On Sept. 30, Gott’s roadside, a new burger joint from the renowned gourmet chain based in St. Helena, opened in Town and Country Village. The branch started out as a burger stand in St. Helena, California, and is now making its mark on Palo Alto. The Palo Alto branch is the restaurant’s fourth opening and signifies its branching out across the Bay Area. Unadorned and clean decoration marks Gott’s dedication to the simple pleasure of a good burger. There are no gimmicks, what you see is what you get, and despite its less than humble origins in the Napa Valley, Gott’s provides a decent take on the classic American burger. It is one of those rare finds that, while bland in some spots, has the potential to be a truly great burger joint with time and patience.
Sweet Potato Fries
Menu Description: Chili spice-dusted and served with house-made ranch.
While most of the sides served at Gott’s are like those you’d find at any other burger joint, the sweet potato fries, which were sweet and crunchy, impressed with both their bold flavors and crispy coating. The fries were handmade, thinly cut and sprinkled with a garlicky seasoning reminiscent of chili powder and served with a special ranch sauce. The ranch sauce, the highlight of the entire meal, had a tangy and sweet flavor that one can only assume was truly house-made, and not just falsely labeled as such. The fries are addicting to say the least and sharing is certainly not an option. If you’re with a group order two, or maybe even three, servings to keep everybody happy. The sweet potato fries are a delectable starter and a must for any new Gott’s patron.
Menu Description: Thick and battered. Lightly salted.
While the sweet potato fries offered a delightful take on the modern diner classic, the onion rings were less impressive. Despite the satisfying crunch, they lacked a depth of flavor, relying solely on an overbearing presence of salt to carry the dish. Regardless of this, the onion rings were perfectly cooked, remaining delectably crispy on the outside while the onion within was neither raw nor overcooked. Despite this, the onion rings brought nothing to the table that can’t be found at your average fast food chain restaurant. At best, they were ordinary and certainly not worth the money especially for its small portion size.
Menu Description: Organic spring mix and spinach tossed with avocado, radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds and lemon-dijon vinaigrette
Unlike many other typical burger joints, Gott’s provides veggie options for its customers. The Spring Salad at Gott’s, while acceptable in taste and seasoning, lacked the punch and flavor to make it a truly remarkable starter. One of the main components to making a good salad is an even balance between the vegetables and the dressing. Gott’s had an unbalanced salad, with 90 percent of the plate consisting of the mixed greens and 10 percent of it sorely lacking in dressing. The avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds were a nice touch, giving the salad texture, but besides that, the plate was under-seasoned and standard. The dressing provided a tangy and acidic lemon flavor but unfortunately was masked by the overwhelming amount of greens making the dish an overall disappointment.
Menu Description: American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and secret sauce on a toasted egg bun
At Gott’s, while the classic cheeseburger boasted simplicity, the simplicity overtook the freshness and what was left was an average burger at best. The improperly cooked patty failed to dodge dryness, the meat was completely devoid of moistness and the flavors of the patty itself, overly salted. The lettuce and pickles were crisp enough to add some much desired brightness, but the burger’s “secret sauce” while secret, turned out to be anything but special or unique, with its flavor being practically nonexistent. The highlight of the cheeseburger was the soft and fluffy toasted egg bun, giving the cheeseburger some semblance of memorability.