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Cracker Barrel - Not for the Non-Smoker and Certainly NOT Customer-Service Friendly
Posted by Pharma_Rep on 03/13/2006
GAS CITY, INDIANA -- I recently went to Cracker Barrel, for the first time, and had a most unfortunate experience that I must share. Additionally, because of my experience I will certainly recommend against having any of my friends, family, or patients go to for the first time or return to the restaurant.

I am a physician currently in a general surgery residency and have a very high sensitivity to cigarette smoke; additionally, I just do not care to be around it for the obvious reasons (health, smell, etc.).

I went to the Gas City, Indiana location and asked to be seated as far away from smoking as possible. After waiting fifteen (15) minutes, I was seated - not an abnormally long or unacceptable wait, in my opinion.

There was no smoke in the room when I was seated; however, things would take a turn for the worse very quickly. I found out very soon that I was seated right next to the smoking section. If there were doors or it were "closed off" completely then I would have been fine; however, such was not the case. I asked to be moved and was informed that I would likely have to wait 20 minutes or longer. Keep in mind that this is after I had already received my food - this is when the inconsiderate people that MUST smoke in a restaurant started doing such.

I immediately left the restaurant, as my appetite to eat there was lost, and went to another well-established restaurant.

After sending an e-mail to the corporate office suggesting that if someone says "as far away from smoking as possible" literally means "far away," I received a very snide e-mail in return. It stated, essentially, that it would be quite a pain for them (Cracker Barrel) to create a completely different area for smokers (i.e. doors). Additionally, I was told that Cracker Barrel abides by state and local laws that prevent smoking in certain localities and states in restaurants.

My questions are:

1. Why would Cracker Barrel, in light of scientific findings, allow non-smokers to be contaminated by smokers?

2. Risk a class-action lawsuit by employees that are non-smokers. Just wait and see, this will happen. Just as you cannot ask a person to go into a confined space without a respirator or OSHA will be in your behind, it will happen that restaurants that actively encourage smokers to come will suffer the consequences legally - just wait. Think of the poor lady that is a waitress that must cope with that for twenty to thirty years!

3. WHY was I just not moved to a section not as close to the smoking section? I had no issue eating at a restaurant where smokers were, regardless of how I feel about them. My issue was simply to be as far away as possible - such did not happen.

4. Why was I not encouraged to return to the restaurant? Is it because they feel they could not possibly be of assistance to non-smokers and having that section is just a ploy? I paid $14.00+ for a meal that I could not eat!

I can assure you that all of my patients will be informed about this situation. Additionally, I know 50+ physicians personally (all non-smokers), I can assure you that they will inform their patients as well! This means that a minimum (BARE minimum) of 5,000 patients will here this complaint but more likely three times more than that will hear about this!

Thanks for the great customer service Cracker Barrel!


