Taylor's Automatic Refresher
933 Main Street, Saint Helena, CA, USA
www.taylorsrefresher.com - 707-963-3486
Taylor's Automatic Refresher Saint Helena Reviews
Ahi Burgers! Food Network Feature May 10, 2008
Another place featured by Guy Fieri on the Food Network's, Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives is Taylor's Refresher in Saint Helena, just up from Napa. I figured this would be the perfect place to end our sightseeing trip up in the wine country area as I've been dying to try their burgers. They are known for the Ahi Steak burgers - sushi grade ahi brought in from San Francisco every day, seared rare (that is the only way they serve it as it would completely ruin the flavor otherwise).
So, after a number of wrong turns trying to short cut through the windy roads between Santa Rosa and Calistoga we made it! This is also another place that is known for their long lines so I passed the menu around the car so everyone knew what they wanted and we weren't standing there like dorks! Of course, I knew I was getting the ahi burger, no need to look at the menu, right? Wrong....LOL.
They have a huge parking lot and nice picnic area out behind the restaurant and it was a perfect evening to sit out. There were only a couple people in line ahead of us and I went to order and he said they were out of the ahi burger!!! WHAT?!?!?! I've been waiting for weeks to try this and I am here now and you are WHAT?!?! Yeah, sorry, out today....then the salt in the wound came. They just ran about about 10 minutes ago!!!! The snickering that came from my parents behind me was hilarious (of course not to me at that moment though) as Mom pointed out had I not made those two wrong turns trying to find the petrified forest on a last minute whim (which ended up being closed by the time we finally found it), I would've had my ahi burger. (See what no plans cost me OldSchool!! HAHA)
So, now I am the one who doesn't know what they want and we have to let people go ahead of us while I scramble to pick one of the burgers. Oh the irony! Of course, I am not a big burger lover so I was rather disappointed to be eating some cow versus the ahi! :-( I ended up going with their Western Bacon Blue Ring burger which is topped with an onion ring with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, pickles, red onion, and bbq sauce on a toasted bun ($8.99). One note,their ahi burger is not inexpensive ($13.99) but given that it's sushi grade fish, I am not surprised.
So anyways, I opt for the garlic fries as well since I can never pass them up - theirs are tossed in garlic butter ($3.99) and parsley and they actually look green! And unlike some garlic fries, you definitely cannot accuse these of lacking in garlic! Whoooo Weeee.
My parents both ate ordered the Wisconsin Sourdough Burger which had grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheddar cheese, mayo, and bbq sauce on grilled sourdough ($8.99) and they each got an order of onion rings which are battered with local microbrew Anchor Steam beer ($3.99) and a regular order of fries ($1.99). I noted sweet potato and chili cheese fries on the menu too.
I was surprised to see beer on the drink list so we ordered a couple local microbrews ($4.50 each). Now that I am writing the review this seems obviously clear but at the time it didn't. It hit me then......the total for 4 people was $68.83!!! FOR BURGERS??!?!? I was still replaying that number over and over in my head as he's rereading the order and I am looking at them to verify this is right while I try to keep from passing out! LOL.
We went and sat in the picnic area behind and our food was out in no time. Thank heaven as my Mom practically needed the garlic to revive me! The food ended up being excellent and although I didn't get my ahi burger, I will say that blue cheese burger was heavenly. And the garlic fries, well, let's just say that not even the dogs would still come near me the next day! But they were good!!!! The onion rings are the best I've found since leaving Vegas and the beer battered ones from the Crown and Anchor pub. I can't stand breaded onion rings and often beer battered ones fall quite short of the mark.
So, although this was the most I've spent on a burger outing, it was definitely worth it! And obviously I have to go back and will update my review when I finally get my coveted ahi burger with ginger wasabi mayo and asian slaw...mmmmm.
UPDATE: Went back on Oct 11, 2008 - OMG....I got my long awaited Ahi Burger! I had to stand in a line of at least 50 people first but it was definitely worth it! The burger is a thick Ahi steak cooked RARE (fyi, they will not serve it any other way- this is a sushi grade of fish, it would be ruined by any more heat than searing) and the giner wasabi mayo and slaw were perfect compliments to an excellent cut of fish.
My friend Gavin opted for their regular hamburger and chili fries. Both looked really good (I admit I stole a fry or two...ha ha) - they must have been good as Gavin inhaled them in seconds! LOL
They are also known for their shakes so I decided to try their featured one of the day - Pumpkin. I love pumpkin everything so although it didn't quite go with the burger, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Again, it was not an inexpensive trip - my total bill was $21 for the Ahi burger and the pumpkin shake. YIKES! But guarantee, I will be back again!
Part of the Going Back to Cali....Northern California Style travel blog
Part of the list Guy Fieri: Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives
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