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Sep 13, 2007 08:30 PM

Cracker Barrel

The city I live in is over runned by chain places and is getting another one.....Crackel Barrel. I looked at their menu online and their blueberry pancakes and chicken and dumplings interest me. Has anybody tried them and are they any good? Thanks

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  1. I won't put down CB as one of the most obvious chains on the board. :) Actually, if you're in that mood, and on the interstate, it will most definitley suffice. I have had their chicken and dumplings, and they are "chicken and dumplings". You won't need to stop for another 400 miles... I like CB when I say, "Let's just stop at CB." You won't leave disappointed, you won't leave hungry, and you'll probably move onto the next leg of your trip, happy and full...I can't comment on their pancakes, but I'm sure they do the trick as well. As far as service goes, I've never had an unfriendly waiter...but then again, check for the stars.:)

    1. i havent had the blueberry pancakes. but i had their french toast. it was so much that i couldnt finish it. love the little individual bottles of syrup. my sister got the strawberry topping for her pancakes and loved them.

      but what is with the stars on the aprons? i noticed them the last time i was there and didnt get a chance to ask my server.

      9 Replies
      1. re: vttp926

        I've been wondering about the stars, too. We don't have a CB close to us, but I like the chain. Mostly because I'm a displaced Southerner who occasionally wants to have grits or fried okra without people looking at her like she's lost her mind.

        1. re: AlyKen

          I'm 99% sure the stars have to do with how long they've worked for CB-i think each star represents a year, but not exactly sure...

          1. re: rachelnyc

            The stars represent levels of training. It's not exactly based on time. I think for the first one you only have to work there 60 days and pass a short written test. If memory serves, to get the higher ones you have to demonstrate more complicated skills and pass other tests.

            I worked there two summers in college and got one star, but didn't try for the others. It does increase your pay if you get them.

            While working there, I was pretty impressed with their food. Almost everything is made from scratch. Their standards are the best - fried catfish, pot roast, chicken&dumplings, etc. Also very good grilled chicken sandwiches on sourdough.

            1. re: hufferc

              Almost....the stars go by PAR level (Personal Achievement Recognition) You start at PAR 0(or rising star) can get up to 4 stars and then get a maroon apron to show that you are skilled enough to train new workers. Chances are that if you gt a server with a 4 stars and a trainer apron they have been there for atleast 3 years. Anyways, you start at Rising star and when you are there for one month you get a star (PAR 1) 3 Months after getting your 1st star you PAR test to get your 2nd star. After that Par 3 is 3 months after the 2nd star and PAR 4 is 4 months after the 3rd star.. Every star you get a raise, but to go up a star you must pass a test with a certain % to get that level of PAR.

              1. re: 1998232v6

                Almost. The PAR stands for Personal Achievement Responsibility. You can get the maroon colored apron at two stars, if your management team feels you deserve it.

              2. re: hufferc

                The STARS are a level of training; you get 5 cents more per hour; a discount if the retail store there. No big deal -- some servers don't even care about all that and still have the Rising Star apron. It's a gimmick...being a server there is NOT rocket science,,,come on!

                1. re: ChefGirl412

                  Actually there are benefits to PARring. The most beneficial being that at Par 2 you can cross-train to do any job or you if you're really up for it, learn as many jobs as you want. Cross-training = more added skills = more use to the company = more hours = more money for you.

                  1. re: ChefGirl412

                    I know for a fact that being a server at CB is not easy. It is face paced and their breakfast menu is extensive. People who have never worked at a CB are not speaking from knowledge.

              3. re: AlyKen

                I have to laugh at your posting...I'm also a displaced Southerner (from GA, living in CT for the past 12 years), so once in awhile I have to go to CB for grits, ham, and fried okra.

            2. I do not like Crapper Barrel.
              IMHO, buyer beware.


              3 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Cracker Barrel has taken the idea of over-salted cheap food with kitschy marketing to the PhD level. Bob Evans does home style much better.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    bob evans does a really good burger!

                1. Ugh! When they first opened by me they were quite good, tasty, large portions, but service was horrible! Now the food matches the service. The last two times I ate there, I waas amazed how smaller the portions got and how overcooked the food was. I could barely cut my slice of ham! And others I have talked to have said the same thing. Maybe its just my location?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: libgirl2

                    i been to 3 different locations and never had any problems with food or service. especially when on 2 different occasions, it was packed. still had some of the best service i received ever.

                  2. I think they are okay. Not horrible and not fabulous. I don't really care for their chicken and dumplings, as the texture of the dumplings is off, plus the chicken isn't shredded up in the broth, just big chunks.
                    Breakfast is decent. Just average style eggs, bacon, etc.
                    The service has always been very polite.
                    I like to go there to shop for lotion in the store section instead of eat there. :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shalisah

                      Oh yeah, the shop saved my butt a few years ago. We realized that we had forgotten to pack the gift we bought for my brother's baby in NY and we were able to run next door and buy a teddy bear and a book. Phew. I like the rocking chairs too.