Who You Calling “Cracker?”

Last week the family decided to go out to dinner.  This is a rare occurrence, but when we do go out, there are only a few places that we frequent.  One of them is Cracker Barrel.  Now, if you are familiar with the ole Cracker Barrel then you know.  Oh, you know.  However, if you’ve never experienced the wonder of the Barrel, let me shed a little light on this for you.  It is not just a restaurant.  Oh no.  It is a “Country Kitchen.”

This means that all the vittles are delectable southern-style dishes and are completely delicious, y’all.  My kids always scarf down all of their dinner at Cracker Barrel.  It is a lovely change of pace for mom because it means a) I don’t have to cook and b) I don’t have to yell at my kids for a straight hour to “take a bite!!”  This is the type of place that not only has down home cookin’, such as chicken and dumplings, chicken fried steak, okra, meatloaf, etc., it’s also the type of place that serves breakfast all day, so my son always gets a big stack of pancakes and eggs for dinner each time.  Most of their stuff is really yummy, but I will say that their macaroni & cheese and their buttermilk biscuits are to die for!  Those are obviously my favorites.  Carb loading for the win!!

But Cracker Barrel is not just a restaurant.  As you might have noticed from their sign, it actually serves double duty as a Country Store.  When we went this past week, there was quite a wait, so we had lots of time to peruse all the goods in said store.  I came across a few that were quite interesting.  First, there was a section with DVDs for sale.  This is what I found:

Who could it be?

. . . . believe it or not, it’s just me!!!  Try not getting that song stuck in your head all freaking day.  You’re welcome.

80’s Double Feature!

These were 2 of my favorite 80’s shows, no lie.  Michael J. Fox and Ricky Schroeder?  How can you go wrong?  And on sale even!!  What a bargain.

ALF!!

And the hits keep coming . . .

Sexy Blue-eyed Man Marathon!

It’s like a Magnum/Michael sandwich up in this joint.  If this place had a DVD player, I would have been all set!  Oh wait, I think I might be on to something.  TV Dinners!  Imma gonna go call the Barrel and let them know of this brilliance.  Be right back . . .

Ok, now on to some foolishness.  They not only sell movies, but lots of crafty/artsy home quilting type stuff.  This was one such thing:

Yes, it’s a bag.  Shaped like a fish.  Named “Winnie Finny.”  Isn’t that just precious?  Um, no.

They apparently not only sell to the crafty/kitschy set, but to ravers as well:

I’m really not sure what other purpose you would need for glowing fingertips.  Except massive entertainment while on hallucinogenic substances, that is.

Either that or maybe a helpful tool to find your keys in the bottom of your purse?  Something to freak out the cat?

Check that out.  Peas & Carrots Jelly Bellys.  I kinda wish I had bought them, just to see what they taste like.  I can’t imagine they would actually taste like peas and carrots, but who knows?  I’m sure that would be a favorite with my boys, if so!  Mmmmm, peas.

This is actually the outside of the restaurant.  It is an entire porch lined with these rocking chairs that you can sit in while you are waiting, and can also be purchased, if you so desire. They even have little kid sized chairs as well that are adorable.

Long front porch of the restaurant with rocking chairs.

This is also the type of restaurant that has all sorts of odds and ends plastered to the walls.  All old-timey stuff, like old phones and portraits and snow shoes, etc.

Snowshoes? Check. Old timey phone? Yep.

Which is also helpful when you have kids that get impatient waiting for their dinners, as you can play the “who can find the spatula?” game . . .

Right there —-^

So, if you ever happen to be driving along and see one of these wonderful restaurants, I would strongly suggest you drop in to check out the Country Store and to get some good home cooking.  You will not be disappointed!!  (Make sure you get some of the biscuits!  I’m getting hungry just thinking about them.  Nom nom nom).

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45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brett Minor
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 10:19:08

    That looks exactly like the one we have here. I love Cracker Barrel

    Reply

  2. Leauxra
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 10:31:05

    I am a little… ah… frightened of the Cracker Barrel. I walked in one time and, no lie, there was not a patron under 300 pounds in there. And the seats were like, three feet away from the tables in the booths.

    Kinda freaked me out and we left.

    On the other hand, I do love me a good biscuit.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:41:13

      I would say that if you get the chance, brave it again. The clientele is a mixed bag. There were quite a few fatties, but if you happen to notice, except for the freaky gloved lady, I provided no pics of any patrons. They were all basic and normal. No fun for me at all!!

      Go. Even if just for the biscuits alone. You can do it, Leauxra. I believe in you!

      Reply

  3. gojulesgo
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 10:32:19

    The TV dinner idea is genius!!

    Now that the hub and I are in the sticks of western Jersey, we’re not too far from a Cracker Barrel, and his parents always want to meet us there. I had no idea they had such an impressive DVD selection!

