Friday, July 31, 2009

Down Home Cookin'

California has many things. High unemployment, crushing taxes, a large non-English speaking population, sunshine, beaches, traffic, smog, and plenty of good places to eat. What California doesn't have is Cracker Barrel.

If you've travelled around the country at all you've probably seen the brown and yellow sign of Cracker Barrel. If you were smart, you stopped for a meal. For those who have never been, Cracker Barrel serves traditional American food in a country style setting.

Cracker Barrel restaurants have a wide front porch with rocking chairs waiting for a weary traveller to sit upon and perhaps purchase for a modest sum. The waiting area is a mock general store with traditional candies, clothing and country kitsch. The interior of the restaurant is festooned with Americana.

What the Hard Rock Cafe is to rock and roll, Cracker Barrel is to rural America.

The whole thing is hopelessly cheesy and contrived.

I love it.

The menu at Cracker Barrel includes such favorites as pot roast, meatloaf, pork chops, and chicken pot pie. It's good ole fashioned stick to your ribs food. There are no wood fired pizzas or calamari appetizers on the Cracker Barrel menu.

I've only been to a Cracker Barrel twice. The first time was in St. George, Utah. I wanted a change from the ubiquitous Wendy's or McDonald's. I ordered pot roast with veggies.

It was good.

The most recent visit was on our drive to Montana this week. We stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Layton, Utah for lunch. I ordered buttermilk pancakes and sausage. For lunch.

It was so good. The pancakes were crisp around the edges and steaming hot. I could feel my arteries clogging with each bite. That's how you make pancakes.

Too bad I won't be able to go back for a while.


Anonymous said...


WHen we moved from Ohio to Yuma, AZ we ate at Cracker Barrel five times while on the road.. Always knew what we would get.

Those Cracker Barrel rocking chairs? Bought Polly 2 oak ones almost 10 years ago. Still rocking. Replaced two of the arms (screws broke) but still very functional.

How many toys did you play with? How many pegs did you have left? :)


TimB said...

I didn't play the peg game. Aidan was hogging it the whole time. I did buy a "Utah" jersey for a souvenir.

If I had a front porch, I'd definitely put a couple of rockers on it.