A passion for food + fashion

R.I.P. Taylor’s Refresher

In Food, Out of Town on March 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

taylor's refresher via kristen&joe

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traffic on Hwy 29 upset—that they have done away with the Green Goddess aioli for the sweet potato fries, which has been replaced by ranch.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.'”

  1. No more garlicky green goddess dressing??? I sniffed that sauce out like a bloodhound when I was pregnant in SF. This is definitely a tragedy of epic proportions. Ranch dressing just seems so pedestrian in comparison. I am sorry. Deeply.

  2. You scared me! I thought the whole things was closing when I read the headline. The loss of the green goddess is large but at least you can still get the mini corn dogs and ahi burgers served with a nice beer or wine on that lovely back patio.

  3. Wow what a big bummer, I will eat there again but I tend to patronize the one @ Oxbow because its much closer. Ranch, I hate Ranch…progress. I hope the fish tacos stay the same Tman

  4. Foodinista, Chris Cowles and I went to high school with Duncan. 20 year reunion coming up! Go Padres!!

  5. And Duncan is married to my high-school friend, Missy. Tis a small world indeed!

  6. I am just happy that my grandkids (besides me and my kids) will ALWAYS call it Taylors, no matter what the Gotts call it. It will take at least another generation to get the new name going. I didn’t kinow that they had anything else but an Ahi burger.

  7. I have never been, but definately will not because I can’t stand Ranch Dressing! Anyplace that will take off Green goddess Aioli, for Ranch Dressing, is not thinking the way of an establishment I’d like!

  8. I just found your post after trying to search for the new name of “Taylor’s Refresher”. I totally agree with you. I was dismayed when I went there and saw that the name had been changed to Gott’s. Not a very appealing name for an eatery. Doesn’t even make my mouth water! Anyhoo…I may try it again one day on my next spa day in Napa.


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