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Posted by lobo65 on 2006-03-13:
I'm with you. Nothing ruins a meal like the smell of those disgusting cancer sticks. I also try to sit as far away from the smoking section as possible.
Posted by Pharma_Rep on 2006-03-13:
Thank you - I knew I wasn't alone on this one! I'm starting a grassroots campaign to discourage smokers from frequenting Cracker Barrel. Perhaps a billboard on the interstate near one of their signs will help!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-13:
Why would you choose to be seated at a place that allows smoking? If non-smokers would simply quit doing business with any establishment that allows smoking then we would see an end to the smoking section. I love the waffle house but I don't go because of all the smoke. If I did choose to go there then I really shouldn't complain, should I?
Posted by ejack053824 on 2006-03-13:
Doc I wouldn't have went there in the first place if I knew there was a smoking section.
Posted by miketech on 2006-03-13:
Posted by tander on 2006-03-14:
I don't smoke, but I believe in smokers rights, don't think they should be locked in a room to eat, just to appease others, but I also don't like the smell either when I eat makes me want to puke.
Posted by miketech on 2006-03-14:
Sorry I didn't really mean Nazi. I smoke and am not proud of it but without my smokes I get so irritated. I live in Tennessee and they won a lawsuit against the tobacco companies. Did include in that lawsuit anyway to get off smokes? Nope they just added it into the general fund. I'm still absolutely addicted and that's that. I have been addicted to about everything at one time or another and cigarettes are the most addictive substance on earth. I'm hooked with no hope for redemption. Sorry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-14:
Smoking is not a sign of a character flaw, but rather a human weakness. That being said, I still believe it's a nasty filthy habit and that it should be banned from all public establishments.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-14:
Part of eating out in public, is being out in public. There are things I dont' like when I eat out but I put up with them because I don't own any public area. I love Cracker Barrel, if a person is that sensitive to smoke perhaps should (as others suggested) find a totally nonsmoking restaurant.
I don't smoke either but I am tired of the constant carping on smokers, put a tax and public ban on other harmful things (like beer, twinkies, fried chicken, kids the run around and scream in restaurants) once in awhile and give the smokers a break.
Posted by yoke on 2006-03-14:
Being a non smoker I used to resent having to sit in a resturant and eat while the smokers filled my breathing area with their dirty habit. I am glad the CT has banned smoking in resturants. It is nice to enjoy a meal without smoke. But for the screaming kids, get them out of there. If it is a family resturant I can tolarate it for a period, but when we go out to a nice resturant ($25+ meals) and pay for a babysitter to watch my kids I resent having screaming kids running around.
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-14:
As a doctor, you act like those who smoke are just doing it for the pleasure of it. Come on, doc. You've had years of schooling, you should know the power of addiction. I'm a non-smoker myself, and that seating would have bothered me too, but you should not have been mad at the smokers themself - they have the right to eat, too. If other people's lifestyles bother you so much, why do you do business with the general public?
Posted by Ponie on 2006-03-14:
'I just do not care to be around it for the obvious reasons (health, smell, etc.).' Health? Can you say Dana Reeve? Smell? Maybe I don't like the smell of your aftershave or cologne. Also your deodorant, or lack thereof. I kinda think you're full of yourself. Why was it necessary to mention that you're a 'physician,' or whatever? Do you think that entitles you to special privileges? I don't like smoke billowing around when I'm eating either, but your snootiness comes through loud and clear in this letter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-14:
Smoking is dirty, stinky and most of all deathly unhealthful. When I'm out at a restaurant, paying good money for a meal, I don't think I should be "taxed" by breathing the filthy second hand smoke of an inconsiderate patron. Do the right thing and go outside.
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-14:
Once again, I'm a non-smoker, but for you to say smokers should go outside is very one-sided. I'm sure smokers would argue, if you do not want to be around the smoke, then stay outside. You think you are entitled to a smoke-free restaurant, smokers think they are entitled to smoke in restaurants. Both sides have a point, so, to get everything your way, STAY AT HOME!
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-14:
Besides, anymore there are plenty of smoke-free restaurants where non-smokers can eat their meal. Eat at one of these. You are not obligated to eat at such-and-such restaurant if you do not agree with the seating or smoking policy. Just go somewhere else, you picky people!
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-14:
"I WANT to go to this restaurant, and I WANT to sit over there, and I DON'T WANT to sit there because I DON'T WANT to breathe other people's smoke" Well, let's just give everybody everything they want. That will solve the world's problems. Way to go, doctor! I think you might have something going here :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-14:
My point is, my presence brings no stink, or pollutants to the establishment. Therefore, I believe everyone else should be as courteous. If they are allowed to smoke, why can't I just fart all over the place? What's the difference?
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-14:
Are you saying people don't fart outside of their home? The average person does 14 times per day, and usually discreetly. People don't go around doing it all day out loud becaue of the social attachment to it. But, believe me, it happens you just don't realize it all the time.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2006-03-14:
I fart about 25 times a day. Basher would never fart because she is afraid of dirtying up her thong. Furthermore on farts.....BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-14:
It does not take a brain surgeon to work out where the smoking area is and how close to it you are being seated. Also, our op could have had the meal to go and just not returned to the place. What are 5000 people being informed about? That some people sometimes smoke in some food places?
Posted by Slimjim on 2006-03-14:
"my presence brings no stink"?? Pirate, are you out here fibbing on the reviews again? You even made Ejack commence operation "blast away". He didn't want to hurt your feelings, but that wasn't exactly to mask anyone's smoking.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-15:
Whatever slim, being as this isn't a shaking washer complaint, I don't see why you feel the need to comment here. That is - unless you're stalking me (again.) And the answer is still no, I won't go out with you, I don't swing that way.
Posted by bmakowski46 on 2006-03-15:
I am a smoker, and I agree with you. I have been smoking for years, but I don't like it around when I'm eating, or when I'm around non smokers (which is unfortunately quite often.) I dont' think you should be allowed to smoke in restuarants. Almost everyone goes to restuarants, and there is no reason why you can't wait an hour to have a cigarette. The only exception I would make would be for a bar, since it is not the typical dining atmosphere (and even "non smokers" have the occasional cigarette when drinking)
Posted by Pharma_Rep on 2006-03-15:
The fact of the matter is that the restaurant has no smoke prior to smokers lighting up - that is indisputable. Additionally, it's indisputable that if a person is around ANY type of "smoke," freely exposed to it day after day, that it has a carcinogenic effect on said person.

Should I be allowed to go into a restaurant smelling like pig feces - to the point of offending others - and be allowed to eat next to someone who does not? No - the smokers would be complaining, as am I, about the issue.

