Cracker Barell why is it always packed?

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BT
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/04 19:36:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Matt

quote:
Originally posted by BT


Not just small town life. Name one of ANY "family dining" chain and we don't have one in San Francisco. After years of seeing Olive Garden adds on TV, I'm tempted to cross that ugly bridge to your beloved East bay to find one so I can try it.




Uh, isn't there an Olive Garden at Stonestown on 19th Avenue? It been there for years! It's next door to Chevy's, another "family dining" chain.


OK, you got me. But that's "over the hill" and more like an extention of San Mateo County than part of the real city. Still, if I ever decide to try an Olive Garden, that's the one I'll probably go to.

Besides those places in Stonestown, which bears more resemblance to a suburban mall (and the "hood" around it to the suburbs--it is close to the city line), the only other chain "family dining" places I know of are near Fisherman's Wharf and pretty much off-limits to locals (there's a Denny's, a Rain Forest Cafe and other embarrassments there).
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BT
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/04 19:39:02 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lone Star

BT - does your cat travel in a crate or just ride along?


The cat starts off in a carrier (not really a crate--it's fleece lined and pretty plush) until we clear any downtown traffic, then I let her out. It's probably dnagerous as h_ll but her preferred riding spot is asleep in my lap.
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mr chips
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 01:35:53 (permalink)
I have never understood the appeal of CB(or Bob Evans for that matter) Sevice is slow, the food overpriced. If I'm in a hurry, I might as well eat at a chain that is at least quick. Plus Cracker Barrell"s policies regarding gays and kesbians are offensive.
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Tristan Indiana
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 03:26:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by garryd451

quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Originally posted by garryd451
[brI am sorry, I didn't know, they were in the Midwest! I never seen one in Michigan, Indiana, or Ill.



There are 14 in Indiana, two in Illinois, 54 in Ohio, and nine in Pennsylvania. Those are the northernmost states with Waffle Houses.
[/quot

Wow! 6 of them in the Indi Area, I don't know why i miss them! I gotta keep my eyes open and my big mouth shut!


I think the Waffle Houses in Indiana, at least central Indiana, are called Waffle & Steak. A competing chain of restaurants in the area called Waffle House caused the larger chain to rename their restaurants here. To add to the confusion, the Waffle Houses ( not the Waffle & Steak) now seemed to have changed their name to Sunshine Cafe.
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stanpnepa
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 07:38:02 (permalink)
I suppose in a chain filled world that Cracker Barrel offers "comfort" to some (about 15 years ago on a PA to Chicago vacation, I admit it. We went twice even.), but the irony is that CB is taking business away from the real authentic long-standing comfort food restaurants. Now that Southern Cooking has (finally) made it to my PA hometown, I don't have a need for CB, but for the folks who like to stay near the shopping areas and out of the bad sections of town, it makes sense (plus they can do some shopping too). I get it, but the end result is not satisyfing enough (nor the politics).

There are two types of Americans, those who like to dig in to our backroads/our flavors/our culture and those who simply find it a waste of time. For them I ask "Why travel around the world, when you can see it all in a day at Epcot? ". I fear their answer.
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BT
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 10:30:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa



There are two types of Americans, those who like to dig in to our backroads/our flavors/our culture and those who simply find it a waste of time. For them I ask "Why travel around the world, when you can see it all in a day at Epcot? ". I fear their answer.


Not just a waste of time. I think too many of them find it scary. They think they'll catch something or get mugged on the way in or out or something. And maybe some day they will, but I agree that if you stick to the safe and plastic, you miss a lot of life.
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Tony Bad
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 10:49:15 (permalink)
quote:

Not just small town life. Name one of ANY "family dining" chain and we don't have one in San Francisco. After years of seeing Olive Garden adds on TV, I'm tempted to cross that ugly bridge to your beloved East bay to find one so I can try it.


Noooooooooooo...not a knock against chains, just lousy food...Olive Garden is not very good. There is a comedian who does a routine about the Olive Garden. They have a commercial where some guy takes his Uncle from Italy to Olive Garden when he visits. The comedian says if he did that to his relatives his car would be blown up the next morning and also makes a comment about the "bologna alfredo". It is funny.
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Tony Bad
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 10:56:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa



There are two types of Americans, those who like to dig in to our backroads/our flavors/our culture and those who simply find it a waste of time. For them I ask "Why travel around the world, when you can see it all in a day at Epcot? ". I fear their answer.


