Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to Cracker Barrel - Day 9 of 10

You can't go home again, or at least you can't go back to Cracker Barrel and have the same experience. I went back tonight for more chicken fried steak, and I have to say I was disappointed. I have to preface this by saying that I had gotten up at 5 am for my press breakfast so I was fairly worn out by dinner. I didn't like that she asked me if I wanted brown or white gravy. Are you kidding? It's like asking "Do you want 1000 Island dressing on that Cesar salad?"

So when my plate arrived, I noticed the uniform nature of the piece of meat. It is typically ragged along the edge, but I swear they must have changed vendors and this was like a pre-formed meat patty rather than a real piece of beef.

I had brought a magazine and the USA Today from the hotel room to read. I know some restaurants do this as policy, but I don't like being given my check along with my food. It's like they're saying, "Hurry up and eat and get out."

I had eaten about half my food, was engrossed in whatever drivel I was reading when my waitress asked me if I was finished eating the cole slaw which was in a side dish and I probably had a bite left. Really? Do you need that little bowl that badly? I really don't like when the dishes are removed one by one as I eat -- I've even had an overeager busser take the plate away as I'm putting the last bite of food in my mouth.

It was really the first time I'd had all day to relax and I was being made to feel rushed.

The cheery manager was going table to table (they call it "touching tables" in the trade)to see if everything was OK. When he got to me, I told him that I was feeling rushed and mentioned the cole slaw bowl. I have to say he did a good job answering my complaint. Said that Cracker Barrel has a recent corporate push to "pre-bus" so they can move new people in quicker and sometimes the servers/bussers get carried away. Fair enough.

On an unrelated note, I miscounted the length of this trip. I thought if I left on April 6 and returned home on April 16, that was 10 days, but it's actually 11. I don't go home until Friday, but I'll be glad to get there!

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