If the smoke does not bother smokers, then just close them off with doors in the smoking area? I mean, if it's not that bad and doesn't irritate smokers then they should be fine sitting in a bar-like atmosphere.

It is addictive, of course, but there are consequences for all of our actions. Whether it be a drug addict facing the long-term effects of his habit or an alchoholic with a liver that is essentially mush - however, non-smokers are having the air intentionally dirtied by smokers.

I disputed the charge, of the meal, with Visa and to my delight they reversed the charge. If smokers wish to smoke at Cracker Barrel, fine, but seat me as far away from them as possible - is that so hard to ask?

Smokers - if you know that your behavior dirties the air in a restaurant and that CHILDREN, who have no choice in where they eat, are there - then why would you do it? It's the same as parents that smoke with the windows rolled up in the car - selfishness!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-16:
Hi Doc: I smoked for 36 years and tried every thing you and the drug pushers come up with. Not one of these things (SCAMS) worked but they cost me a lot of money. Finally I had a hart attack, 90% blockage. The doctor told me it was not the smoking but if I didn't quit I would die. I got it and have not smoked for 2 years. But I don't go jogging along the hiway either and I don't want to become a supporter for thoughts who make money off other peoples addictions. In other words lawyers, doctors, drug companies and the damn government who were the biggest supporters of the tobacco companies after they found out smoking was bad.
I don’t like the smell or the way it made me feel either. But most of all I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-16:
So PharmaRep you ate the food and the disputed the charge later - seems to me if it was that bad you shouldn't have eaten their food. Because you see eating the food and then not paying is STEALING - a crime (unlike smoking.)
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-16:
Pharma Rep: Your comments make it clear that you are either 1) young and naive, or 2) stupid. You act like smoking is a choice. Years of research continue to prove that nicotine is a HIGHLY ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE. If you could just easily 'kick the habit' please tell us how. Personally, I am a non-smoker, but I have people in my family who smoke. Sure, it was their decision to pick it up and smoke, but who didn't succumb to peer pressure one way or another as a teen? We cannot banish the smokers from this world just because you don't like it. If *YOU* have a hard time dealing with it, STAY HOME! Nobody ever tied you to a rope and dragged you to the restaurant that allows smoking. Make wise choices on where to eat before you sit down and take advantage of a company.

Calling your credit card for a dispute is only valid for purchases of $50 or more. You spent $50 at Cracker Barrel? I hope you have a big family and it wasn't all just for you! :)
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-03-16:
I am currently a non-smoker. I quit about 5 years ago cold turkey. I hated the way that I smelled after smoking so, one day I just tore up the pack and flushed them. I haven't touched one since and if I did, I would become very sick.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-03-18:
When something affects the health of people around them, then it is a public issue...If an establishment is enclosed, there should be no smoking in it at all...if it is outdoors, then that's a different story if you are not forced to sit directly in the line of the smoking. Smoker will argue it is their right to smoke or not, that would be true if it only affected the smoker, but with so much damage done to health of non-smokers by the smoker, then the non-smoker has to have rights too. I may not fully understand the addiction of smoking because I am not a smoker and I never was...but why do smokers have the need to smoke when they eat? If they need a smoke after they are finished eating, they should leave the resturant when they are finished eating, give the table up to other customers who are waiting to be seated and smoke outside. If they can't control themself for the short time they are in public then they need to go somewhere for help...sometimes when I am in a place where there are smokers, I gag at the smell of my hair and my clothes are ruined with smoke smell...where are my rights?????
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-03-18:
Reminds me of a bumper sticker I seen: "Isn't a smoking area in a resturant like a peeing area in a swimming pool"...LOL
Posted by tgtman on 2006-03-18:
So, should we banish children from restaurants who cry and scream? It is bothersome to others, but is it enough to forbid babies and infants from coming in at all? Your comments make it seem that since babies crying affects everyone, then they shouldn't be allowed at all.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-03-24:
No, dummy...we are talking about health issues here...
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-03-24:
Posted by jan trueblood on 2006-04-16:
i don`t like or enjoy screaming & crying kids when i go out to eat. so lock them up in a room and let the SMOKERS OUT !!!!!
Posted by imjustasteph on 2007-05-04:
Whatcha wanna bet the smokers who think they have the right to impose their smoke on you are the same people who think a nursing mother should be shut in a bathroom stall to feed her infant?

I for one am quite thankful for new, tighter smoking laws....if only people were forbidden to smoke around their kids!

