For breakfast our first morning in Nashville, Jeff and I went straight to Cracker Barrel after hearing our Nashville-area friends rave about their breakfasts — even though they both pointed out that it’s “chain restaurant style” county breakfasts. Our friends also insisted that we try the hashbrown casserole.
Jeff and I fell instantly in love with Cracker Barrel’s cozy comforting country decor in the store and the restaurant.
Since we both wanted a little bit of everything on their breakfast menu, we went with the Old Timer’s Breakfast sampler ($6.59 each) with fresh orange juice (not included). I opted for scrambled eggs; Jeff selected over easy (his were much better). We both chose the smoked sausage patties. Potatoes are just about my favorite food, so I went for the hashbrown casserole and shared a few bites with Hubby, while he ordered the fried apples. Fortunately, buttermilk biscuits and country gravy automatically come with each order (or else, we’d have had to fight over them). And every order comes with grits (I actually enjoyed them after adding a packet of sweetener).
While everything was good, Jeff and I both concur that the biscuits and gravy are flat out incredible. Beyond incredible. And our friends were right, the hashbrown casserole is to die for. We also both preferred Cracker Barrel to the Waffle House (except for the Waffle House’s scrumptious buttermilk waffles).
Despite their fabulous breakfasts, neither of us was too impressed with Cracker Barrel’s dinners. We spent half of our next vacation day driving across the state along I-40 to our cabin in the Smokies, and since everything in those Smoky Mountain small towns closes by 5pm, we decided to eat dinner on the road, at another Cracker Barrel. Jeff had their Saturday special baked chicken and rice, and I had their chicken and dumplings. Both dishes were just so-so (I actually make a much better version of chicken and dumplings).
Cracker Barrel, founded in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969, currently has 594 country stores and restaurants in 42 states. But, unfortunately, there aren’t any in California. Since I am trying to watch my weight — except while on vacation 😉 — this is probably a good thing for my health, because otherwise, I’d want to enjoy their fabulous fattening breakfasts on a regular basis.