crackerbarrel

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hermitt4d
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/24 04:16:22 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by seafarer john

Cracker Barrel is a blight on the landscape of our interstates. I visited one once someplace along I-95. The place was a ticky-tacky gift shop masquerading as a restaurant. The service was atrocious and the food barely edible. The clientel seemed to be made up mostly of busloads of dazed, entrapped and Shanghied senior citizens.

Since joining Roadfood.com a year and a half ago we have very rarely found ourselves reduced to eating any meal at a national chain type place. Our recent trip south is a case in point. We ate very well in Maryland along I-301/ 50 having crabcakes at Roadfood recommneded The Narrows, and breakfast (scrapple for me, SOS for her) across the street at The Angler. Both places brought to our attention by contribuitors to these forums.

In Lexington, NC we ate at four Roadfod recommended BBQs ,
and enjoyed our first ever taste of "Livermush" due to it being brought to our attention in these forums.

In Asheville, NC we had a very nice dinner at Picnic, another restaurant we learned about thru these pages. In Black Mountain we enjoyed an "all the way" hotdog at Duke's - another Roadfod find.

In Harrisonburg, Va we had a great Pizza at Wood Fired Pizza - we could have gone to Cracker Barrell or any of a half dozen national chain restaurants at that particular intersection , but because of what we've learned here we sought out a locally owned and operated restaurant and were the better for it.

For lunch, Saturday, we stopped at Fulk's Family restaurant in Indiantown Gap, PA and enjoyed wonderful pork chops. I-81 and I-84 are lined with national chains that we could have visited, but we have learned that it is always better to take a chance on a local "Mom & Pop" than to suffer the bland sameness of the chains.

There is no excuse for Roadfooders to patronize the national chains when a World of great local food is available out there - unless, of course, you like bland, you like dull sameness, you like to be herded around like sheep, you crave ticky-tacky, or you just don't give a damn about what you atre eating.

In fairness to those with young children in tow, we've been there, and we understand how the chains are perfectly set up to make your life easier when traveling with the kids. When our kids were little, Howard Johnson's was the place, and we ate a whole lot of hotdogs and fried clams in those places.

Cheers, John

I think you've hit the nail on the head seafarer john, as you usually do.

I have a horrible track record of finding good places to eat on my own, but armed with recommendations from this site and others, I head out on the road this week with high hopes of some great food. And the longer I read this site, the more determined I become to avoid the easy, safe choices of standardized eateries and take the trouble to find the local treasures.
#31
hermitt4d
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/24 04:29:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by seafarer john

Don't get me Started on The Rainforest! We suffered thru fog and thunder and screaming animals, and pelting rain on a tim roof, and god only knows how much more just to find out the food was merely OK at best. This was on Sanibel Island, Fla. BTW: we never did find a decent meal in three days on that very expensive sandspit...

Cheers, John

I was kind of interested in the concept of the Rainforest Cafe when I first heard about it, but before I ever got around to going to the nearest one at Katy Mills Mall, I discovered the fact it was another Landry's concept (Joe's Crab Shack, the Acquarium, among others) thus saving myself the trouble.

It seems to be gone from the corporate website now, but there used to be a piece there about Landry's CEO Tilman Fertitta who supposedly had an epiphany one day to the effect that what the American dining public really wants when it goes out to eat is the adult equivalent of a McDonald's Playland.

Call me un-American, I guess, or maybe I'm just old fashioned, but my number one concern when I go out is the food.
#32
BT
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/24 04:45:21 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by seafarer john

Don't get me Started on The Rainforest! We suffered thru fog and thunder and screaming animals, and pelting rain on a tim roof, and god only knows how much more just to find out the food was merely OK at best. This was on Sanibel Island, Fla. BTW: we never did find a decent meal in three days on that very expensive sandspit...

