Cracker Barrel

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by Ken Anderson, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I won't name a particular Cracker Barrel restaurant because I have been to dozens of them and they are all pretty much the same. While I prefer mom and pop diners and independent restaurants to chains when I am traveling, my wife like to know what she is going to get, and Cracker Barrel serves that purpose pretty well. Whereas some of the genuine mom and pop choices that I have made along the way have been atrocious, Cracker Barrel will probably satisfy.

    There is a very good menu, which I believe to be standard throughout the chain, as I know that there is no problem getting grits in a Cracker Barrel in Maine. Prices are a little high perhaps, but not at all outrageous, and I have never been disappointed in the quality of a meal that I have received at Cracker Barrel.

    The atmosphere is an admittedly fake, yet somehow effective, down home feel, and in order to get to the restaurant you have to walk through their store, which consists mostly of faux antique or retro gift and home decor items, more than a few of which I have taken home with me. They probably make as much money on that stuff as they do the restaurant.

    When traveling, Cracker Barrel is a safe stop.
     
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  2. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    Love their Chicken Fried Steak dinner and iced tea. Nothing is left on my plate! Wife really likes their Side of apples. A lot of the d├ęcor I know what it is.........oooops, showing my age and where I was raised (farming). Their store is something else, with so much old dvd's and music cd's they sell. Looks like the restaurant attracts a lot of Baby Boomers and older, which is ok for some, but not others. We like eating there.
     
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  3. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Supreme Member
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    We rarely eat out anywhere. We have been to Cracker Barrel a couple of times but it's probably been15 years since we went there. The best I remember the food was pretty good.
     
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  4. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Supreme Member
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    We have a Cracker barrel right down the road and i like it. On a Sunday it is just packed and you have to wait awhile for a seat. I like the hash brown casserole and usually will order from the breakfast menu. I have had mixed experience in eating at this restaurant, the food is usually pretty decent, occasionally we have an off meal or poor service. I usually order the poor by breakfast and my only complaint since i get the steak medium rare is that the juice runs into the eggs and there are to many plates of stuff. Not a fan of the saw mill gravy. I do like the grits and am glad they serve them, up here in the north the only other chain that serves grits is Bob Evans.

    In my opinion I tink it is the little store that makes the experience special, Although I love the little bottles of syrup and blueberry compote they give you. My next favorite thing is that they sell the large Tootsie Rolls, they are fresh and still soft- such a treat!
     
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  5. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Veteran Member
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    :oops:Here in Hawaii all we get is the commercial of Cracker Barrel and the commercial looks great. Big portions, looks satisfying and favorite foods that sticks to the ribs home cooking. I wish we had a Cracker Barrel in Hawaii. Sometimes I see commercials like Cracker Barrel and hope they come to Hawaii especially when people like it! Thanks for the info.
     
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  6. Maggie Mae

    Maggie Mae Veteran Member
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    We have eaten there a few times. Nothing memorable for either of as far as the menu goes. It's very noisy and that is an issue and being forced to enter through all that merchandise is kind of annoying. But with that said .. it is a fun atmosphere and there is a lot of stuff to look at on the walls !
     
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  7. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I've eaten at a Cracker Barrel maybe twice in my life. They've never been very close to where I've lived. In some regions of my state, they are clustered together within a few miles of each other. Then there are vast swaths of counties with no C.B.in sight.

    They have some die-hard fans, according to the internet. From 1977 to 2017 (40 years), married couple Ray and Wilma Yoder drove a combined total of more than 5,000,000 miles (340 miles per day/125,000 per year) to visit 644 Cracker Barrel locations. When the company opened their 645th restaurant, in Tualatin, Oregon in August 2017 (on Ray's 81st birthday), it flew the Yoders out for the grand opening and presented them with custom aprons and rocking chairs, among other gifts.

