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Sweet Potato Fries (and a few other things) at Taylor's Refresher

For various reasons, I'd never tried Taylor's Refresher at the Ferry Building. Reports here are mixed, and folks say it is over priced. However, last night hubby and I needed a spot for a quick meal before a meeting at Sinbad's (well, we could have eaten during the meeting at Sinbad's, but beyond ordering a mai tai, I wasn't willing to go there....)

My first choice is always Hog Island, but hubby isn't that fond of oysters, and anyway, last time I was there I spent waayyy too much on the little sweet things, so we decided to try Taylor's Refresher. My cobb salad was decent but nothing to write home about, and while hubby polished off his ahi sandwhich he didn't have much to say, other than a sort of non-commital 'good' (my impression of it just based on its looks was that there were too many other things other than ahi in it). They were out of the advertised special mango shake, a pity since I would have liked to have tried it, and the root beer float was only average at best....

However, I'd go back: for the sweet potato fries! Yumm! I haven't noticed any mention of these in prior posts: am I the only one who really likes them, or did I just miss prior mentions? Anyway, they were thin, crisp, and very full of sweet potato flavor with just a bit of a chili powder kick and I Ioved them. Made the meal for me....

Total bill for the Ahi sandwhich, cobb salad, root beer float, fries, lemonade and tax was about $36. I didn't think it was all that pricey for the neighborhood....

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  1. I *LOVE* those fries, but then I'm a sucker for sweet potatoes in general. I agree about the price, not bad for the neighborhood. Plus, you get the view, which can be nice. The food's not exceptional, but its definitely more than decent. Don't think I'd ever order a salad there, though. Just seems like the kind of place to splurge on a burger, fries and shake!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chemchef

      True enough...not that a Cobb salad is exactly low calorie.. :-)

    2. Those sweet potato fries are definitely one of the best things at Taylor's. The burgers are fine, but a little too expensive, the Ahi burger was excellent when they opened, but they changed it and now it's not as good (and really expensive), and the garlic fries are sometimes excellent, and sometimes not good. The mini corn dogs are pretty tasty, though, and I was pretty satisfied with a grilled cheese and some chili on a rainy day a few months ago.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JasmineG

        I finally went to Taylor's a couple months ago for the first time -- a friend and I tried the ahi burger because it seemed like it was the thing to try, but I was sort of disappointed. It didn't seem to live up to whatever hype I had heard about it. I mean, it was fine, but I wasn't floored. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

        The sweet potato fries were tasty, but I found that eating just a few of them was plenty -- it's not one of those things I could just munch on endlessly. They give you a *lot* in that carton, too. Too much for even two of us, as my friend felt similarly about the fries.

        1. re: shortexact

          I'm thirding the ahi sentiment. The sauce made the bun soggy and it was a bit strange to eat white bread along with sushi-grade tuna. Not the best way to enjoy that fish, in my opinion.

          1. re: pockyjunkie

            It's like going to House of Prime Rib and ordering the chicken. Taylor's is basically a burger and fries joint. If you want Ahi tuna, there are lots of better places. If you want the best sweet potato fries though...

            1. re: pockyjunkie

              Exactly. I gues it's kind of a "novelty" thing, but weren't talking a quality ahi prep, which makes it not really worth the premium IMO. I guess it's OK once, but I doubt again.

        2. The SPF are one of the best things there. I've found that it's best to stick with the basics at Taylor's. The burgers are decent, the patty melt is good too for what it is. I think if you're going to what is basically a greasy-spoon diner those are the best bets. And they are certainly worth it.

          1. no one mentioned the espresso bean shake, either! and it's as good as the sweet potatoe fries (which i am a sucka for anywhere as they blow regular french fries out of the water (imho))>

            1 Reply
            1. re: Doodleboomer

              wow...I must have missed that one: after they told me mango was out, I just took a quick look before settling on a root beer float. Thanks for the mention, I will try that. I love espresso shakes. Probably a good thing I don't work nearby: espresso bean shake and an order (or two: I didn't think that the order was large) of sweet potato fries for lunch would be tooooo tempting on a regular basis. (even if I didn't bother to order a burger also :-))

              (by the way, I agree with those that say that it perhaps doesn't make sense to order a ahi sandwhich at a burger place. However, hubby is avoiding red meat, so it would have been nice if it were better).

            2. I usually get the Chinese Chicken Salad and nothing else. I think $36 for lunch for 2 at a burger joint is crazy expensive. I know, it's the Ferry Bldg., but still. That's nuts.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Atomica

                Well, yes, that's a lot, but husbandcinsf did order (by far) the most expensive item on the menu! Two people can get two burgers, split an order of the (let me fifth the sentiment) excellent SPF, and split a milkshake for a total of $25. Not much more than, say, Burger Joint.
                Or--going in a different direction that folks haven't mentioned--Taylors has a wide and reasonably priced selection of wine. A much more healthful (if less classic) pairing than a milkshake. (There's anecdotal evidence that red wine not only mitigates the harmful effects of saturated fat/cholesterol in general, but does so particularly when consumed at the same time! I cling to that anecdote!) In particular, given the Gott brothers' involvement in Taylors, you can usually get Joel Gott Zin by the glass at truly bargain prices ($6, if memory serves).

                1. re: readingstand

                  I compare it to the superior (to Burger Joint) Big Mouth Burgers, where you can get burgers, fries, and shakes for 2 (no splitting) and spend less than $20. Their burgers come with fries and Burger Joint's don't. And they have good beer on tap.

                2. re: Atomica

                  actually, it was dinner for two, and included what I call dessert (the root beer float, which had lots of ice cream). Given that we didn't order burgers, I don't think a comparison to Burger Joint makes sense for our particular meal.

                  A burger, fries and shake at Taylor's would be $13 ($6 for burger, $2 for fries, $5 for a real ice cream shake). It's a bit pricey, but not stratospheric. Of course, I haven't tried the burger or the shake, so can't say if they are worth it. and I would spend the extra $ or so for the sweet potato fries anyway...

                    1. re: susancinsf

                      Well, yes, it was precisely because you didn't order burgers, and because Atomica's comment concerned what's a sensible price for "lunch for 2 at a burger joint," that what I compared to Burger Joint was not your particular meal, but a hypothetical burgers-fries-and-shake meal. (Speaking of which, Taylor's shakes are quite good.)
                      As for Atomica's response, I've never tried Big Mouth, but now will have to (even though no one's yet claimed that beer fights bad cholesterol!)--thanks for the tip!