Location: Cracker Barrel
Date: March 13, 2015
Cost: $4.49 + $2.29 = $6.78
It's easy to hate Cracker Barrel. They're all located about a five-iron shot from an Interstate Highway so right off the bat you're already in the most homogenized area of whatever town or city you are in. When you walk in you aren't greeted with the smell of bacon or syrup or anything that you might eat, instead you're hit square in the face with some horrible potpourri stank. You have to wind your way through the "Old Country Store", past the overpriced candy, hideous faux-homey trinkets and other assorted nonsense, just to put your name on the list for a table.
Rather than continue to complain about Cracker Barrel I'm going to list two things I like about it. The rocking chairs on the fake porch. I like the rocking chairs, except they're all locked together with industrial grade cable which really destroys the old-timey feel I think they're going for. I also like some of the music CD's they sell. You might find Merl Haggard, George Jones or Ralph Stanley but those will be right next to something like "Blake Shelton Raps Gaelic Favorites".
One last thing - I was once on a road trip and stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Indiana or Kentucky, I think, and the chalkboard outside said "Vegetable of the Day: Mac 'n Cheese". The cheese crop must have been really good that year.
Perusing the Cracker Barrel online menu isn't as easy as it could be because it's subdivided into categories like "Wholesome Fixin's" and "Pancakes n' Such". Eventually I found "Egg Sandwich" listed under "Everyday Favorites":
Egg Sandwich - Two Eggs cooked to order, served on our own Sourdough Bread with Fried Apples or Hashbrown Casserole.
That seemed a little lacking, but then I found "Sausage n' Biscuit" on the "Sides" menu and hit upon the idea of combining the two to make something more like a real breakfast sandwich. This might be cheating or at the very least bending the rules, but I went with it.
|Construction Zone. Danger - Hard Arteries Area|
You can't tell from the photo but the Sausage n' Biscuit is about the size of a White Castle burger. The sausage patty is maybe the circumference of an old US Silver Dollar. The flavor doesn't make up for the size, I can tell you that. At $2.29 it's an absolute rip off.
If you read the description of the Egg Sandwich on the Cracker Barrel site you know they don't mention it coming with mayo and sad tomatoes. Well, it does. Occasionally mayonnaise angers me and this was one of those times.
At this point I was kind of pissed off about the whole thing and decided to pile everything on the sandwich including the Hashbrown Casserole, which as far as I can tell is potato, cheese and onion. I'm pretty sure this arrives at each Cracker Barrel location frozen in huge bags or glopped into 55 gallon drums. You can see from the photo that I took the sausage patty off the biscuit, cut it in half and added it to the sandwich, along with a load of the Hashbrown Casserole.
Once I had it all together I thought maybe I had something good going on. Not really. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good. Nothing really had a distinct flavor. The sausage didn't add anything. I think I mostly tasted the Hashbrown Casserole and that wasn't even that good. Oniony. Something added an unpleasant sweetness, maybe the bread? Was the mayo really a High Fructose Aioli? The egg was cooked exactly as ordered, I'll give them that.
As if that wasn't bad enough, when I was done eating it left an aftertaste that wasn't working for me. Luckily I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in my desk.
The Result - 1.99 rocking chairs out of 5 rocking chairs. It wasn't awful (although I think my description made it sound that way). I ate the whole thing, but the total price tag of $6.78 drove down the score. That may be my fault for trying to combine items into a better sandwich. I tried to cheat the system and I got burned. The Egg Sandwich on it's own may have fared better, but look at that photo, does it look like a $4.49 sandwich? Not for this reporter.
You may be wondering what happened to the biscuit after I removed the sausage patty. I didn't know what to do with it so I put sexy eyes on it and named her Betty Mae Biscuit.
|Betty Mae Biscuit|