The immensely popular Taylor’s Automatic Refresher of St. Helena and San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza now has a third location, the Oxbow Market in the city of Napa. St. Helena is the original 1949 location of the once drive-in burger joint revitalized in 2000 by winemaker Joel Gott and brother Duncan. You have probably seen Joel Gott’s value priced wines at various wine shops. Both the St. Helena and the San Francisco locations are jammed around the lunch hour. You will see long lines at both locations but the lines move at a remarkable speed.
We decided to check out the Oxbow Market location for lunch last week. Early this year we posted a blog about the Oxbow Market and how deserted the place was shortly after its grand opening. The place is busier now, more merchants have moved in and the weather has improved. However, it was not bustling with tourists on a Thursday in mid March. For example, the newly opened Oxbow Wine Merchant had no more than 8 people roaming their vast wine store and tasting bar.
The newly opened Taylor’s Refresher is on the corner in one of the adjunct buildings to the main Oxbow Market facility. They too were doing an okay business but not the long lines you would find at the other two Taylor’s. At the height of the lunch hour, we were third in line and had a wide choice of where to sit both inside and outside.
It is remarkable how good the food tastes considering it is basically a fast food joint. Everything seems to be of high quality and burgers of various sorts fly off the shelf. The wine list is terrific with good choices for folks who want just a glass or a half-bottle. We shared a half-bottle of Chappellet Chenin Blanc, a great wine with the Chicken Club and the Fried Calamari. The wine is served in those fancy stemless Riedel glasses and that is a much better choice than a plastic glass. Almost everything else is served in plastic containers.
Taylor’s Refresher is a good choice when you want something that is good and very quick. Otherwise, try one of the fine eateries inside the Oxbow Public Market.
The Good: Very good menu choices, good wine list, speed of service remarkable.
The Bad: Plastic containers, the pour for the wine glass servings is too small.