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Bob Evans and/or Cracker Barrel

There are locations of both of these in my area. I have never been to either but have looked at both menus and they appear to be similiar. If I was to try one of the two out, which should I choose for the better "gourmet fast food"? I don't despise Denny's and Friendly's, which I assume are similiar, when I just need simple food fast and figured I could add one of these two (Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel) to my list when I need a quick lunch.

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  1. Neither are great, but for my money, I prefer Cracker Barrel. They at least have a daily meat special with vegetables.

    1. Cracker Barrel has good breakfasts and their chicken fried steak is good.

      1 Reply
      1. I went to Cracker Barrel twice,once for breakfast,once for dinner.Both times I found the portions undersized and the food underseasoned.Just bland.And the general store business was a hokey turnoff.I cant see ever going there again,tho their selling point is their accesibilty to interstates.But heck,so is Waffle House'.
        I've been to Bob Evans a few times for breakfast and dinner and always thought I got my moneys worth.It infuriates me that they will not provide butter for the biscuits,pancakes,french toast,dinner rolls.All they will give you is Land O lakes "buttery flavor spread" which does not do the job.But their breakfast sausage is good,burgers passable,nice onion rings.They have some decent pie,but when I asked them to heat it in the microwave they looked at me like I had two heads.Just cant get into room temperature pie.I would probably go there again if they would remedy the butter situation.

        3 Replies
        1. re: billfish

          I go to Bob Evans fairly often and always ask for real butter, and get it. You just have to ask.

          1. re: billfish

            Cracker Barrel portions undersized? Not in Pittsburgh. We only go there for breakfast and only after we've been out of the country for week or more because no matter what country you're in, you're not eating anything like what Cracker Barrel serves, so it's become kind of a "homecoming" tradition. And each time we go, we're always stuffed after breakfast.

            I was at Bob Evans only once, somewhere between Rochester and Buffalo, and only to avoid getting a speeding ticket... long story. But I'll take Cracker Barrel and their "undersized" portions.

            1. re: billfish

              Yes,I've been told that.I tried it.
              Me:"can i please have real butter for the pancakes"
              Nice Waitress:"sure you can hon"
              And I am presented with a little bowl of Buttery Spread.
              Me:"maam thats not butter"
              NW:"Its buttery flavor!Thats all we have"
              At this point I dont feel like doing battle..Should I assume the manager has told the help "Dont give out butter without a fight?".I'm getting too old to fight over butter.I will just buy my pancakes elsewhere.

            2. Cracker Barrel, by a country mile

              1. Bob Evans is more in the vein of a typical "coffee shop" like Dennys, Carrows or Perkins while Cracker Barrel is more about "country cooking". They have fried okra, catfish and turnip greens on the menu. Only Cracker Barrel has rows on rocking chairs on the "front porch"; I often see people sitting and rocking outside as they wait for a table.

                Both do a decent breakfast.

                1. Gourmet fast food is not a term I'd use regarding either. Both have home style cooking. Cracker Barrel (started in Tn.) is southern style, Bob Evans is mid-western style. I've had breakfast, lunch & dinner at both and prefer Cracker Barrel for the selection & flavor. Used to be on the road a lot & C.B. could be counted on for vegetable selections more varied that the usual exit choices of iceberg lettuce & frozen broc/pea/carrots that most chains serve. Their salads are very tasty & good value. I often have cooked for one and appreciated that I could order items I wasn't likely to cook myself (due to size) such as pot roast & meatloaf when the craving hit.

                  1. cracker barrel is a place i would go somewhat out of my way in favor of other choices. bob evans is a place i go out of my way to avoid.
                    cracker barrel is pretty close to tasting home-made, or at least like a local restaurant that's pretty good. bob evans tastes like a step down from a diner.

                    1. Ugh in my area neither. Bob Evans has a rep for using fake eggs and frozen waffles! A co-worker of my husbands got moldy buscuits! I went once and it was enough. Cracker Barrel started strong out here. Huge portions, yummy food, but horrible service. SAdly the food has fallen. The last time I went it was overpriced, over salted and a tiny portion. Bob Evans closed by Cracker Barrel is still open. I much rather go to a popular and long standing Greek owned place near me for breakfast or similar.

                      1. Another vote for the Cracker Barrel. They have really good, southern style food, and the portions are huge. I've been really disappointed by Bob Evans. I've had a few good things from there, the pumpkin bread and the stuffing, but nothing else.

                        1. I haven't eaten at Bob Evans in years, but I love the Cracker Barrel for breakfast...the pancakes are pretty good, and their turkey sausage is some the the best I've had. The only lunch/dinner items I've tried there were the catfish and veggies...both are kinda bland. The deserts are pretty good, try the chocolate cobbler, it's fairly decent (kinda like a pudding cake, served piping hot with ice cream).