Restaurants & Bars

Silverado CC, Napa & Taylor's Refresher, St Helen - Napa Road Trip Report #2

Chino Wayne | Apr 9, 200205:06 PM     6

The Chino Wayne’s checked in to the Silverado Country Club & Resort in Napa early Sunday evening. Ostensibly this road trip was for purposes of Mrs. Chino Wayne’s employers, and one of Mrs. Chino Wayne’s superiors, in his inimitable style, had remarked that Mrs. Chino Wayne should “enjoy her vacation”. “Vacation” then became the catch-word for the Chino Wayne’s for the duration of the road trip, and of course, never one to miss an opportunity to put it to Mrs. Chino Wayne’s wise-assed employers, Chino Wayne vowed that this would indeed be a pleasant, vacation-like experience for Mrs. Chino Wayne.

It was decided, after not too much deliberation, that since Mrs. Chino Wayne’s employers had so graciously provided a very nice suite, with living room, full kitchen, stocked mini-bar and separate large bedroom and bath, and large balcony over looking one of the resort pools, that Mrs. Chino Wayne really should not attend the cocktail-reception and after cocktail social activities of the business conference that evening, but rather unwind and relax and refresh herself after the arduous highway trip. Chino Wayne, ever accommodating to the Mrs., rationalized that the best course of action would be to agree with Mrs. Chino Wayne, and forgo The Liquid Diet while supporting Mrs. Chino Wayne’s efforts to relax.

So the Chino Wayne’s ordered room service. Room service prices being what they typically are, especially in a high-end wine and dinning Mecca like the Napa Valley, and ever vigilant to the corporate bottom line, Mrs. Chino Wayne ordered a steak sandwich and a Coke. Chino Wayne ordered clam chowder, a club sandwich, and one bottle of club soda.

The steak sandwich was comprised of a very nice New York strip on a baguette with lettuce, tomato and thin sliced Bermuda onion, accompanied by coleslaw and onion rings. While as is her wont, Mrs. Chino Wayne ordered her steak well done, the ever vigilant chef actually broiled the steak medium, thus guarantying Chino Wayne the cast off pink portion of the steak sandwich. Mrs. Chino Wayne enjoyed the portion of her steak sandwich that she did consume (a good 2/3 of the entire sandwich), and Chino Wayne thoroughly enjoyed his charred and pink portion, although by the time he could get his mitts on it, the bread had been made slightly soggy by the coleslaw, but ever the 'hound, Chino Wayne proceeded to demolish it all. Mrs. Chino Wayne pronounced the onion rings as quite good.

Chino Wayne’s portion of clam chowder came in a large plastic carafe, the kind typically used to keep coffee hot. At $9.00 it was advertised as enough for two people, but cleverly, Chino Wayne knew when he ordered the soup, that clam chowder would not be appealing to Mrs. Chino Wayne’s tastes, so Chino Wayne enjoyed about three cereal bowls of some very nice New England style clam chowder. The clams were actually very tasty, and had a good consistency, much different than the usual rubbery clams Chino Wayne is used to encountering in soup bowls. Instead of cubed potatoes, the soup had julienne red potatoes, which while different, were very nice and tender, with a nice mouth feel. In the last bowl Chino Wayne did encounter some grit, and presumed that it was in the last bowl because of a decant ring effect from the carafe. Whether it was a faux pas of the kitchen or not, did not concern Chino Wayne, in his mind the presence of a little grit at the end lent the dish a sort of authenticity, as being not too far from the sands on the shore.

The club sandwich was unremarkable. A typical club of turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato on toast. By the time the sandwich had arrived, and after waiting under the stainless plate cover while Chino Wayne consumed his soup, and steak sandwich portion, the club toast was beginning to limp. Chino Wayne, a veteran of some ill repute, would never hold it against any limps gained in service to mankind, so did consume all of the sandwich.

Since Mrs. Chino Wayne is not on The Liquid Diet, she commandeered the two chocolates that came with the order, and Chino Wayne retired from the field with his bottle of Arrowhead water. The total tab for this room service extravaganza was $48.00.

On Monday morning, Mrs. Chino Wayne arose early and went to perform her duties at the business conference. Chino Wayne slept in, and after arising and preparing for the day, consumed a double dose of The Liquid Diet. Unfortunately, in his haste, while packing for this road trip, Chino Wayne had put some of the nasty vanilla flavored diet packets in his supplies. Not realizing that his drink this morning was going to be vanilla instead of chocolate, until after he had opened the packets, and then, after becoming aware of the dreaded aroma, read the packet labels. Not one to waste The Liquid Diet mix, Chino Wayne, ever the campaigner on the road, did in fact mix water with the diet mix and gave it all a vigorous shake in his mix shaker and consumed his ration. So it cannot be said that Chino Wayne was so craven as to entirely forsake The Liquid Diet while on this road trip.