I'm speaking as a sufferer of allergies and breathing troubles, after growing up with a mother who smoked while pregnant, smoked in the car with the windows up, smoked in the closed up house....
Posted by JJ on 2014-01-02:
I have requested "non-smoking" section, only to be taken to the table next to the smoking section and next to the doorway opening. The restaurant was not even busy. I declined the table and told them that table would still subject me to smoke which is a real issue for my breathing. Those that want to make ugly comments about intollerance of smokers--if you had breathing issues, you might understand. Smoking should be banned in public places, we should not be locked in our homes so others can do as they please and destroy the air quality.
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Broke Tooth on Hard Chicken
Posted by on 04/30/2002
BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA -- While eating at a Cracker Barrell, I broke a tooth on a piece of hard breaded chicken. I did not flag down a manager, but while I was in the restroom checking out my tooth, I told someone in the restroom with a Cracker Barrel apron on what had happened. We left as I was trying to beat the clock to my dentist before closing on this Memorida Day Weekend, 2001. Of course they were closed early for the holiday. On Tuesday, I took the tooth wrapped in the Cracker Barrel napkin back to Cracker Barrel and told them what happened. I had to have this tooth crowned per my dentist. To make a long story short, I never even received an apology from Cracker Barrel. They had some two-bit insurance company guy tell me, and I quote "your tooth was so bad, it would have broken out on it's own without eating their chicken". My dentist certainly didn't tell me that. He said that must have been some "hard chicken". Anyway, I have suceeded in keeping a lot of customers away from their restaurant in the past year. I hope I can warn others and they to will desire not to spend their hard earned money in an estalbishment such as this.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-01:
Maybe you should spend more time brushing your teeth and less time crying about something that happened a year ago.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-01:
Bad teeth can be broken on just about anything so don't blame the chicken at Cracker Barrel. And, why take your nasty tooth back there and show them. Eeeewww!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-02:
I broke my tooth when eating a slice of pizza. Of course, I did NOT blame the store or the food. As someone pointed out, bad teeth can break at anytime. You could have been eating applesauce and it could've happened. I guess you'd want to sue Del Monte then!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-02:
I broke my front teeth eating hard candy. Teeth break all the time.

What you need to do is get someone from the restaurant to punch you in the mouth or push you and you fall and as a result you break your tooth and then you'll be rolling in the dough.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-07:
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-07:
You people are really stupid. I agree with the customer, if you fell and broke your leg there, you would expect them to take care of it, now wouldn't you. Or maybe you would just hobble home and start drinking milk!! You are using the posting site to show your ignorance, there are enough chat rooms for that! Get Real!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-07:
Dear Stupid People: You're the idiot.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-07:
To Stupid People: You are the one who is showing your ignorance.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-07:
IF I tripped on a broom laying around or another form of REAL negligance, yes I would like their assistance. If I fell and broke my leg because I had a bad leg to start and couldn't walk right, then I guess then they realy had nothing to do with it. You should take your own "get real" advise.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-08:
Some of these reviews are really NOT funny! I though this was to voice conerns about a problem we've had. I know better than to voice mine now! Wow what a wasted site!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-05-24:
Why didn't you let a manager know when it happened. So you had time to finish up the meal with your family, pay your bill, and then head out to the dentist? Why didn't you get a manager right then? They probably didn't believe that you did it in their restaraunt.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-08-20:
I used to be a regular customer at Cracker Barrel until I started to hear of some of their practices, the writer's being included. I doubt the "right" people ever hear the complaints, only the little flunkies they hire to handle them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-23:
Nice try trying to get free dental coverage from the restuarant. I am glad they saw through your little fraud. Now get your nasty a$$ed teeth fixed on your own dime!
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-10-01:
a week tooth can break at any time even with grinding, your dentist should have been more informative and educate you as a patient,as to why it happened, your tooth must have had a big filling for it to break and then need a crown. anyway fried chicken is bad for you !!!!!
Posted by Pharma_Rep on 2006-03-15:
Anonymous people - it takes a real act of bravery submitting comments in a manner that others can't challenge your identity or pattern of posting...really brave of you!

You are walking on a very fine line when you accuse someone of fraud without having any proof of such fraud. Free speech is protected - libel and fraud isn't! Fraud is a specific crime in the US - google it :)

It is VERY well possible that he chipped his tooth on the chicken. If you would like we can discuss the physical composition of teeth and chicken bones, density, etc., and then have a reasonable discussion about the possiblity of the customer breaking his tooth. Simply put, it's possible!

One of the commenters hit the proverbial nail on the head by stating that if the customer slipped and fell in the restaurant, it (restaurant) would likely be held negligent and would pay (likely willingly) the charges incurred.

If you need any expert advice regarding bone density, teeth, etc., just shoot me an e-mail, messr. or madam customer. Heed not to the uninformed or cynical, in this case, as the ones accusing one of lying are likely the liars themself!

