Spanish Street Farmacy got its start in 2018 when the Greens, members of Black River Electric Cooperative, approached Charlie Bertrand, who owns Spanish Street Mercantile and ran an ice cream shop where the Farmacy is now located. The former hardware store came with the tin ceiling and antique furnishings of a 1930s art deco soda fountain.
“We had been friends for several years before, then we approached him about renting his ice cream shop and ‘taking it to another level’ in his words,” Lance says. “He rented it to us and we started as an ice cream shop, then grew quickly into a farm-to-fork restaurant.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the business recently expanded into a fresh market where the same locally produced foods can be purchased. These include fresh vegetables, local meat, dry goods, artisanal bread made on-site and dairy products from grass-fed cows.
The offerings at the diner loosely fall into three categories: healthy eats, drinks and treats.
The healthy eats start with breakfast, where omelets are the star. You can build your own or opt for the Country Omelete which features whole pastured eggs, homemade sausage gravy, bacon, grilled onions and cheese. If you want lighter fare, go for the Veggie Omelete made with egg whites, fresh vegetables, greens and herbs.
“With the pasture-raised eggs, you can see a difference,” Lance says. “The yolks are bright yellow.”
Belgian waffles, made with organic whole-wheat flour and served with real maple syrup, are another popular morning option. The Blueberry Waffle features local blueberries and pecans and is topped with a scoop of the family’s ice cream. There’s also a Dark Chocolate Orange Waffle made with orange slices and cacao nibs covered with chocolate sauce and served with homemade ice cream. Blurring the line between meals is the Grilled Chicken and Waffle, pastured chicken with Asian-honey barbeque sauce and shredded coconut on a whole-wheat waffle.
Burgers shine for the lunch crowd. While they all start with one-third pound of locally raised, grass-fed beef and a homemade whole-wheat bun, what goes on top is what really sets these burgers apart from those served at other diners. The Barnyard, for example, is topped with bacon made from the Green family’s heritage hogs and an egg with the bright orange-yellow yoke only found from pastured chickens. The Field and Forest is topped with local mushrooms and a slice of Amish-made cheese.
For the truly adventurous consider the Orange Habanero Chicken sandwich. To their locally raised chicken, the Greens add an orange-habanero sauce, ginger peanut paste and toasted sesame seeds. Another unusual menu item is the Zucchini Chickpea. The namesake veggies are combined with onions, rainbow slaw and whipped goat cheese held together by eggs.
Daily Blue-Plate Specials add to the fun of visiting the unusual eatery. These range from meatloaf on Tuesday, a vegetarian dish on Wednesday, chicken on Thursday, fish on Friday and pasta Saturday. These might include a vegetarian Coconut Curry, Middle Eastern Style Chicken with chickpeas and fresh arugula or Baked Silverfin (Asian carp) croquettes with sour cream chive dip.
Check their Facebook page for details and for other seasonal offerings, including unusual soups.