Not just a waste of time. I think too many of them find it scary. They think they'll catch something or get mugged on the way in or out or something. And maybe some day they will, but I agree that if you stick to the safe and plastic, you miss a lot of life.


There is some truth to your comments, but I think you ignore the fact that time is limited for many, and going on the back roads to find intereting places to eat is something that is better accomplished when one is not rushing. Sadly, the vast majority of my long trips are made when I have to get somewhere pretty fast. Usually I pack my own food, but if not, I'll grab something to eat at the same time I stop for gas.

It is often easier to place the world into two convenient piles rather than sort things according to the varying shades of gray, but it is not realistic.
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stanpnepa
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 11:41:30 (permalink)
Tony, I was aiming for a little irony with my Epcot comments---of course people can not be grouped together so easily.


Maybe because travel for me is solely for pleasure, I make every meal count. I would never waste a vacation meal for "speed" sake, but plan the time out to find the best places. I don't think most travelers share our Roadfood passion, to them, quick and familiar will suffice, that's the difference. This attitude has lent itself to the "corporate blanding" of America. It's profitable and it's a shame. (And like BT said some diners may just be "afraid" too. That's their loss).

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Tony Bad
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 14:32:30 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa

Tony, I was aiming for a little irony with my Epcot comments---of course people can not be grouped together so easily.


Maybe because travel for me is solely for pleasure, I make every meal count. I would never waste a vacation meal for "speed" sake, but plan the time out to find the best places. I don't think most travelers share our Roadfood passion, to them, quick and familiar will suffice, that's the difference. This attitude has lent itself to the "corporate blanding" of America. It's profitable and it's a shame. (And like BT said some diners may just be "afraid" too. That's their loss).




I envy you for being able to travel at a more leisurely clip...I am hoping that will be me someday. For now, trying to squeeze journeys in the midst of schools schedules and two jobs, time is tight. Most of my roadfood adventures are in the area once I reach my destination. Speaking of Epcot, I was there earlier this year (and I really do understand the irony of your comment!) and made time to venture off the beaten path and find a few neat eating experiences.

I can also understand why "fear" may be a concern that keeps people venturing into uncharted waters. I grew up in neighborhoods that left me well prepared for what is out there, but I have ventured into local places where I wasn't scared, but the reception was cold, and I was aware of the fact that it was not customary for strangers to venture in. In some of those places people warmed up, in others, the atmosphere remained chilly throughout. Personally, I couldn't care less if people don't want me someplace, but I understand how others may be intimidated, and even put off seeking such places in the future.

Your comment about making every meal count should be the motto of this web site!
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 15:24:34 (permalink)


The cat starts off in a carrier (not really a crate--it's fleece lined and pretty plush) until we clear any downtown traffic, then I let her out. It's probably dnagerous as h_ll but her preferred riding spot is asleep in my lap.
It started as an accident, my daughters black cat midnite, stowed away somewhere in the sleeper and came out a 100 miles or so down the road. He enjoyed curling up on the dash and would stay there for hours or would stand staring out the right window or lay draped over my shoulder. At first I was afraid he would get lost but that cat followed me better than any hound. Always happy to get home he was a black streak at the first sound of that pete turnin over. A perfect road companion for many years until old age took him peacefully at home....
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BT
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 17:12:52 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Tony Bad


I can also understand why "fear" may be a concern that keeps people venturing into uncharted waters. I grew up in neighborhoods that left me well prepared for what is out there, but I have ventured into local places where I wasn't scared, but the reception was cold, and I was aware of the fact that it was not customary for strangers to venture in. In some of those places people warmed up, in others, the atmosphere remained chilly throughout.


When I mentioned "fear" I had a specific situation in mind which may explain it. 15 years ago I worked on the Navy base at Treasure Island which is an artificial island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It was built for a world's fair in the 1930's. It is attached to Yerba Buena Island which acts as the center anchorage for the Bay Bridge. In other words, it sits there half-way between San Francisco and oakland and attached to both by the Bay Bridge.



