THE TOTALLY-WORTH-IT QUEUE: Any person who ventures out and about in the world, to try talked-about restaurants, attend cultural events, or go to a game, understands that they're likely to encounter a queue. A long line, while slightly frustrating at first -- you want to get into the gallery/stadium/bakery faster -- is, of course, a sign that whatever is inside is sought after and appealing. So when you toodle out for a Sunday drive, through Napa Valley, and you see the impressive queue of burger buffs at around 12:45 outside Gott's Roadside in St. Helena, you get it: This is an edible of note. And so it is, whether that burger is Western Bacon Blue Ring -- hello, Point Reyes crumbled blue cheese -- or the super savory Texas Avocado Burger. Would you queue up for either kapow-packing patty? Of course. Would you also be open to heading across the street from the sweet stand, to Merryvale Vineyards, and parking yourself on the Merryvale porch as you wait for a Burger Butler to pick up and deliver your Gott's order, straight to your patio table? Wait. Is that even a thing?
IT IS SO VERY MUCH A THING... as of April 15. Merryvale Vineyards is introducing its Burger Butler program, and it works like this: Grab some space at the St. Helena winery, in the pretty patio area, and put your sandwich order in with the on-hand butler. You can go for whatever burger you choose and some onion rings or fries or both to round it out. The butler hightails it across Main Street, to Gotts, and picks up your posh patty while you chillax and tour the winery while you ponder which Merryvale wine you'll sip alongside your Ahi Burger or Patty Melt. Merryvale will present a trio of vinos to choose from ("two of which will be barrel tastings not yet released") and you're welcome to take that glass of wine on your winery stroll. Cost? It's $65 per person. Do you need to reserve a spot prior to making for Merryvale? You do. Should you have at least two people in your reservation? You should. Does the $65 cover your sandwich and fries? It does. Will you miss the Gott's queue as you sip your Merryvale wine just steps away from the stand, across the street? Well... Some queues are acceptable in this world, when the food quality is high, the craft beer is cold, and the sun glimmers softly upon the picnic tables. We say going Gott's, or going Gott's with a Merryvale twist, makes everyone a weekend winner.