    Ten years ago, the company licensed their name to Smithfield Foods in order to break into the retail food market...they sold Cracker Barrel brand meats. Kraft immediately sued them because of Kraft's long-standing use of the Cracker Barrel name on their cheeses in that market. Kraft prevailed.

    (Personally, I prefer Bob Evans over Cracker Barrel.)
     
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  8. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I like Cracker Barrel breakfasts. We have seldom eaten there for lunch or dinner. I recall back in the early 90's we moved from TX to the Baton Rouge area, where the Cracker Barrel stores were like 7-11s. Convenience stores on every corner! So it was confusing to tell someone to look for Cracker Barrel in those days. My husband made that mistake when giving his brother directions to our house, which did not end well.

    ETA--looks like the Cracker Barrel convenience stores were sold to Circle-K in 2016.

    "Cracker Barrel was founded in 1968 with the establishment of a single convenience store in Baton Rouge. Over the next nearly 50 years, the company grew to 53 stores primarily serving the Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La. markets.

    Cracker Barrel is leaving the convenience store scene with the sale of its 53 sites to Circle K Stores Inc., a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc."

    08/28/2016
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    We have a Cracker Barrel not too far away from us, and we drive past it on our way to the fitness center. It always seems to have a full parking lot every day; so it must be popular.
    If we go out for breakfast, we usually go to the IHOP, which is just past the Cracker Barrel. It is quieter than CB, the service is good, and we like the food better at IHOP, too.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I could not find how many are in Virginia. Their website does not do a search at the state level, and when I did a general web search I found a site that said "There are 223 Cracker Barrels in the state of Virginia." I had originally incorporated that into my comment. Then I searched that site for Bob Evans. "There are 223 Bob Evans in the state of Virginia."
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    My IHOP has always struggled due to poor management. I've gone in there when it's busy and the food has taken over an hour to come out (this had been the case since I first moved here in 2010.) Sometimes I'd show up and the hostess would say "You don't want to eat here tonight, John." It's kind of depressing, because it has one of those right-off-the-interstate locations and there are no real "family" restaurants anywhere near it. Post-COVID, their hours got weird and restricted. They've not gone back to a 24 hour format (not that they ever got any graveyard business to speak of.) And lately the prices are kinda high.

    Contrast that with the IHOP I used to frequent outside of DC. Their routine 2AM crowds were what my local IHOP might see once or twice a month. And the service was always fast & good.
     
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  12. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    A while back, I had read that Cracker Barrel was going under. I was berry sad. One opened up in our town maybe 15 to 20 years ago but closed within five years because we were very cheap here and they were expensive at the time. Now, I think there are maybe 5 in the state. But I just saw a commercial on tv for Cracker Barrel which must mean they are coming back. I know the one on the way to Milwaukee for us has changed ownership but was still open.
     
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  13. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    I read an article that said the whole "Cracker Barrel going under" thing was just another massive internet hoax. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/fact-check-cracker-barrel-old-182900935.html This is one reason I hate it when people post "facts" that they have not verified, so the rumors get spread. So they aren't coming back. They never left. :D
     
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  14. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    I am curious. How many people have had the experience of getting not to standard food at a restaurant and then ever returned. There was a good Mexican restaurant in Oshkosh. We went there after covid and the food was not as good as before. Once again a few months ago we went and it was still not so good.:(
    Wellllll, I had to take a kid up to urgent care up there (because they have imaging)
    After a prolonged afternoon I was hungry and went to this same restaurant, just to see-- and the food was great again.
    Hmmmmmm......
     
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  15. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Oh, and speaking of Cracker Barrel... my recently deceased MIL had a stack of gift cards from various stores and restaurants. My husband brought some of them home and so far we have been to Red Lobster, Outback, and Cracker Barrel. :D We had the CB breakfast and the absolute worst server EVER. (Asked for coffee; never got it, etc. We had to get up and walk to the register to pay after waiting 15 minutes for a check that never came.)
     
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