: It's the Crack in Cracker Barrel that keeps us coming back for more. Must be why we all flock back to this place or maybe it's the laid back atmosphere creating the feeling of yesteryear. Ok--really it must be the crack they slip into the food. (Just kidding of course.) The Reuben was an excellent addition to their menu, a little to sauerkraut-y but oh sooo tasty. The Onion rings were fantastic. Large portions and friendly staff/atmosphere make this B+. (2005-05-03)
: Have you ever noticed that a Cracker Barrel is always packed? It does not matter what day of the week or what time of year, the lot is full. Have you ever wondered why? I have. The food is good but I must ask myself "is it good enough to cause such a high volume of traffic?" I don't think so. So what is it that causes so many people to flock here? It is my belief that there is something that happens at a Cracker Barrel that I am not privy to. There must be a back room somewhere that houses the real attraction. One must know the secret handshake or word to gain access. A code that has been handed down through Templars or the Free Masons or maybe even the Shriners (I just can't trust a man in a little car that wears a fez). I want to know what it is. One of our regular reviewers is a law enforcement officer and investigator but he did not show up for this trip. He could have helped me find this inner sanctum. They must have gotten to him. What lengths won't they go to to keep me out of the inner circle!!
You all must go to Cracker Barrel and order the Reuben. It was a good sandwich. However be warned that the pickle chips are of the sweet variety, perhaps if you are a member of their cult you get proper dill slices. I ordered the fries. Don't do that. Order the onion rings. Several at the table ordered the rings and they looked great and they got a ton of them. Oh my! Perhaps some members of my Reuben group are members of the Cracker Barrel "family". I did notice one of my friends was wearing a Free Masons ring and he knew to order the onion rings. They are everywhere. I must go now. I need more foil. My hat does not quite cover my ears. (2005-05-03)
Ever been to Lebanon Tennessee? I haven't been there since I was a teenager, but I remember it not being much of anything other than just another sleepy southern town. Cracker Barrel must have been in its infancy those days; either as a mom and pop eatery or just someone's dream. Cracker Barrel is now a ubiquitous restaurant found at nearly every interstate exit in the tri-state area; waiting patiently for customers in search of something the golden arches will never possess. Good home cookin'. Ah, the memories of Sunday breakfasts prepared by my father that even to this day fill one with satisfaction and sleepiness if over indulged. My mother's fried chicken makes my mouth water every time I think about it. Good home cookin'. Cracker Barrel's claim is boastful and humble at once.
While I don't remember if my mother made Reubens, her grilled cheese sandwiches sustained me during the summer days of my youth. I bet however if she made them they would be just like these. Lightly toasted, piled high with fresh ingredients, the sandwich contained ample amounts of the usual assortment of authorized substances (enough sauerkraut for my discerning taste). The sandwich was large and could barely be consumed at a single sitting. I had my meal with onion rings that need to be bragged on. They give you at least 1/2 of a large sweet Vidalia, breaded and deep-fried. They were delivered so hot that much blowing was needed to hungrily munch them down.
After seriously stretching the limits of fullness, we paid our bills and ambled out the door to our cars. Upon my return to my gray cubicle, I began to plow on with the mundane details of designing software. Software design is not like making sausage, but you find you have lots of pieces left over when you're done. Soon however, the effects of good home cookin' swept over me the way summer rains slowly move across the sky. Gently at first then gradually increasing to a good soaking. I wished for a poach swing or a soft couch to knap out the digestive processing of good home cookin'. The rest of the day was spent in continuous restlessness as I fought the lethargy brought on by good home cookin'. How could you eat this much and get back out on the road and travel hours to your destination?
: I like Cracker Barrel. It has a relaxed atmosphere and I feel comfortable eating there with anybody. The service was friendly and competent. And I like being able to pay at the register instead of waiting at the table. My real lemonade was served nearly frozen in a frosted mug with a lemon wedge, which is about as good as lemonade gets. Table service was china plates, metal flatware, paper napkins. Coleslaw was served in a small black plastic cup (the menu writeup did say it was "a sample"), and though I don't much care for slaw it was pretty good. I would have finished it if I hadn't stuffed myself achingly full on the sandwich and onion rings. The sandwich came out with a tootpick in each half, and atop each toothpick was a slice of sweet pickle. It didn't have much dressing, and I couldn't taste the rye. The cheese was noticeable and the meat was okay, but mostly there was a heck of a lot of sauerkraut. I like kraut on my Reuben, but I would have been happier with about half this much: maybe then I could have tasted something else. The highlight of the meal was the onion rings. The default side was steak fries, but fortunately I opted for these beauties instead. It seemed like they cut a whole vidalia onion, with layers of unusual thickness, into rings about half an inch wide. I was full long before I finished eating them: I couldn't stop until they were gone. It was a pretty expensive Reuben Tuesday, but given how full and happy I was, it's tough to complain about the value. Overall, only the Reuben itself slightly diminished the quality of a very pleasant meal. (2005-05-03)
: This Reuben had a lot of sauerkraut--probably too much. The pierced sweet pickles were a bad idea--definitely intriguing as flags, but I'm a dill guy myself. The bread was nicely grilled, and the meat was adequate and rather tasty. The Swiss cheese was excellent and abundant. The onion rings I ordered were enough for two people. The cole slaw was creamy and delicious and the raspberry lemonade in chilled mugs was superb. I wish Cracker Barrel would keep their Reuben on the menu after this special promotion because it's definitely a quality item for the menu lineup. I would recommend it. (2005-05-03)
: The Reuben suffered from an excess of sauerkraut. The marbled bread, generous amount of swiss cheese, and corned beef were all good, but it was difficult to taste the meat because the flavor and amount of sauerkraut was overwhelming. (2005-05-03)