Cheers, John


Reminds me of a restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in SF--back in the 80's. They had an artifical "lagoon" in the restaurant with the tables under "grass" roofs on little artificial islands in the "lagoon" (to get to the table, you had to walk on "stepping stones" across the "lagoon"). And periodically while you were eating (or just drinking a mai-tai) they'd create an artifical thunderstorm and it would pour rain all around your table. It was novel at the time. But I'd done the same thing for real in Nassau on spring break back in 1964 so I wasn't too impressed.
#33
Kristi S.
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/24 08:53:11 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT
Reminds me of a restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in SF--back in the 80's. They had an artifical "lagoon" in the restaurant with the tables under "grass" roofs on little artificial islands in the "lagoon" (to get to the table, you had to walk on "stepping stones" across the "lagoon"). And periodically while you were eating (or just drinking a mai-tai) they'd create an artifical thunderstorm and it would pour rain all around your table. It was novel at the time. But I'd done the same thing for real in Nassau on spring break back in 1964 so I wasn't too impressed.


And that reminds me of a restaurant in Treasure Island during the early '70s called the Careless Navigator. The place specialized in seafood, being on the beach and all, but also had a curious South Seas Island bent to it, too. It was very dark inside, and was decked out in a hopeless mish-mash of nautical theme and Polynesian ticky-tacky. I believe one night they actually had a dude in a grass skirt twirling a flaming torch (it was probably Friday night entertainment)! Drinks were served in those tiki mugs and you can bet that more than one puu-puu platter was consumed.

Sorry to hijack the topic.
#34
seafarer john
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/24 09:06:19 (permalink)
Where the Hell did my deathless prose disappear to that for a brief shining moment was available on this forum?????

cheers, John
#35
seafarer john
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/25 09:40:36 (permalink)
Glad to see it's back ( but where the Hell was it?).

Cheers, John
#36
seafarer john
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/25 09:46:54 (permalink)
One more thing about Sanibel: it was recently revelaed that Sanibel is the place where old CIA spooks go to retire - the place is crawling with them.

And one more thing: the Ding Darling Wildlofe Refuge is an absolutely great place to spend a day; and there are very helpful docents to lend you a look thru their big big telescopes and help you spot and identify the wildlife.

Cheers, John
#37
lobster4me
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RE: crackerbarrel 2004/08/26 08:23:49 (permalink)
The town that I live in does not have too many restaurants. However we do have a Crackerbarrel. I have never seen any problems with treatings customers badly. I am in there alot too. I do enjoy shopping in their store. Its so neat to see some of the old time items they sell. I'm sure its not for everybody, but I like it.
#38
Bedford
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/20 00:16:57 (permalink)
I've never had a bad meal at a Cracker Barrel; a few mediocre ones perhaps, but they were the waitress' fault.

Mom and I typically get the Sunrise Sampler. All sorts of good food.
#39
AndreaB
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/22 09:32:53 (permalink)
I too have never had a bad meal at Cracker Barrel. I don't mind all the junk they peddle, because it gives me something to look at and laugh at while waiting. I'd never go out of my way to go there, but if I'm traveling and CB is right there off the highway and I'm hungry I'll go there.

Andrea
#40
santacruz
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/22 14:27:20 (permalink)
I just had a very decent breakfast at a Minnesota Craker Barrel. I was on a red eye to the twin cities then I had to drive down to Iowa and on the way I pulled into CB. Had very good biscuits with gravy,grits smoked ham and good fried eggs, the coffee is just so-so but all in all for a quick meal not bad at all.

My other half loves the corney stuff they have I just go along with it.
#41
michaelgemmell
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/23 15:51:10 (permalink)
This corporation had an official policy that they would not hire gays or lesbians. Not a rumor--they even called a press conference to tout their hate.

C'mon, folks, if the CURRENT Administration would slap this corporation's hand, their racial discrimination must have been clearly outrageous and far-reaching.

If you really like their food and their atmostphere, no one here will stop YOU from going there, but every time this topic comes up (this thread originated when I was off-line last summer), we're gloing to remind you of the unbearable social cost of doing business with them.
#42
porkbeaks
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 08:25:48 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by michaelgemmell

This corporation had an official policy that they would not hire gays or lesbians. Not a rumor--they even called a press conference to tout their hate.

