We met up with Trudy and went back to her home. And what a home, it was absolutely beautiful. We took a cup of coffee and then she drove us to a town called, Murray. That’s where I first encountered a Cracker Barrel. The whole building had such a unique style, something I had never witness before. We entered into a store that sold everything from baseball caps and T-shirts to chinaware and candy. There was a large counter to the left; the bathrooms were dead ahead, neatly hidden away behind two hardwood doors and you entered the restaurant through the top, left-hand corner.
And what a restaurant, I mean…seriously. It was huge and yet at the same time, so homely that you categorically felt at ease. It was all wood in there really and the walls were covered in relics of the past. There was a fireplace as well, although again…seriously. It was colossal, something I won’t forget in a hurry.
Rosie and I sat ourselves down to eat and again, I wasn’t really sure what I should try. The waitress was very accommodating though and took me through the menu. I ordered and then chatted a while with Rosie until the food arrived. The portions were almost as colossal as the fireplace and boy, did I eat my fill.
Later that day, after a guided tour of The Land between the Lakes, we stopped off in Benton, at Belew’s Dairy Bar. It was a little like going back in time. Well, at least it was in my ‘movie’ mind. It was a classic, Drive In, something I personally had never witnessed away from the silver screen before.
We stayed just one night with Trudy in Benton, Kentucky. We had an amazing time, although Nashville, Tennessee was waiting and we still had to head back to Minnesota before my flight home to Sweden.
The first thing to cross my mind that bright and sunny morning in the car was where to find another Cracker Barrel. Heading south, we stopped off at Cadiz and sure enough, there was one there. The parking lot looked the same and so did the outside of the building. Have you ever been somewhere for the first time and still wondered if you might have been there before? Seriously, that déjà vu thing hit me for six.
Stepping into the building, I found myself entering into a store that sold everything from baseball caps and T-shirts to chinaware and candy. There was a large counter to the left; the bathrooms were dead ahead, neatly hidden away behind two hardwood doors and you entered the restaurant through the top, left-hand corner. It wasn’t similar to the one in Murray; it was identical to the one in Murray. Even down to the wooden, relic scattered walls and colossal fireplace. The food was the same as well, which was a good thing because the food at Cracker Barrel is fantastic. Apparently, that’s the idea. I mean, Cracker Barrels menu is based on traditional Southern cuisine, with appearance and decor designed to resemble an old-fashioned general store. Each restaurant features a front porch lined with wooden, rocking chairs, a stone fireplace, and relics from the local area.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. is an all-American chain of combined restaurant and gift stores with a southern theme. The company was founded by Dan Evins in 1969 and the very first Cracker Barrel was in Lebanon Tennessee. This guy is amazing. What a great idea to combine a restaurant with a gift store. Why didn’t I think of that? As of September 18, 2012, the chain operates 620 stores in 42 states.
Nashville was neat and I couldn’t help but think of the kings of country who had played there over the years. It was hot though, man, was it hot! We toured the city, took in the sights and the sounds, absorbed the atmosphere, like breaths of fresh air and finally, we headed north again.
Sighting yet another Cracker Barrel in Peoria, Illinois, I just had to stop and eat again. I thought it would probably be my last chance. I liked that it was the same, felt the warmth of the place. Actually, in the heat of a hot summer day, I am not sure what heat I felt, but you get the picture.
Rosie told me a while back that there is a Cracker Barrel in Minnesota now, so apart from The Great Blue Heron, you pretty much know where you might find me.