I love Cracker Barrel and would love to go there more often, but they are so expensive and crowded! Cracker Barrels are unique in that they sell furniture, doo-dads, and candies, as well as having a restaurant! So plan on spending time at the store part too. We have never walked in and been seated right away, ever! Maybe this is their plan, keep people in the store until they purchase something…and we usually do! A family member just recently picked up a Webkinz for my daughter as she was waiting to be seated.
Well there isn’t much they can do when they have 100 hungry people trying to get in to eat. So they take your name and say they will call you when there is an empty table. Talk about feeling pressured to eat and run! The staff at the store and restaurant have always been polite and apologetic over the wait. They are very busy though, so it gets hard to order dessert or catch a passing waiter for a refill. The Cracker Barrel locations we have been to have always been spotless, even the restrooms which seems an almost impossible task with the amount of people coming in and out. We always feel rushed ordering. Orders can be up in minutes if you order simply or take an hour to come out if you have multiple orders at your table.
Inside the Cracker Barrel restaurant:
I have found the interior of the restaurant to be a little dark. I like the cozy homey feel of it though. You can look around at the multitude of items hanging from the walls while you wait on your order, antique items and signs hang from the walls and sometimes ceiling. (None of these items can be purchased.) The decor is fabulous and reminds me of a woodsy cabin. The store and restaurant are in the same building, but the store is much brighter than the restaurant. I guess they want you to see all those expensive knick-knacks that you just HAVE to have! So cute! Tons of decorations for your home, toys, old-timey candies, even a wooden rocking chair can be purchased in the store. You will know that you have arrived at Cracker Barrel when you see the large front porch lined with wooden rocking chairs, just like Grandma’s house.
Expect the type of country down home food at Cracker Barrel that you would find at your church social or grandmother’s house. All are homemade to order. None of that frozen patty syndrome that you find at other chain restaurants. You will be pleasantly surprised with most of their delicious foods. No wonder they are so popular. Any breakfast food can be ordered at any time of day.
I have only ordered breakfast at a Cracker Barrel once, but they offer pancakes (blueberry and pecan offered with fruit topping of your choice), gravy and biscuits (the gravy had a greasy flavor to me and was not edible), french toast, muffins, cereal, hash browns (very greasy), and a variety of breakfast plates that have eggs, pancakes, and breakfast meat. If you are on a special diet, more than likely they will have your needs covered at Cracker Barrel! There are many options for low carb or low fat diets. Kids’ breakfast plates are available as well.
Some lunch and dinner specials can only be ordered after 11 a.m. I was disappointed in that the one special that I would have wanted to order was not on the menu that day. It was the previous days’ special. Some of these specials include: turkey and dressing, chicken pot pie, baked chicken, and fried pork chops. With each of these you would get your pick of the vegetable of the day, including other options on the daily menu. Kids have different smaller portioned meals on the menu.
They also have various salads and sandwiches which include a catfish sandwich. You choose your side vegetable and then your side potato. They do have choices in breads too; you can get a cornbread muffin to go along with your beef stew or a biscuit to go with your meatloaf.
For dessert, they have limited options. The baked apple dumpling sounded pretty good with vanilla bean ice cream and pecans, but I did not care for it. Way too dry! Other desserts are the sundae with blackberries and toasted almond, fruit cobbler with ice cream, and chocolate cobbler with ice cream.
I found the amount of food to be okay. I was able to fill up even though I did not like some of what I ordered. My main disappointment is seeing turkey and dressing or chicken and dressing on the menu for the day before special.
The tea at Cracker Barrel is very weak, and you can tell right away by the appearance. Other drinks they are have are five kinds of juice, sodas, bottled sodas, hot tea, coffee, apple cider, and milk.
My final say on Cracker Barrel? It is like down home country eating and the appearance looks that way too. After waiting so long to be seated, you would expect a little more care in presentation of your food. Mostly I have been happy with the foods I have tried here, but some were not good at all! It raises the bar if I have to wait one hour to get in, one hour to get my order, and then feel rushed eating it. The food better be heaven-sent! I do not find myself looking to go to Cracker Barrel because of the long waits and expensive menu. I find myself wanting more to go shopping in their store! To each their own, some people I know love it to death. Not me!
If you have small children and babies, you may want to wait a few years before dining here as the wait will feel much much longer with small children in your arms.
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