My downtown friend Jack (I just wanted to name drop so you guys would know I have downtown friends and am very cool, urban, and trendy) recommended Sparkle's Hamburger Spot to me a couple weeks ago and guys I'll be honest I was a little skeptical. I was skeptical because he told me that they were the best burgers downtown, and I recently found out that Fuddrucker's has a Tunnel location, which means it's impossible for someone else to have the best burgers downtown. Still, it was worth checking out and I'll go ahead and ruin the surprise and let you know that Sparkle's Hamburger Spot is really freaking good.
The thing is their location is at 1515 Dowling and it's basically a shack. I mean if I hadn't specifically been looking for them I never would have stopped in, it looks like the sort of place you'd get mugged in. Don't be fooled, you can't actually go in, it's a walk-up window, so at the very worst you'd be mugged directly outside it. +8 That's OK, though: the costs they've cut by spending no money on the outside of their building are passed directly on to you, the consumer: you can get a hamburger there for four and a half dollars. Even Carl's Jr will charge you $6, guys: this is a bargain! +16! The patties on those things are approximately the size of a small solar system, though they will charge you a dollar for a cup of Kool-Aid (no I'm not joking they have Kool-Aid on their menu) which those of you who's parents saved Kool-Aid points when you were younger know is approximately the cost of six gallons of Kool-Aid.
I feel like there is so much to tell you about this place, it's impossible to even know where to go from here.
There's this fenced in bit next to the restaurant and the door to it was open when Thomas and I got there, so we slipped in; here's the thing, there's a sign that says "Please do not let the dog out, no matter what it tells you". There was no dog anywhere to be seen, just some pigeon that kept walking around and trying to eat my shoes!!! What do you think he said, the dog? "I was charged of a crime of which I'm innocent, this is unlawful incarceration?" "I think I left the iron on in my doghouse, if you'll just let me out I'll be right back I just need to check?" "I'll get rid of that pesky pigeon if you open the door?" "You can have free Kool-Aid if you let me out?" It's impossible to know, I don't even speak dog! -4 I'm just very worried about this dog guys, it's kind of a rough neighborhood and if he strays too far from downtown it just gets rougher!
And then the whole area was covered in Astroturf. I could actually only come up with two reasons for why this would be: 1. They really love the Astros, which is really silly to me sorry guys I haven't yet integrated into Houston culture THAT well I guess or 2. They were hoping to lure the dog into staying by pretending like he was hanging out in Discovery Green instead of the parking lot of a burger joint. (Though seriously what kind of dog DOESN'T prefer hamburgers to grass? Look I have limited experience with dogs I only have five of them but I think I know a thing or two.) Either way I just think it's a poor choice because the Astros suck and the dog is gone. Still it's sweet that they tried so I'm giving them a +11; it's only fair because I also give George W. Bush a +11 for trying.
Additionally. You know where I found out the address of this place after my downtown friend Jack tipped me off? Yelp. Here's the thing guys, I'm not too sure on Yelp. For one thing, it seems like it's just Arbitrary Criticism but it's a lot of different people incoherently complaining/incoherently praising restaurants instead of one person, me, Catherine Martin. I don't like that, obviously. If everybody could do this I wouldn't get paid so much (I'm just kidding guys I haven't made a dime off of this). More than that though, I read on the internet that once Yelp emailed all these restaurants and was like, "Hey, if you guys give us money, we'll take down all these negative things people have been saying about you." This was on the internet, so it must be true. Here's what else is now on the internet: Yelp! is the mafia of the interwebs! They're extorting restaurants! They're all a bunch of mobsters! I've been watching Goodfellas for the last three days (it's a long movie, guys!) so I know what I'm talking about! First step extorting restaurants, second step having a gun pointed at you by your wife, third step I don't know, I haven't finished watching it yet, plus I wouldn't spoil it for you guys anyway. -17 But I guess they have good information about addresses, and there was this gem: "Sometimes the girl who answer the phone is on her period so dont get offended." Love. It.
Anyways that's all I got for you guys if you see a dog running loose on the streets around Dowling Street don't call animal control call Sparkle's first.