on a few American favorites.

I decided to get the #1, a hot dog covered in chili (no beans), white cheddar and onions. In addition to this, Jill and I decided to split an order of fries. I got the hotdog first as the fries were made fresh as I ordered them. Organic and all-beef, the hotdog was well seasoned and cooked nearly perfectly – the chili, cheddar and onion combination were a great addition as well, no one taste over powering the other.

The fries didn’t disappoint one bit – still hot from the fryer, they weren’t too greasy, but instead tasted fresh and were well complimented with Sparky’s homemade catsup (which Jill didn’t approve of – more for me), which had a nice tangy sweetness to it.

Not having the receipt handy, I can’t give you an exact price for the whole meal, but for a loaded hotdog, massive basket of fries, and a glass bottle of diet coke (the only device soda should be legally allowed to be served in) was under $10.00 – certainly worth the price.

Having the slightest bit of room left in our stomachs, Jill and I decided to venture down to Herrell’s, Northampton’s (and perhaps the country’s) most important ice creamery. Before there was Ben and Jerry’s, before there was Cold Stone, there was Steve Herrell. Herrell has been in the ice cream business for over thirty years, and his shop in NoHo is a constant reminder of why we all scream for ice cream.

After getting into the seemingly never ending line, we pondered our options, deciding to settle on something small. Jill got a grapefruit sorbet, which could have been straight from my grandfather’s old grapefruit tree in Miami. Incredibly flavorful and intensely tart, it would have gone great with sweet cream custard.

I opted to get a cone of the malted vanilla ice cream. If you’re a fan of malted anything, as I am, you can’t go wrong with this. Again, the flavor was intense and the texture was good and creamy, although a little harder than I usually like my ice cream.

By the end of the evening, stomachs were full and happiness was had. Another great night in Northampton bought for about $15 dollars collectively – not a bad price to pay to put a smile on my face.

Somewhere down Main Street. No website, but here’s a really nice NYT review of it’s NY sibling: Sparky's!

8 Old South Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
(In Thorne's Market, with a separate entrance on Old South Street.)
(413) 586-9700
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, Noon - 11:30 P.M. Friday and Saturday, Noon - Midnight. Closings are a little earlier during the cold season.


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