    I think my reluctance to jump in the Barrel is because Jersey is famous for diners, and they are a) everywhere, and b) spectacular. I don’t even know why they bother opening places like Perkins here.

    Oh! And the latex glove! OMG! So creepy. Thank you for capturing that on film.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:44:05

      I know, right?? Go to a restaurant with lounge chairs and get served while watching old 80’s TV shows? Why has nobody done this? And if they have, where can I go to this magical place??

      Yes, the Jersey diners are legendary. But this is a completely different animal. Go if they ask again. You will not regret it!

      Yeah, she was creeping me right the hell out. I acted like I was taking pics of the wall. I am sneaky like that. 😉

      Reply

  4. cornfedgirl
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 10:32:55

    I could drop a lot of money in the gift shop. In fact, the last time I was there I picked up gifts for a shit ton of people. They had Yankee candles HALF OFF. No one has Yankee Candles half off.
    The porch with the rockers makes me want Brock to build a big front porch onto our house.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:46:04

      Yeah, there are some pretty good deals in that there place. I bought my mom a sweater there for christmas last year. She likes that kind of country crap.

      Do it. You need a porch with lots of rockers. I will expect no less when I finally come out to visit! 🙂

      Reply

  5. jen
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 12:11:11

    Why do we not have such majesty in the Pacific Northwest! I have only been to Cracker Barrel once on a trip to Minnesota and became obsessed with its deep-fried bounty of kitsch. I envy thee, Misty.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:48:06

      Well, I am living the life, so I understand your envy.

      You do not have room to complain, though. I have read all of your tales of Portland’s majesty of food goodness every Friday. So shut it! :p

      Reply

  6. red
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 12:19:11

    My favorite is the pancakes. We used to have “breakfast meetings” at our Cracker Barrel.

    And in the shop? The old-time candies are the bomb!

    Reply

  7. Jana
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 12:22:38

    Cracker Barrel….I have yet to be in one. But I did go into a Bob’s Big Boy (I think that’s what is was called) when I visited the relatives in Ohio. That was enough to scare me into eating my vegetables on a regular basis.

    And thanks by the way, not only do I know ALL the lyrics to Greatest American Hero, but they will be stuck in my head and I will be walking on air for the rest of the day…believe it or not!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:51:47

      Blasphemy!! Bob’s is nothing like the Barrel! I would consider Bob’s as more of a Sizzler like place, while CB is more . . . country kitchen meets NJ diner? It is it’s own animal, basically. A delicious delicious animal.

      You’re welcome . . . are you flying away on a wing and a prayer as well?

      Reply

  8. Charity
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 13:17:36

    I do not love biscuits. However, I hear cracker barrel has great chicken fried steak!!! We have one next door to the mexican food restaurant we adore, but I’ve never actually gone to CB– my grandparents LOVE it.

    Reply

  9. prttynpnk
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 13:59:23

    2 thoughts:
    1- OMG gid you see the battery operated dog that makes armpit gas noises????
    2- I love that the non-smoking section is seperated by a latticed wall- with no plexi or anything, just the impenitrable garden lattice!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:53:38

      I did not see that. Had I seen that, I might be the proud owner of such majesty.

      And yes, that lattice really keeps all that smoke away. It’s like when they used to have “smoking sections” on airplanes. Riiigggghhhhtttttt.

      Reply

  10. wcdameron
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:07:10

    Paul and I laugh everytime we see a Cracker Barrel. We did a two day road trip with his kids from New Hampshire to Emerald Isle, NC. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel and our oldest asked for a breakfast meal. The waitress had a VERY southern accent and asked Meghan: “Ho wheat toast?” Now, being from the south, I know that we sometimes drop our L’s just like New Englanders drop their R’s, but I acted shocked and said “Meghan, that waitress called you a Ho!” So now, when asked “Ho, wheat toast?” We respond “Bitch, yes!”

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:54:57

      Ha! That’s a great story. The only one’s I have been to are here in MD and one in Florida, so I have never experienced the southern drawl from a waitress. I will keep that in mind for next time, though!

      Reply

  11. lazysubculturalgirl
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:27:38

    I have been in a few Cracker Barrels, back in the day — apparently their menu hasn’t changed, but their country store has gone even more “cracker.” I do remember they used to have excellent pot pies.

    I would totally have bought those peas and carrots Jelly Bellies. What is wrong with you? Now we’re all gonna wonder forever how they taste….

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:56:43

      I am so sorry I have disappointed you. Does it help to know that I was trying to run out of the store because my husband and kids were waiting in the car and I had already taken enough time messing around taking all the other pics and didn’t have any more time to wait in line to purchase anything? No? Then I shall go over here and hang my head in shame . . . 😦

      Reply

  12. thoughtsappear
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:36:29

    I’ve only been to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Yummy blueberry pancakes.

    I love the store! I need those glow gloves. Did you go to the one in Frederick? We need them for the Roller Derby.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 13:58:46

      Yeah, their breakfast stuff is tres yummy!

