Sparky's is Over Medium

March 10 2005 - 6:55 PM

ChiburgerA “lunchcounter” could, these days, be misconstrewed as the diet crazy. It’s a shame nobody has revived them ala Starbucks… or maybe it’s better they didn’t.

If you head west from the lake on Oakton you drive past McCormick and industry until, a beacon to bellies, Sparky’s appears. It’s not much of a sight. A chameleon on the industrial inflables stretch that includes masons, auto-related shops and other unknown buildings ostensibly packed with industrial equipment and electrical from the 70’s.

On what McDonald’s would call a “rooftop banner” they advertise that they serve breakfast and lunch. It’s a small place with a nifty curving counter and stools that are just close enough. They have a multi-milkshake gizmo from the 60’s and, damn right, it’s better than mine…

Several letterboard menus are on the wall and a chalkboard advertising the daily special. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot for locals. It’s not much more than that.

BUT. It has been around for over forty years and not much has changed.

I have changed.

I have stopped ordering eggs over-medium at places like the “Diner” on Devon and Clark for example or Pauline’s, because I just can’t deal with runny whites. I also don’t like to send things back. Especially things that are already the consistency of… well. OK. Let’s just say I stopped ordering the Eggs Benedict for the same reason. (Except for Zephyr (go figure) and a few others)

I ordered it at Sparky’s. It showed up looking like trouble. When I have emphasised “over medium-whites cooked please” I usually get a mostly done yolk. This wasn’t the case. This looked under-done. I was steeling myself to eat this one in either case… but no worries.

This was EXACTLY what I wanted. I definitely don’t consider the short order to be any mean feat unless you’re serving dozens of people for hours straight which is a kind of a modern mythological task. But it seems we’re getting to a day and age where eggs over-medium is unattainable, unless you’re paying to hear about them.

My dining buddy had the steak and eggs to which he expressed surprise that he had to chew less than he thought. The volume of food was geared towards people who hinchables worked for a living and they had maybe 3 other guests while we ate at 10:30. I expect it was exactly in between their breakfast and lunch rushes.
They are open until 2 on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

The locals may not have all the choices of the food court but they’re not suffering from what they do have. It’s worth the drive if for no other reason than to benchmark your local diner. Most of the north-sider popular spots just DON’T cut it. The owners are friendly, they let me take some pix, and I was surprised to overhear a waitress wax nostalgic about her first dropped plate. It sounded like it may not have happened again anytime recently.

Sparky’s is medium well.

3624 Oakton