When I was a kid, Taylor’s Refresher in St Helena was a local’s only roadside stand where you could get a 50-cent corn dog. Sadly Taylor’s was threatening to go the way of the dodo back in ’99 when, by the grace of god, Joel Gott and his brother, Duncan, rescued the joint and turned it into the now-famous and cash cow franchise, home of the $15 ahi burger. (You read that right, $15.) Here’s a snap of one along with some sweet potato fries I enjoyed last Christmas when I was visiting my parents.
Last week the Gotts made the decision, “for legal reasons,” to change the name to Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet. While I totally get them wanting their family name above the door, I hate it (the change that is, not the name). But more than that I am beside myself—like, throw myself into oncoming traffic on Hwy 29 upset—that they have done away with the Green Goddess aioli for the sweet potato fries, which has been replaced by ranch. RANCH! The loss is unbearable. But as another childhood favorite, Crystal Gayle, (and yes, you read that right, too) says, “You never want a sip of water, till the well runs dry. You never miss a real good thing, till he says ‘goodbye.’”