At that time, there were around 1000 military families housed there, many of whom, like many of the most junior military personnel everywhere, were from rural southern and midwestern homes. On the island was a small exchange (think Wal-Mart with no sales tax), gas station and commissary (grocery store). I used to do a little shopping in these places over lunch hour and sometimes I would overhear conversations among the military wives. Many of them wouldn't think of crossing that mile or 2 of water into San Francisco (or, for Bill Voss's benefit, the other direction to Oakland). They talked about it like it was a foreign country and rather inscrutable at that. Go eat in any of the places we talk about here--no way! They seemed to be just plain frightened of anything so different from their previous experiences. That's what I meant by fear.
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seafarer john
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 17:16:50 (permalink)
We were packing our car leaving a B&B in California one day when we discovered a very large long haired cat sitting on the deck behind the back seat. We tried to lure him out- no luck- we tried to carry him out- no luck, he dug his claws into the upholstery. At last a girl cam running down the street, called the cat, and it came out to greet her. she explained that the cat loved to ride in cars and hops into any car with an open door.

No cat we have ever owned would get into the car except in a cage, yowling and crying on their way to the vets office.

Cheers, John
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Theedge
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 17:48:29 (permalink)
When I travel I take the interstate as well. Rather than wasting time at fast food joints like Waffle does, I get those microwaveable sandwiches in the gas station when I need to stop. It’s really a “win win” situation as I end up having to interact with fewer locals, and no tip is needed. I’m assured that the quality of my meals remains constant as well.
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mayor al
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 18:24:49 (permalink)

BT,
Your description of the 'fear' of something new in the housing area is a good description of a very broad catagory of behaviors on the part of traveling America. It's the reason for the success of places like McDonald's and Howard Johnsons and all the other 'standardized food establishments'.
I chuckle when some of the college educated nurses who work with my wife talk in terms of the huge differences they find when they cross the Ohio River to Kentucky from here in Southern Indiana. A recent conversation was centered on the news that Famous Dave's will soon open a store on our side of the River about 4 miles from the Bridge to Louisville (and about 15 miles from the Louisville F D Store). The comments were...."Thank Heaven, I've always wanted to try that place, but No-Way was I going to go into "the City" (accent mine) to do it."
One nurse won't let her 23 yr old daughter attend college classes on Ft Knox (reasonably closer than U-KY to her home) because she is certain that the daughter will be raped everytime she drives onto the Post. (not that it matters, but the daughter is close to my size and basic appearance!)
Before anyone does the put-down of the rural Mid-West & Southern life...I had the same kind of comments coming from the families of students when I taught in SoCal. Let them go to college out of California, NO WAY! There is a genuine resistance to exploration rising rapidly thru the generations now active in the USA. Look at the number of Gated Communities that shield us from the outside world. THE AMOUNT OF Internet Marketing that allows us to shop from home. We have Advisors for every possible decision we could make,... Americans as a group want protection from "bad stuff" and someone to blame when it happens. That seems to foster the Anti-Exploration movement, Always Play It Safe!.
Please do not think I support this activity...But I must point it out as we search for our own level of acceptance of how far we will go for a meal...or anything else.
#75
BT
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/05 19:48:19 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


I had the same kind of comments coming from the families of students when I taught in SoCal. Let them go to college out of California, NO WAY


Tell me about it. One of my roomates at Duke was from San Marino (near Pasadena). He stuck out rather prominently from the "southern" masses. He was big, loud and drove his daddy's "old" white Mercedes 190XL roadster (red leather upholstry). He acted like he was exploring undiscovered territory. These days, he's an ophthalmologist in Newport Beach ("The O.C." fans, if any, out there undertand that one).
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Mosca
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/06 00:25:40 (permalink)
When my Sister in law visits Disney World, they stay on the Disney Property and eat in Disney restaurants. They don't rent a car; everything they want to see they can get to on the monorail, or the busses.

When we go to Disney World, we stay in a condo or timeshare off the property. We rent a car, and I check out chowhound for places to eat, and I check the dizboards for cool things to do in the surrounds of Orlando... which is how I found Warbird Adventures, where you can fly a true WW2 vintage T-6, and Stallion 51, where you can fly a P-51 mustang (but be sure to have saved $3k for that one). And Splendid China (closed now) and all sorts of other strange things that are TRULY strange, not Disney strange (but Disney is great, too).

People are different. She wouldn't have fun doing it our way, and we wouldn't have fun doing it her way.


Tom


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dreamzpainter
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RE: Cracker Barell why is it always packed? 2005/04/06 15:50:50 (permalink)
I know what you mean Tom..my sister is married to the VP of a major corporation, their idea of roughing it is flying commercial
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