Opinion | Cracker Barrel: America’s hidden gem


Photo Courtesy of Ildar Sagdejev

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store at 955 Airport Boulevard, near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, in Morrisville, North Carolina.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

There are countless reasons why America is the greatest country in the world: The Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, homemade apple pie, old Glory waving in the sky, hot dogs and baseball. These aspects make being an American all the more enjoyable.

One factor of the American culture that’s widely popular, and sometimes under appreciated, is a hidden gem situated along most highway exit ramps in the country: Cracker Barrel.

The combined restaurant and gift shop has kept consumers happy since its opening fifty years ago in Lebanon, Tenn. The atmosphere in each establishment generates a sense of camaraderie and should be more recognized as such.

Before sitting down at the table for a hearty, made-from-scratch meal, customers have to first stroll through the gift shop. Most of the time, they don’t mind doing so. Filled with old fashioned candy, soda and other treats, the gift shop also offers seasonal holiday decor, old movies and TV shows on DVD, toys and other various travel items. It’s a great way to spend time before or after your meal.

Even while waiting for a table, customers are welcome to sit in a rocking chair outside on the front porch and play a game of checkers. The classic strategy game sits atop an actual cracker barrel which makes the playing experience even more pleasing. It’s another customer favorite of Cracker Barrel that contributes to anyone’s visit; time well spent.

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Mostly intended for those traveling on the open road, Cracker Barrel offers an environment that makes you feel like you’re not too far from home. And that begins with the food.

Each location isn’t like any other franchise restaurant known for hot-off-the-grill steaks, mouth watering burgers and many other tasty meals. The menu features countless appetizing meal choices that all taste like home cooking, including the shrimp platter, Sunday homestyle chicken and meatloaf. If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.

Cracker Barrel is also known for their breakfast. Customers can choose from a wide selection of fan favorites, like their famous pancakes and syrup, tasty eggs cooked to order and other classics like bacon, sausage and biscuits. Don’t forget to include the restaurant’s number-one selling menu item to your next meal either: the famous hashbrown casserole.

Whether you’re traveling across America or just stopping in for a delicious meal to share with family, you will never leave Cracker Barrel disappointed. With great food, friendly staff and an excellent gift shop, everyone should consider Cracker Barrel for their next meal.

It’s one of America’s greatest features and part of the many reasons why we are all proud to be an American.

Noah is a sophomore in LAS.

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