Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Cracker Barrel

Traveling down a highway, there is no sight more welcome to the eye then a billboard advertising the location of the nearest Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. God help you if you are a parent and one of your kids spy this sign because Cracker Barrel is probably one of the greatest establishments created by man. On Sept. 19 Cracker Barrel will celebrate its 41th anniversary.

Cracker Barrel and Hampton Inn: a symbiotic relationship.

When you immediately arrive at your local Cracker Barrel you are immediately met with a stable of rocking chairs. These chairs welcome you to sit in them as you wait the next 40 minutes for seating. The rocking chair welcoming to arrivals is just one instance of how the word comfort is brought to new levels at Cracker Barrel.

Some may argue that Cracker Barrel is just a commercialization and bastardization of nostalgia and a false sense of community. At 41, the age of Cracker Barrel is still younger then the median age of old aged patrons who come by the busload on their way to Niagara Falls or on their way back from Branson, Missouri. A tourist trap it may be but it is an elegantly created tourist trap. The first half of the restaurant is a gift shop made to look like an old general store. Gadgets and nostalgia inducing products are abound, extolling the virtues of old country goodness. Here you can buy something that will make an excellent gift for any grandparent or a gift that will disappoint your poor grandchild.

They even have their own damn record label (picture from Cracker Barrel's website).

The dining area sets a mood with its fireplace and checkerboard some bored eight-year-old is always playing on. The inside the restaurant area abides by the "nail cool looking things on walls" theme that so many restaurants employ. Their menu is a laundry list of calories that make me hungry just thinking about it. They even serve breakfast all day. The only other place that allows you to order apple strudel french toast all day is heaven, and their syrup isn't nearly as good as Cracker Barrel's. I personally endorse Cracker Barrel's milkshakes. My fondest memories of riding in a car to Flordia is our stop at Cracker Barrel where the men of the family would rest their laurels and indulge in a mug of the finest milkshake you will ever taste.

Cracker Barrel is the kind of brand that feels like it's been around forever when really it opened at a time where town general stores were just dying out. With suburbs becoming more popular, Cracker Barrel bottled the old town general store that now allows any road weary driver haven. Here's to plenty more years of Cracker Barrel. I haven't been there in awhile but every time I go it's a treat.

Happy Birthday Cracker Barrel (picture from Cracker Barrel's web site).

1 comment:

  1. What was the record for how many milkshakes drank in one sitting??????