Posted by mdcook on 2006-03-30:
Ive been a server/grill cook at cracker barrel for 6 years. What you should have done is talk to the manager-they are required to fill out an accident report and cracker barrel will pay for whatever needs to be taken care of, but unfortunately since you didnt do that when it happened, but came back later-there was no way to prove that it happened there.
Posted by jimdog23 on 2009-10-25:
you think you got it bad , you know cracker barrel dont drug test there employees and they treat there employees worst than you got treated due to Georgia is a wrk at will law , i do fill for you and please understand there nothing but lyiers any way , the waitresses get treated like dog's and the managers are lier.s
Posted by Crack in the Barrel on 2010-10-17:
not the biggest fan of cb but wasnt their fault!
Posted by Crack in the Barrel on 2010-10-17:
Jimdog23 sums it up perfectly
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Noise, Children
Posted by Decnbluz on 06/02/2013
LOVELAND, COLORADO -- I was there for my mother's 75th birthday, which should have been a fun occasion. Instead, it turned into a fiasco! A family of 7 came in ( I don't have any problems with most families when children are behaving), 3 children, 4 adults. From the time they sat down the children were up and running, screaming, crying and the adults seemed to think that was just fine. I could no longer carry on a conversation without shouting! My mother and I tried to talk with them about keeping things down and the family turned and said if we didn't like it we could go to another restaurant.

I tried to get the manager involved, but they were no where to be found. We didn't enjoy our lunch, we didn't enjoy the day, and frankly the restaurant is not interested in it's patron's comforts beyond paying for the meal. I'm not normally a complainer, but I'm getting to the point that I can't stand other people's children. When they are sitting like normal human beings they are great, but a restaurant is not the place to let your children go wild. I didn't sign up for babysitting nor do I believe, did the staff. Stay away from Cracker Barrel!! Unless you like obnoxious noise and disturbances.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-06-02:
IMO, CB is not a place to go for a special celebration. First off, the service stinks far too often. Next, the food preparation is uneven at best.

Then you come to your complaint - think about the responsibility your fellow diners lack. There is only so much management can do. That said, all the CBs I have been to have management close by, to listen to complaints. I am surprised you could not find one.
Posted by Decnbluz on 2013-06-02:
Thank-you for your response. Unfortunately, it was my mother's decision to go there. I am not a fan of the chain. We did stand at the front desk for 15 minutes before my mother gave up. Poor response time.
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-06-02:
What you could have done is complain to the waitress and then to management and request they take care of the unruly diners. If they do not, then inform the waitress/manager that you will be leaving now, without a charge for the food, of course. Make sure you do this before you finish the meal. In other words, after no one bothered or cared to resolve the problem, you should have just walked out in mid-meal. By the way, where were the other diners? Are you the only ones who had a problem? If so, then either you were dining with a room full of sheep or you are overly sensitive. I suspect you were dining with a room full of sheep, afraid of their own shadows. This is the new America.
Posted by Decnbluz on 2013-06-02:
Thank-you Mr. Nicholson for your response. We did complain to our waiter, his response was that he has no control over the situation. When we were paying the bill, we informed the cashier and waited for the manager. As we were standing there an elderly couple came up and complained of the same incident. It was all for nothing.
It was a full house in the restaurant with other children, who were sitting and not screeching. Normally children do not disturb us but I could no longer hear what anyone was saying. Ah well, lesson learned. Will definitely have to search out better dining.
Posted by andbran on 2013-06-03:
i really do not understand this generation. when i was growing up( i am 51) my parents made it very clear how we were suppose to act when going out in public. of course back then we were actually afraid of our parents.
Posted by iluvcb on 2013-07-25:
Agree with andbran. I am 35 and have 3 kids age 7, 8, and 11. When little I used to tell my kids if a stranger doesn't compliment us on how well behaved they are, they weren't good enough. We got lots of smiles and pos. Feedback when they were young.
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No Way is Poster Accurate
Posted by Bowdog on 10/17/2010
Saw where someone from SC posted that Cracker Barrel was using pre-cooked, frozen products................ said that the dumplings and roast beef gravy were coming in frozen............... that's just not accurate.

The chicken and dumplings are made fresh daily............. dumplings are rolled and cut by hand............. the buttermilk biscuits are also made by hand fresh daily, as is the sawmill gravy and grits. Cracker Barrel has held true to their standards since 1969 and I don't see that changing anytime soon.................. just so you've got the "other" side of the story.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-17:
It's just too good to be frozen!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-17:
Where did you see this other review?
Posted by Starlord on 2010-10-18:
Some time ago, a person claiming to be a CB employee who had been let go made those claims. I agree with lee. It is just too good to be frozen.
Posted by werelucky on 2010-10-18:
I've only been to Cracker Barrel once and it was a scary experience. I've never have seen such a large group of obese people at one time. Looking at the menu I could see why. I doubt if a fresh fruit or vegetable has ever entered the building. It's easy to see why heart disease is America's number one killer.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-18:
I was a regular at Cracker Barrel for a year or two, when my weekly commute took me past three different locations.