      I so thought about getting them and doing a give away, but they were a bit too much for all that. They would be awesome for the Derby, though. I was trying to think of what to wear that would make me edgier, without having to go get something pierced or inked before tomorrow. They would be perfect!!

      And yes, Frederick.

      Reply

  13. RockyCat
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 15:43:38

    Not sure what I find more odd in that last pic – the latex glove, or the bow-tie/ascot/scarf thing the woman has around her neck. What IS that?

    Reply

  14. Seraphinalina
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 17:46:42

    The legends of Cracker Barrel have crossed to Canada. My parents drive to Florida every February and they come back with stories about it every year, be it stops en route (they seem to be beside every hotel they stay at) or while they are in Florida.

    I have a coworker who wraps her sandwich in a napkin so she doesn’t touch it while she eats. I don’t understand. At all. Just… wash your hands. It’s not that hard. Or stop eating sandwiches.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 14:02:11

      Yeah, you can see them along the highway at pretty much every exit off of 95 on your way down to Florida. The legends are correct.

      I don’t get that. I mean, germs and I are best buddies, having 2 little kids, so I don’t get that whole germaphobe thing. Do you not realize you are breathing in stuff as well? That sandwich thing is bizarre.

      Reply

  15. bschooled
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 21:10:16

    You must live in the states. Canada doesn’t have awesome restaurants like this. I’d be there every weekend, if only so that my twelve year-old self could swoon over Ricky Schroeder.

    Reply

  16. Kelly
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 21:17:43

    Holy mother, I love me some Barrel. I actually get my grandpa’s Christmas present there every year – black licorice bites and root beer hard candies. There’s so much fun stuff in there to look at while you’re waiting for your table. And once you get to your table, you have to play the golf tee game! And dude, bring on the okra. I think I’m going for lunch tomorrow. xoxo

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 14:04:44

      Ha! I see I sparked your appetite. Yes, my kids love that peg game. I have never tried the okra, but then again, I am not a southerner and have never really had the need or opportunity to eat it. The candies are bountiful. I’m sure those presents are a big hit for gramps!

      Reply

  17. Vesta Vayne
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 22:51:53

    I worked at a Cracker Barrel from ages 17 to 20. To this day I can tell you what number goes with which vegetables. Fried apples are 9. Hee hee!

    Also, for whatever reason, on an almost weekly basis some kid would take a poo in toy section of the country store. I’m not sure why, because the restroom was only a few feet away.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 14:06:51

      Ooohh, insider info!! Next time I go, I’m asking for the 9. Actually, what number is mac & cheese, cuz that’s what we always get?

      That’s disturbing and bizarre. Why? Why would a kid need to do that. Why would their parents allow that? (unless you are talking about a baby doing it in a diaper, but I’m thinking not). The bathrooms are RIGHT THERE. Jeesh. People.

      Reply

  18. hoodyhoo
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 07:29:18

    I simply cannot live without a regular dose of CB’s Hash Brown Casserole…. droooooool… But if you were really hardcore, you’d have held out for the Greatest American Hero box set I got for Chuckweasel — it comes with a cape!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 14:08:44

      Prior to my CB experience and this comment, I wasn’t even aware of such things, but now I feel an absolute and utter NEED for that! How will I go on living without that box set WITH cape?? But wait. Does it have the spandex unitard as well? Because maybe I should hold out for THAT one.

      Reply

  19. Vivian Pitschlitz
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 09:41:03

    Looks like such a fun place. Love the gloves I want a pair.

    Reply

  20. Corey
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 23:29:26

    Randomly blogged my way over here. Don’t know how, but I really enjoy your stuff. I love Cracker Barrel as well. I always play that stupid peg game. I always get down to 3 and say how “close” I got to beating it and look around for acceptance at my failure. It’s a tradition. Following!!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 14:10:50

      Well, however you found me, I’m glad you did. Welcome!

      Yeah, the peg game is a favorite with my kids. My oldest gets pretty frustrated when he can’t win every time. I think having only 3 left is pretty stellar, myself. Good job!!

      Reply

  21. Jeff Laws
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 12:14:44

    I grew up only getting to go to Cracker Barrel when we traveled to North Carolina a few times a year. As a kid, it was the peg game that I always loved. And the checker table at the front of the restaurant, it was the only time my brother and I played checkers.

    Now we have one here (Northern Indiana) and when I go in, it brings back the memories of those trips down south. I LOVE the Fried Okra. It’s the only place around here I can get it. I always get the Country Fried Steak with the Okra and Baked Apples.

    Now I’m going to have to go there for supper, and thanks for the Greatest American Hero theme song in my head as well. I’m sure it’ll be there all day too!

    Reply

  22. Becca
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 16:13:33

    I desperately need that Winnie Finnie bag………………

    Reply

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