Went to check out Green Bean, the new breakfast/lunch spot in downtown Northampton that opened in the former Sparky's location. Very mixed review.
The new owners did a nice job with decor. It's a small space but comfortable. Wooden tables. Bench seating along the side walls. Pleasant lighting.
The menu is a bit odd for a breakfast place. Basically, all the eggs are mixed scrambles or sandwiches. No omelettes. No toast (but scrambles served instead with an scone.) The scrambles are mostly veggie & cheese but there was one with bacon mixed in. They are served with homefries. Any other meat is ala carte.
Food quality was good. My egg, cheddar, green onion, and mushroom, and bacon scramble ($7.50) was done right and tasty though a little stingy with the good quality bacon. Potatoes were small red skinned, not very well spiced but with just the right consistancy. The scone was just OK. A bit overpriced at $7.50. $5.75-6.50 would have been about right. Coffee was $2.25 for a bottomless cup. OK, but keep reading.
Service was a bit weird/off-putting: Its a sit down restaurant where the waitperson gives you the menu, takes the order, and brings the food to the table. Fine. The weirdness was that customers are required to go get their own coffee from one central coffee table. That's alot of up and down in a small restaurant. I made four trips to get 2 cups of coffee. There was one smallish dispenser and the first and third trips they were out of coffee so I had to go up two more times for my first cup & refill. I also had to wait while the people in front of me poured their coffee, put in their sugar and cream to taste, etc etc. Very inconvenient for a sit down restaurant. They need to either make the entire place self service or full sit down service. The way it is now is goofy and off-putting. Please, bring the coffee to the table! It's not that much to ask..and so much more pleasant for the customer! And, then how do I tip properly? Hmmm.
Bottomline: Kinda disappointing. About $12.50 for breakfast including tip. Overpriced for what you get and how its served. Green Bean should be a welcome addition to a town with too few decent breakfast places but it is miles behind Sylvester's in quality and value. Jake's is much better value. I'll give it another shot but right now I'd still rather wait the 45 minutes in line at Sylvester's than be seated right away at Green Bean.
Any other reports?