C'mon, folks, if the CURRENT Administration would slap this corporation's hand, their racial discrimination must have been clearly outrageous and far-reaching.

If you really like their food and their atmostphere, no one here will stop YOU from going there, but every time this topic comes up (this thread originated when I was off-line last summer), we're gloing to remind you of the unbearable social cost of doing business with them.


Whatever happened to "Don't ask, don't tell"? If it works for the Army, it ought to work for Cracker Barrel. As long as their policy doesn't include banning gay and lesbian (aren't lesbians gay?) customers, I think the social cost is bearable. pb
#43
Adjudicator
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 08:31:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by michaelgemmell

This corporation had an official policy that they would not hire gays or lesbians. Not a rumor--they even called a press conference to tout their hate.

C'mon, folks, if the CURRENT Administration would slap this corporation's hand, their racial discrimination must have been clearly outrageous and far-reaching.

If you really like their food and their atmostphere, no one here will stop YOU from going there, but every time this topic comes up (this thread originated when I was off-line last summer), we're gloing to remind you of the unbearable social cost of doing business with them.


I thought "that" had been changed, and was "old news" now.
#44
dreamzpainter
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 13:24:19 (permalink)
regardless of their politics the wait is intermenable and the food mediocare at best
#45
Bedford
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 14:03:10 (permalink)
Actually, I usually have 5-10 minute waits for food at CBs recently, which isn't too bad considering how swamped they often are.
#46
michaelgemmell
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 14:38:50 (permalink)
Actually, the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" does NOT work. Discharges increased after the inception of that policy, only reducing now that the military can't make its recruitment goals for the Iraq war. Shortly after 9/11, the military threw out nearly all of its Arabic speakers, suggesting that promoting their personal prejudice is more important than national security. If it really was so "useful" to get gays and lesbians (the lesbians prefer being called that, and don't you think folks should be able to choose what they're called?) out of the military, why do you suppose they're curtailing it now? It suggests the policy is indeed "broke." It isn't just gays' and lesbians' tax dollars that are being wasted when this happens, it's everyone's tax dollars. A recent estimate of $200 million wasted, just in terms of the training these members received that the military threw away when they discharged these persons, seems proof enough to me that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a failure.

When the corporation in question proves that they no longer discriminate against gays and lesbians for employment, and have a dog-and-pony show to prove it as elaborate as the one announcing their discriminatory policy, then I might believe they're being fair in hiring employees. I decline to patronize other businesses that discriminate. Cracker Barrel's bad reputation for poor food and service makes it easy. I'm very grateful to our fellow Roadfooders that have warned us about that, as well as the gift shop through which one must pass. I really dislike that routine.
#47
AndreaB
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 14:53:26 (permalink)
Rant rant rant rant rave. I like Cracker Barrel, and I'll continue to go there. My sister, who's a lesbian, continues to go there, as does her partner.

Andrea
#48
porkbeaks
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 20:38:14 (permalink)
I agree with Andrea on this one. CB's are convenient when traveling the interstate system and the food, while maybe not as scrumptious as the Roadfood ideal, is good and fairly consistent. Having to walk through the gift shop on the way to a table doesn't seem like a big deal.
As to their discriminatory hiring practices (past or present), I can't say much since I don't know much about it. I wonder though, do/did they actually ask a prospective employee what their sexual preference is/was? Do the prospective employees feel the need to tell the prospective employers that they are indeed homosexuals even if they aren't asked? If the answer to these questions is "no", then how in the heck does CB know when to discriminate? Just wondering. pb
#49
wanderingjew
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 20:49:27 (permalink)
Everytime I drive the interstates I blow right past the Cracker Barrels, the Waffle Houses and all the other Cookie Cutters and get REAL FOOD.....
#50
Michael Hoffman
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 21:01:33 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

Everytime I drive the interstates I blow right past the Cracker Barrels, the Waffle Houses and all the other Cookie Cutters and get REAL FOOD.....

