After reading local blogger Steve Eck’s post about eating at Cracker Barrel, I had to wonder what is it about cheap, greasy, disgusting, everything tastes like Crisco and canned green beans, that makes people pack ‘em in at Cracker Barrel and the like?
I mean, just take a look at Steve’s perfect explanation of the place to his unknowing wife:
The menu was exactly what I remembered it being: absolutely ridiculous comfort food. I was joking with Linzy on the way over that they would have chicken-fried anything, such as chicken-fried lasagna. While they didn’t have that, exactly, they certainly had biscuits and anything. Linzy got roast beef which came with three sides and when she asked for one side to be a corn muffin the waitress goes “Oh honey, everything comes with bread here, you don’t have to use a side for that”. The waitress then recommended the cheesy hashbrown bake.
While I haven’t eaten at Cracker Barrel since college, something which was at the request of my future mother-in-law, I don’t remember the experience being a particularly pleasant one (i.e. everything tasted exactly the same) but yet when I first read Steve’s post I was immediately brought back to the days of wandering aimlessly through their junk store at the front of the restaurant drooling because of the wonder of oversized lollipops that I’d never be able to finish and trinkets I would not see again five minutes after pulling into the driveway after leaving the place.
So I wonder what it is about places, like Cracker Barrel, that makes us forget just how unbelievably terrible the food can be and makes us have memories of other stuff instead. What is it for you? Do you ever drive by Cracker Barrel (or any number of other establishments) thinking, “ooh, I should stop there for chicken-fried lasagna!”? Perhaps you’re like me and you continue to eat at places like White Castle because your grandfather, father, and you would pile into the car, drive there, order them, and drive back eating them in the car?
Whatever you have to say about comfort food go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say!