Upon her return shortly after noon from the business conference, Mrs. Chino Wayne agreed to accompany Chino Wayne on a ‘hound reconnaissance of the local environs. The Chino Wayne’s and their ever trusty Ms. Heather headed north on California 29 out of Napa on a mission to scout out and validate the reports that Chino Wayne had for Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena. Taylor’s refresher is a roadside hamburger stand. Founded in 1949, you would think that it had only been there for a short time, since it is a very well kept, clean establishment with a fresh coat of white paint. Customers order at one window, and then when their name is announced on the PA system, pick-up from another window. There are picnic tables in the sun in front, counter tops and stools under the patio, and picnic tables, many with umbrellas, scattered in a grassy area, surrounded by mature trees in the back.

Mrs. Chino Wayne ordered a chili cheese dog, fries and a Coke. Chino Wayne ordered a double bacon cheese burger, rings and a cherry Coke. Chino Wayne agonized over his drink decision because the only diet drink, besides Calistoga water, was that nasty Diet Coke. Ever mindful that he is not supposed to ever have any sugar, Chino Wayne reluctantly ordered a medium cherry Coke, passing on the eclectic milk shake selection. Chino Wayne did invite Mrs. Chino Wayne to order a milk shake, since Taylor’s does have a reputation for excellent milk shakes, but Mrs. Chino Wayne, demurred, in the subsequently, it was realized, mistaken belief that the ice cream in the milk shake would not “agree” with her, especially at the evening cocktail/dinner reception at the business conference that she was not going to be able to duck out on.

Mrs. Chino Wayne’s dog was about a quarter pounder, and that part of it that Chino Wayne could discern under the chili and cheese resembled a skinless Hebrew National Dinner Frank. Unfortunately Mrs. Chino Wayne liked the dog very much, and not a morsel was offered up by Mrs. Chino Wayne to her provider. The fries were typical fast food, Chino Wayne was able to snag a few, but pronounced them just average. They were cut the size that McDonald’s fries are, and seemed to have been twice fried, because on their edges they had a slight browning. Chino Wayne really does not care for these type of fries, and does not recommend them.

Chino Wayne’s double bacon cheeseburger was excellent. Each patty seemed to be about a quarter of a pound, and they were grilled to medium perfection on a fire grill, not a greasy griddle. The patties came enclosed in a very yellow egg bun that appeared to be handcrafted, and which added to the whole burger experience. Also enclosed between bun halves were whole pieces of lettuce leaves (not shredded) tomatoes, bred and butter pickle chips, and a light swab of thousand island like dressing. The whole package was hot and oozing juices , resulting in two stains on Chino Wayne’s shirt. (Not to worry though, Chino Wayne had the foresight to wear a black polo shirt, knowing from long and hard won experience, that black shirts do the best job of hiding food stains.) This burger was indeed very good, better than many burgers encountered in sit-down restaurants.

The onion rings accompanying Chino Wayne’s burger were thick sliced with a beer batter type of batter. Normally Chino Wayne does not care for beer batter coatings, but this one was very light, and did not compromise the onion taste. So all rings were consumed.

Chino Wayne, ever mindful of his responsibilities to The Liquid Diet, and his prohibition against sugar, only consumed about half of the cherry Coke, which was suitably cherry tasting.

Also on the menu were garlic fries, served with garlic and parsley. While Chino Wayne did want to try that local rendition of fries, he could not talk Mrs. Chino Wayne in to ordering them instead of the plain fries, Mrs. Chino Wayne being primarily a basic hot dog-hamburger type of person, garlic fries were just too avant-garde for her. So there now remain two reasons for Chino Wayne to return to Taylor’s Refresher, to try the fries and a shake, and get another double bacon cheeseburger.

Interestingly, this roadside hamburger stand, with no inside seating also serves beer and wine (this is after all the Wine Country). With bottled beers and a local ale on tap. Chino Wayne also reports that the unisex restroom at this establishment was impeccably clean. All in all, Chino Wayne gives Taylor’s Refreshment very high marks for the food, the cleanliness and the overall relaxed ambiance “on the green”. This was $22.00 well spent, and the food was good fortification for the subsequent wine tastings that afternoon.

Silverado Country Club & Resort
1600 Atlas Peak Road
Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 257-0200

Taylor's Refresher
933 Main St
St Helena, CA 94574-2010
Phone: (707) 963-3486

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