At first I was happy with the experience. But then I came to notice that turnover in the kitchen led to frequent preparation issues. Also, I seemed to often arrive when a shift changeover was in progress. I well remember sitting in the chair, server after server walking past without even looking at me, my server evidently doing something in the kitchen. For me it didn't work out, but this should be useful for some.
Posted by Inat on 2010-10-18:
praytell, what the F is 'sawmill gravy'?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-10-18:
I believe it's white gravy with sausage. Down here in the South, we call it sausage gravy and use it primarily in the morning for breakfast with biscuits.
Posted by clutzycook on 2010-10-18:
Among some people, it's called $%&^ on a shingle :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-18:
I thought $%&^ on a shingle was creamed chipped beef on toast. This was my one of my FAVORITE things to eat when I lived in the dorm.
Posted by boycottingCB on 2011-06-10:
Everything does come in pre-made and frozen except for the biscuits! They do this so that every store is the same and so the food comes out quicker. Really? You think they could put out food that fast and make it fresh all the time? You definitely don't go there for fresh or healthy food!!
Posted by jess on 2011-11-25:
I work at CB, white gravy comes frozen in a bag
Posted by Bachus58 on 2012-01-23:
im a manager for CB...most is made fresh some is frozen. Biscuits, dumplins and cornbread are all scratch made daily. The "Sawmill" gravy comes in a pre-portioned "chub" which is essentially the rue for gravy in which we add milk, the Green beans are canned and so are the apples. Yes you can put fresh made food fast...its cooked and then held on either a steamline and/or hotbox.
Posted by Bachus58 on 2012-01-23:
also, I wouldn't put it past some moron manager to freeze the stuff from the night before in order to make food cost. Just saying it because im sure its happened before.
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This time, Cracker Barrel was a good choice
Posted by Knightoftheword on 06/23/2009
MOODY, ALABAMA -- This past Saturday, June 20 (I think), after running around my sister all day, I came home to get my fiance. I suggested we go eat and he told me to choose. I told him he wouldn't like my choice: At once, he knew I wanted Cracker Barrel. Normaly it is not a good experience, but I like their food and their prices so I go expecting poor service. My fiance, always spoiling me, reluctantly agreed to Cracker Barrel. They had a new special: Campfire chicken with veggies or Campfire roast with veggies. I got the chicken and he got the roast. Both meals came out in tin foil (on a plate) like they really were made on a camp grill. Both were excellent! On top of that, the service we got was perfect! The waiter kept up with our needs without overshadowing us and enjoyed our meals very much. We decided to call the manager over to give to compliment the service and the food (especially the food). The manager was very friendly and conversational but had one very bad piece of news for us: They will only be serving the campfire meals for another 2 weeks! If you live near a cracker barrel, I highly recommend trying these dishes before they become a thing of the past.
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Posted by knightoftheword on 2009-06-23:
Just writing this review made me hungry again.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-23:
Good call knight! Of course, I'd have driven mr. right back to that Church parking lot for some fine dining, if I was you. lol
Good review!
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Maple Syrup
Posted by Drop43 on 05/03/2009
I was shocked to realize this morning that CB has substituted the real maple syrup, for a blend of maple and cane (55%/45%). How about offering the real thing for an extra charge? And yes, how sneaky to keep the same bottle. Very disappointing.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-03:
I 100% agree with this review. I used to go to cracker barrel just for the pancakes and real maple syrup but not anymore. The pancakes are not near as good and the syrup is just dreadful. Yes, using the same bottle is dishonest. I for one would be willing to pay extra for the pure maple syrup. Bad move CB.

Good review!
Posted by Principissa on 2009-05-03:
Agreed crabs. I liked their maple syrup. It was almost exactly like the syrup that hubby's grandparents send us from Vermont, now it's junk. I won't even go there for breakfast anymore because of it.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-05-03:
It's been that way for a couple of yrs.
Posted by Evelyn on 2013-07-24:
CB server for 25 years. The reason that our syrup is no longer pure maple syrup...we can't get enough to supply 600 stores without compromising natural resources.
Posted by stick on 2013-08-28:
100% maple syrup is still sold in the retail store. If you are willing to pay more for it just buy it there on your way in!
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Annoying patrons, slow service, and mediocre food
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 06/07/2013
A few weeks ago I stopped for lunch the local Cracker Barrel. I eat there about twice a month, and have had no problems at all up until that day. As usual, it was very busy, I went to the hostess stand and noticed that there were at least 15 parties ahead of me, but as asked how long the wait would be, I was informed that it would be about 10 minutes, I had my doubts about that given the lengthy waiting list, but agreed to wait anyway. Turns out the hostess was correct, they rattled through with the list with surprising speed, and about 9 minutes later my name was called, actually it was and it wasn't. Apparently there were two people there with the same name, myself, and another person, a funny coincidence, however they said they could seat me right then anyway.

