St. Helena, CA Visited: November, 2006 - Lunch (and numerous previous visits)
We have eaten at Taylor's Automatic Refresher more than thirty times, mostly at their original Saint Helena location. It started with a love for their Double Rainbow chocolate shakes. Line-ups at this popular St. Helena spot can be daunting, but if you can get a parking spot you'll get served faster than you think.
One of the special things about Taylor's is that it is a burger joint where you can also order some decent wine. As Winemaker Joel Gott owns the place, the wine list is small but always has a drinkable choice. Wine is available by the glass, half bottle, or bottle. Corkage is only $5; so you can go from tasting room directly to lunch. Taylor's also has a small but nice selection of draft beer. I tried Lagunitas Freak Out Ale this visit and really liked it with the burger.
Chocolate Shake Double Rainbow Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream makes this the best shake around (outside your home). You can re-create it at home with Ultra Chocolate ice cream and milk stirred slowly until combined. Yum. No chocolate syrup in this shake unless you ask for it - and why would you? Hard to get Trent to relinquish it.
Fast food. But all natural hormone-free California beef. Often cooked a little too pink for my taste so I order well-done. The secret sauce pairs wonderfully with the egg bun and tomato, lettuce and pickles. Great also as a cheeseburger but upgrade it with Swiss, Cheddar or Jack.
Regular Fries/Garlic Fries/Onion Rings
We have always found their regular fries to be be crispy but have no potato-like taste. They recently switched to a non-PHO oil, so we will try them again to see if their flavor has improved. Their garlic fries are great (the same fries toasted in garlic butter and parsley - rife with tiny chunks of garlic) but avoid on a first date. The onions rings are a pass. They sound great but don't make my grade.
Sweet Potato Fries
The problem is that I have an addiction to their sweet potato fries. Dusted in chili spice, they are crispy and savory and everything that I desire in a sweet potato fry. Served with a side of ranch dressing - if you don't get it ask for it.
Good. Served in Soft corn tortillas which are a prominent element in the flavor. They are also on the spicy side (the fish itself). These were ordered sans the cilantro-jalepeno sour cream which usually is on them.
Pretty good. Order it with Cheddar, Jack or Swiss. (A pretty boring choice. - Jack)
Other things we order and like:
Miss Kentucky - It's almost too over-the top make-you-sick good. But good none-the-less.
Ahi Burger - Jack's favorite. He orders it without the wasabi mayo but it's a great choice either way.
Pulled Pork Roll - A seasonal offering that Jack really enjoys.
Seasonal Salad - Jack has had this as his meal a half-dozen times and will continue to order it. Fresh and always good.
Taylor's always has daily specials. Almost always they are great choices. However, if you like chocolate never order a shake other than chocolate - otherwise you are on your own.
Soups are often very good.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.