You know, when you blow past the Waffle House you're blowing past "Real Food." Waffle House is a chain, but it is not "fast food." In fact, it is excellent fare, and you are missing a good experience by blowing past those places.
#51
The Travelin Man
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 21:58:05 (permalink)
Why do I get the feeling that neither of you will change the other's feelings on this issue one way or the other?
#52
tacchino
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 22:25:30 (permalink)
I think I mentioned elsewhere that I have only eaten a couple of times at Cracker Barrel, and that the meals weren't too memorable, in my opinion. In particular, that gravy served over their biscuits was not so hot; it had the consistency of glue. I should have known something was up when I asked the waitress what the gravy was like, and she said quite honestly: "well, it all comes from a powdered mix out of a can."
#53
michaelgemmell
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 22:43:28 (permalink)
Porkbeaks, no employer ever asks this question directly. Most Americans believe they "can just tell" if someone is gay, and feel perfectly free to discriminate against them in the 38 states where this is not forbidden. Often it's non-gays who experience this discrimination based on a job interviewer's opinion. Andrea, you, your sister, and her partner are free to choose to patronize this corporation, but I am similarly free to point out their record so that others will know the truth. Are you sure they know this corporation's history? Information of this nature never appears in the media in many areas.

Now, as to Waffle House, I encounter them infrequently, but I must agree they're sometimes tasty, and always thrifty. I ate there twice in Ft. Collins a couple of weeks ago. Michael, were you being facetious, or have we really agreed on this one?" />

Sometimes on the road I'm tempted to try a chain, and I'm grateful for everyone's opinion of their food. Thanks!
#54
the grillman
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/24 22:50:04 (permalink)
As a prospective customer, I rarely find it necessary to interview the management of a restaurant before dining there to determine if their employment practices and track record are in agreement with my political agenda.

#55
V960
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/25 08:34:41 (permalink)
I have found that the closer to a big city a chain is located the worse the food. Chain places out in the sticks are basically run as mom and pops in a chain building.

Example...Newport, TN. Nice little place (actually it was written up in Esquire years ago as the meanest county in the US). Not a place to go bar hopping. In Newport they don't hit you, they shoot you.

However they generally don't mess w/ tourists or traveling peddlers. There's a WH, CB and Ryan's Steakhouse at one of the exits. I would recommend any of them w/o reservation. The WH is run like a local diner but w/ a WH menu. The CB has the largest specials board (their way of actually having a separate menu) I've ever seen in a CB. I'll be staying at the Holiday Inn at this exit this Thursday night. I'll have dinner at the Ryan's and b'fast at the WH before heading home to NC.

The WH's along 85 between Greensboro, NC and Raleigh, NC are in general horrible.
#56
The Travelin Man
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/25 08:50:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by stlouisguy

As a prospective customer, I rarely find it necessary to interview the management of a restaurant before dining there to determine if their employment practices and track record are in agreement with my political agenda.




I think most people feel as you do. In my case, when I view a situation like this, I try to think "what if it was me being discriminated against?" There are/were places that discriminated against Jews, African Americans, racially mixed couples, etc.
#57
the grillman
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/25 09:01:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by stevekoe

quote:
Originally posted by stlouisguy

As a prospective customer, I rarely find it necessary to interview the management of a restaurant before dining there to determine if their employment practices and track record are in agreement with my political agenda.




I think most people feel as you do. In my case, when I view a situation like this, I try to think "what if it was me being discriminated against?"


I just don't know this is the proper forum to discuss someone's gay political agenda. I read/post on plenty of other boards where current affairs are debated and discussed. This board should be a diversion from all things political.
#58
glennpan
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/25 13:05:21 (permalink)
I thought the whole point of sites like Roadfood is to find great local places so we aren't limited to the Cracker Barrels of the world!
#59
collections4today
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RE: crackerbarrel 2005/07/25 13:12:32 (permalink)
Cracker Barrell food is really pretty mediocre. They're uually along some well travelled road and you pass them on your trip. The real problem I have with them is the wait time. They are always packed and when I'm trying to get somewhere, I seldom have the time or patience to wait 45 min. before being seated.
#60
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