In the summer of 2001, Jenny and I drove cross-country. We took a luxurious three weeks to do it, and along the way, made sure we stopped in: San Francisco (where we started), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, and DC (where we ended).
Somewhere in Tennessee, we had a realization: We like Cracker Barrel.
It does not take too many pit stops at terrifyingly dirty and broken down gas station restrooms to see that Cracker Barrel is a shimmering beacon of ladies room loveliness throughout this great land.
It does not take too many bags of Combos and 20 ounce Diet Cokes, purchased at said gas station after using said restroom to see that Cracker Barrel is a also something of a shimmering (or maybe glistening, but work with me here) beacon on the culinary landscape -- that is, when you are not filming a reality show a la Guy (sunglasses worn backward make me cool, dude) Fieri.
We didn't have time to seek out juke joints and the best ribs off the beaten path in Mississippi. While our trip was nice and long, we had to get to our next destination, one that was on the map. And we had to eat. And we had to go to the bathroom.
We fell into this pattern: Stop at Cracker Barrel. Stretch our legs. Use ladies room. Discuss whether it was meal time. If not, get iced tea to go. Back on the road.
The other day, we took Jack to Cracker Barrel for the first time (I think.) We were headed to the beach, so it fit nicely into our "on the road" customer pattern. I'm not going to lie. I was excited. It had been a while.
I steered clear of the country fried steak (sigh) and got a salad. It was pretty good! Jack got chicken strips and french fries and broccoli. Also pretty good!
Jack also got a space shuttle that cost more than this food and mine together. I did it. I bought it on my way back from the restroom to make sure we had a peaceful meal and a happy kiddo before getting into the long part of our journey.
I now predict this pattern: Stop at Cracker Barrel. Stretch our legs. Use restroom. Discuss whether or not we get a new toy. If not, have meltdown. Back on the road.
How does Jack feel about this? Pretty darn good, apparently.
Hope you have a tasty chicken strip today.