I was seated at a small two person table, not a problem as it was just myself eating, and they were very busy. The waitress comes up to me and takes my drink order, and leaves. About that time a party of 6 is seated at the table next to mine, the party consists of a middle aged gentleman probably about 40-50 years old, a younger gentleman who looked to be in his late 20's early 30's, an elderly lady, an older lady (around 60-70 years old), an infant, and little girl, who was probably around 5 or 6. This is when the trouble began.

The waitress brings my drink, takes my order and leaves again. Normally this Cracker Barrel has pretty quick service; it's rare that I have to wait more than 7-10 minutes for my food. But as I mentioned, they were slammed today so I was fully expecting to wait a bit longer. As I was waiting for my food, the middle aged gentleman at the table next to mine starts loudly talking about how was in the skybox seats at Redskins game to anyone within shouting distance, and then starts going into great detail about his experiences at Fed Ex field last week. I feel something hit my head, nothing painful, but something did hit me, I look on the ground and there's a straw wrapper there. I look over at the table where the loud Redskins fan was sitting and the younger gentleman there is throwing a giggle fit, he has a straw in his hand. I ignore it.

By this time it's been 15 minutes since I ordered my food. The waitress stops by again, and says that they are running behind in the kitchen; understandable. Another 5 minutes pass and I'm hit with spitball, again I glance over at the table next to mine, this time both the middle age man and the younger man are smiling. At this point, I'm starting to lose patience. But I figure my food will be here at any time, and making scene in a crowded restaurant would just make things worse for everyone. And there may have been a possibility that the younger man had a mental disability. The place is so busy, they even have the managers sweeping the floor. So again I decided to let it go.

25 minutes have now passed since I ordered. The waitress stopped by again to let me know that she's not sure why food isn't ready yet. And a few minutes later she came back and said that the kitchen had thought they had already sent my order out, and they are making it right now.

After about 35 minutes my food arrives, it's obviously a bit undercooked, and not exactly piping hot. I eat it anyway, it tasted okay, but not as good as usual. After I finish, I wait any additional 10-15 minutes for the waitress to bring me the check. As I get up front my seat I notice about 3 more spitballs on the floor, apparent misses. I pay my check and leave.

Obviously my experience today wasn't the best. However I'm not going to write off Cracker Barrel or make a knee-jerk reaction like swearing not to go there ever again or anything. Because, of the 30 or so times I've been to this location, this is the first the experience wasn't great. And it's not really Cracker Barrel's fault, that there were two jackasses at the table next to mine, it's not like the hostess or waiters knew they were going to behave like that. I can also understand the slower than usual service, however the miscue in the kitchen, and the lackluster food were mistakes on their part.

Had the place been less busy, I would've had some words with the two gentleman sitting next to me. But today, it would've been just another headache for the employees to deal with and probably would've resulted in even slower service for everyone else in the restaurant as at least a manager would've had to come address the situation. In this situation, I felt that it was going to be better for everyone if I just let it go.
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Posted by genobeno2005 on 2013-06-07:
Very informative.
With all of that going on, I would have at least have asked for a comp on the meal.

Trust me, undercooked food can be dangerous!
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-06-07:
You made a huge mistake in not confronting the rug rats about the spitballs. No excuse for it. It's called manners.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-06-07:
I agree that their behavior was unacceptable. However, had I made a scene over it, and gotten the staff or manager involved, then chances are everyone else in the restaurant would've been impacted by it. Had it not been as busy as it was, I would've handled the situation more decisively. But in this instance I decided that the situation was already bad enough, and it was best just to cut my losses rather than risking the situation getting even worse for everyone involved. You have to look at the big picture and weigh the possible outcomes. I decided that having one person (me) having a crappy lunch beats having 50 people having a crappy lunch.
Posted by Yusten on 2013-06-08:
Very nice of you to be so considerate, but you also didn't deserve that abuse. I would have definitely had words with anyone shooting spitballs at me. The first one, ok, but over and over? That's disrespect I can't allow.
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Poor Service & Disgraceful Quality
Posted by Starbucks Sucks on 05/29/2003
37615, TENNESSEE -- The last few visits to Cracker Barrel in various locations throughout East TN have been most disappointing. Service has been well below par and the food quality is inexcusably poor. The wait from the time an order is placed until the food arrives has ranged from 25 minutes to as much as 45 minutes, even when the restaurant isn't busy. That problem is only exacerbated by the fact that the food wasn't prepared as requested or the order wasn't filled properly.

