Napa >NAPA General Store
Enjoy the ambience, don't eat.
I've wanted to try this place since I drove up Soscol and saw the cheery gardens and cool umbrellas waving to me from across the Napa River.
I love this newly revived section of downtown Napa anchored by the cozy Napa River Inn. Unfortunately, the Napa General Store is not going to be my new favorite outdoor waterfront lunch hang out and I really wanted it to be!
The storefront is adorable and would be a great place to buy cute foodie gifts or wine country tchotchke, but we were hungry and wanted to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful day and a great glass of wine. The restaurant inside was empty so we walked out onto the patio to find someone to seat us where we were literally chastised by a waitress who told us we needed to see the hostess at the front. We informed her that we didn't see a hostess or hostess stand inside and she told us we should have waited until someone turned up. Ummmm, rude. But ok, our bad. So we walked back in where there was still no one to be found and waited.
I think the man that ended up seating us was either the manager or the owner because he seemed embarrassed that there was no one there to seat us. He finally escorted us to a corner table with one of those cheery green umbrellas in the corner of the patio where we were surrounded by palm trees, gorgeous red rhododendron and verdant creeping vines that gave a feeling of seclusion while still allowing a peek at the river and the occasional cool breeze.
It took at least 5 minutes for our waitress to approach us and take drink orders. It took another 10 minutes for those drinks to come out and it was a pretty easy order. One glass of chardonnay, 2 waters and a sprite. We got our drinks but our waitress asked us if we could wait to order so she could tend to her other table and when she finally returned 10 minutes later we finally ordered. We ordered a cheese pizza for my girls to split and my mom and I both ordered a salad. 20 minutes later we received our food. We'd been there 40 minutes already and the girls had pretty much stuffed themselves on the free bread and butter that was put on the table.
The pizza had a lovely thin crust but not the mix of cheeses that allows a really good pizza to bind. The cheese pulled right off the pizza and was tough to bite through so that you ended up with one large piece of cheese in your mouth and then bare crust with sauce to finish.
I asked to have my Chinese Chicken Salad delivered with the dressing on the side, and to their credit they did deliver dressing on the side but they also delivered it on the salad. I didn't say I would like EXTRA dressing on the side. By this time I was too afraid to return for fear of not getting to eat until dinnertime so I tried to eat it, but the thin rectangular strips of chicken were grayish in color and the first piece I picked up had fat and gristle attached.
My mom ordered the Chopped Chicken Salad which had large cubes of chicken and large pieces of tomato and a really weak, watery dressing. Neither dish was appealing to look at and while my mom said her's tasted good, mine was inedible. It took us 20 more minutes to finally get our check and head out.
I'm bummed because it is the nicest patio in Napa other than Cafe Angele next door and I would have loved to have a more casual venue to go and sit and enjoy a nice outdoor lunch. Usually I would give a place with this nice of an ambience a second chance, but the service and food were so poor that I had to revoke their second chance card.
Pick up picnic essentials, shop for kitchen supplies or spend the afternoon on the sunny riverside patio..
This former feed store in the historic Napa Mill is a hodgepodge of sensual delights. In the open warehouse-like space, patrons browse kitchenware, books, knick knacks, sauces, spices and everything in-between. At the wine bar, oenophiles can taste a glass before buying the bottle, or splurge on a fine cigar. On the opposite wall, a row of food stations emit ambrosial smells. Sitting areas include indoor tables and a lovely sprawling patio overlooking the Napa River.
Just beyond displays stocked with olives, cheese and gourmet foods, individual stations are dedicated to sandwiches, salads, brick-oven pizza and coffee. Large build-your-own sandwiches are stacked on soft, fresh-baked bread. Salads range from standard Caesar to baby spinach tossed with Pancetta bacon, cool goat cheese, thinly sliced red onion and a zesty whole grain mustard vinaigrette. Creative wood-fired pizzas include a variety topped with cubes of roast chicken, red onion, Feta, cilantro and a bold chile ancho sauce that tickles the lips.
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