Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cracker Barrel, Next Exit!!!

An American Interstate Tradition
Cindy and I have traveled extensively in the United States since we first met.  On our first trip together by car, I quickly discovered that she had a preference in eateries on the interstate---Cracker Barrel.
Have a rockin' good time on the front porch
Oh, of course we have eaten at establishments as varied as Waffle House and high-end restaurants; but day in and day out, we find that Cracker Barrel rules when it comes to consistently high quality, moderately priced meals that are predictably uniform state to state.  The service is generally fast and friendly.  Specializing in "southern comfort food", the chain operates in 41 states out of 591 locations.

Billing itself as "Cracker Barrel Old General Store", each facility is a combination general store with restaurant.  The store part specializes in knick-knacks, assorted crafts, canned goods and whatnot that mostly appeals to women. 
The country store is a magnet for women
As a guy, I can tell you that while Cindy is moseying all over the store, touching and feeling all their wares, I just want to eat and get away from the spicey smells of the store, which obviously acts as a magnet on the female of the human species.  Whatever.
The hearth and surrounding walls feature memorabilia
Oh---one other not insignificant thing---their restrooms are usually clean and nice---not a small consideration after having been in the saddle for hours.
As you await your order, play this little game
But let's get to the point, shall we?---the food.  They have a menu that is the same in Kentucky as it is in Illinois and Louisiana.  After you've been there a time or three, you know what you want.  Cindy can not only recite the Twenty-Third Psalm, she also knows the Cracker Barrel menu by heart.  In fact, there have been times she has corrected our waitperson on the contents of our order....."You forgot the grits", and "We were supposed to get gravy with the chicken fried chicken."  It's fun to watch.
What a way to start the day---Uncle Herschel's Favorite
We have pretty much decided on our standard breakfast of Uncle Herschel's Favorite for me (two fried eggs, grits ((yes---I like 'em)), buttermilk biscuits, preserves, hashbrown casserole and fried ham or chicken with gravy); and for her, the Sunrise Sampler (two eggs scrambled, grits with sawmill gravy, apple butter, fried apples and hashbrown casserole, and a sampling of bacon, country ham and smoked sausage).
Cindy's Chicken and Dumplings
Yes, my friends, after you've washed that down with two mugs of hot java, you're in no condition to be driving.  However, we hit the road anyway and pray that we can remain conscious until day's end, when we will probably look for another CB near our hotel.
My Chicken Fried Chicken
Dinner at the Barrel consists of chicken and dumplings for her and chicken fried chicken for moi.  Believe me, by the time you've downed the meat and the sides with cornbread, you are ready to crawl into bed. 

Tomorrow is another day.


  1. A blog about my beloved Cracker Barrel! When I fly to Tennessee, my family picks me up at the airport and we head straight to the Cracker Barrel.

    Can you believe we have no Cracker Barrels nearby in Plano, TX? Sigh.

  2. "Oh yes I'll have one each".
    Can you guess what it is?

  3. Oh my gosh I AM STARVING NOW!!!!!!!! STOP IT!

    Consistency is SO important when it comes to the chains! I agree!

    Also, my husband's Aunt loves that they offer books on tape for those long road trips, that you can then return to your local CB!

    They do it right! You should send this post to them! :)