My family has now decided to patron Bob Evans Restaurant in lieu of Cracker Barrel.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-01:
Bob Evans has the blandest food on earth, I would rather wait for Cracker Barrel a few extra minutes.
Posted by viperpa33s on 2006-04-01:
The first time I ate at Cracker Barrel with a friend is when I went to Kentucky. The waitress was polite, the food was good and the wait time was reasonable. The waitress checked back out our table 3 times to see if everything was ok and if we needed anything else. Just because this Cracker Barrel had good service don't mean another one will.
Posted by viperpa33s on 2006-04-01:
BTW, we got our food within 15-20 minutes.
Posted by CAR7 on 2006-04-01:
sounds like you have had some bad days join the club but not for hair. i thought in the south states they knew how to cook aka comfort food i guess not. yes bob evans food is nasty poor menu but they do have the best salads out there and the french dressing is dammmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good , only thing thats good
Posted by miketech on 2006-04-01:
I like Cracker Barrel as well as most resturants. I'd rather cook at home than wait 45 mins for a seat though. My stepdad eats at Cracker Barrel about 4 times a week.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-02:
You sound like a homeless person.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-04-03:
Just avoid eating at places with long wait times.
Posted by CandyPickletoes on 2006-04-04:
I love Cracker Barrel. My only complaint is that they don't have one closer to me. I only get to go there once a year on my way to one of my yearly vacation spots.

Hmmm...now that I think about it, perhaps there not being a close Cracker Barrel is a good thing, I'd be there all the time if they were close by.
Posted by beanbagbritches on 2006-05-10:
Come to our Cracker Barrell in Greensboro. The food and service are stellar.
Posted by Beverly on 2014-03-26:
Let’s face it, CB is in the business to make money and like any other company, the bottom line will always come over employees…. ALWAYS….They market their CB brand on being known for their signature home cooking and guest service but this comes at a heavy turnover rate of their employees because of either company policy or poor management, inconsistency or both. I don’t expect someone to boycott an establishment based entirely on employee treatment but I believe once it becomes widely known that employees are treated with little respect, it tarnishes the company’s image and may result is loss revenue.
As far as service and food goes, there are good, better and best and the not so great CB’s in the country. It really boils down to CB’s treatment and expectation of their employees. If they are treated fairly and with respect then they will feel a sense pride and of belonging to a company whose motto is people pleasing.
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Pancakes Almost An Inch Thick
Posted by Drumboy1956 on 01/03/2014
DICKSON, TENNESSEE -- With Mama's Pancake Breakfast you get 3 pancakes, one egg any style and bacon or sausage. This review is concerning the pancakes only as the eggs and bacon were perfect.

I've eaten this same meal at different locations and at this particular location several times. The pancakes are always delicious. Tonight, they were almost an inch thick and were not fully cooked in the center. In the past the pancakes are always about 3/8's of an inch thick, golden brown and some of the best I've ever eaten. Not tonight. Not kidding....the plate came out and it looked like there was a stack of 10 pancakes. Ridiculous. Why would anyone make such a stupid change to something that has been good for such a long time?

Very disappointed. I will remember to check with the server next time I order to see if they have gone back to the tried and true version.
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Posted by Tammy_mattina on 12/24/2013
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Was checking out after a family meal, as we were leaving several of my family members said to the cashier, "Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, the girl said "sorry we can't say that, we have to say Happy Holidays". I have always thought of CB as a Christian restaurant, but after the Duck Dynasty incident and now this non Christian response to Christmas. My family will NOT be back.

By the way Jesus Christ IS the reason for CHRISTMAS. WITHOUT CHRIST there is no holiday. Sorry, you had pretty good food, but so do a lot of Christian places.
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-26:
Kinda judgmental and hypocritical since you brought up the Phil Robertson thing to swear off Cracker Barrel just because someone said "happy holidays"

You see Phil never said that he hated gay people or that he didn't have gay friends or acquaintances . He said that he simply doesn't agree with the lifestyle because it goes against his beliefs But he doesn't wish harm or anything upon anyone and he still goes to church that has gay people in it's congregation. And in this instance you're implying that you don't want to go to Cracker Barrel because, not because any bad service or bad food, but because someone said "Happy Holidays", to me that's trifling, and is glaring example of hypocrisy. Perhaps you should be more like Phil and accept that some people might not live their lives they way you choose to live yours and accept that fact.

Sorry if I got off on a bit of a rant, but it's behavior like this from self-professed "Christians" that's one of the reasons why I stopped going to church, and gave up on religion in general. Too much sanctimonious BS for my taste.
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