Whether your visits to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store brings back sweet memories of childhood, or you've only passed it on the Interstate once or twice, there's no denying that Cracker Barrel's tall sign is iconic. It really is the store that has it all, whether you love Yankee Candles or Big Red or Mallomars. More than all of that, though, it's a restaurant chain for families (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic with their take-home holiday season meals).
When I was growing up, Cracker Barrel was a meeting place. It was where my mom and I went after school sometimes just because breakfast sounded delicious. It was where my Mammaw and Pappaw always met us in the parking lot or in the rocking chairs, waiting on the porch. Cracker Barrel is a kind of home to not just us, but so many Americans.
So let's celebrate Cracker Barrel in all of its delicious butter-melting biscuit glory. Here are 10 reasons why we love this American mainstay.
1. The Warm Biscuits
I don't know how Cracker Barrel makes their biscuits and to be honest, knowing would ruin the delicious mystery. All I know is that there is nothing like smearing warm butter and grape jelly over a biscuit first thing in the morning, or as the last thing at night.
They're definitely delicious the next day in the doggie box, too.
2. The Rocking Chairs
Reminiscent of a Tennessee Southern porch, the Cracker Barrel storefront always has room for rocking chairs. They're the perfect way to wait out a line or wind down after a delicious homestyle meal of buttermilk biscuits
Those cozy rocking chairs tell you to sit as long as you want, you're welcome here.
3. Breakfast for Dinner
No matter time of day it is, you can have a Sunrise Scrambler with a big steaming cup of coffee. Or maybe Grandpa's Country Fried Breakfast is more your style after a long day at work.
Those round sausage patties? My lifelong obsession was sausage definitely started here. There's something for everyone here, which makes it even more family-friendly.
Pro Tip: Slice biscuit in half. Place sausage patty between two halves. Voila! Sausage Biscuit.
4. The Old-School Candy
Is there anything as magical as walking into a Cracker Barrel when you're a kid and seeing the candy shelves stocked to the brim on your way to your table? There isn't, especially because they offer over 52 varieties of candy, both current and old-school.
The Rock Candy was always such a treat, but this is where Bob's Mint Sticks really stole my heart. Don't even tempt me with those Wax Bottles.
5. The Classic Soda Pop
If you ever have a hankering for Big Red outside of Texas, chances are you'll find it at the next Cracker Barrel you see. Do you love North Carolina's Cheerwine? Cracker Barrel has it.
Or maybe you love Stewart's Grape Soda that gets harder to find every year. Cracker Barrel, y'all. Be sure to stock up.
Pro Tip: Purchase a classic Coke and a carton of peanuts. Insert peanuts into Coke. Indulge in a timeless Southern tradition.
6. The Country Chic Home Furnishings
The Old Fashioned Country Store lives up to its name and while the candy and soda sparked my interest as a kid, I'm far more interested in the home decor offered now.
All reasonably priced and right in line with something Joanna Gaines would place in a home on Fixer Upper, it's hard not to walk away with something precious.
7. The Peg Game
What calms hungry children down better than anything? The Peg Game! What pits mothers against fathers, sisters against brothers, and declares who is the more intelligent of the family? The Peg Game!
What is always on the table at Cracker Barrel, ready for you to test your wit? The Peg Game! Nothing makes the food come faster than getting lost in the game.
8. The Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake
Whether or not you saved room for dessert is completely unimportant as soon as the Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake hits the table. Every rich, fudgy forkful just takes all problems away.
Most Coca-Cola cakes completely lose all flavor of the Coke as it becomes masked in the batter, but Cracker Barrel has figured out the secret and it's dang delicious.
9. The Checkers
Nothing goes better with those rocking chairs on the front porch than the two pair aligned with a checkerboard. As a kid, I had to be called to dinner on the table many times from a game of checkers, and I wasn't even at home! I was at Cracker Barrel.
Winners and losers alike all win when they sit down to eat their country cooked meal, y'all. Just don't lose.
10. Buttermilk Pancakes & Syrup
I admit it! I have definitely smuggled a bottle of syrup or two out of a Cracker Barrel because it goes well on just about everything: oatmeal, pancakes, grits, coffee, a spoon. But what really makes it shine are those buttermilk pancakes.
The crisp edges with the light, fluffy center make these pancakes the best, and they are always perfectly cooked and just the right thickness. Not too thin, not too thick. Whatever kind of magic they're using in the batter, it works!
You can now order online at crackerbarrel.com. This is perfect for those late nights at the office. Getting on the road knowing I'm about to pick up crispy Southern fried chicken and country ham on the way home makes traffic so worth it. If you call yourself a fan of comfort food and haven't tried Cracker Barrel's hashbrown casserole and chicken and dumplings, let Cracker Barrel take care of dinner tonight. You'll understand the hype.
Cracker Barrel Favorites
They're so good that you'll whip up a batch on Thanksgiving.
The breadcrumbs are the best part!
I know what I'm making for breakfast this weekend.
Chow chow is good on just about anything. You'll be addicted.
Cracker Barrel's fried apples are a game changer. I crave them all the time.
This post was originally published on April 10, 2019.
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