Chicken N’ Dumplins, Fried Apples, and Biscuits…. Oh My!!

I was 38 the first time I ate at a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. I have no idea why I waited so long. Maybe it was because I had always thought it to be more of a gift shop than an eatery. I formed my opinion earlier in life, as that explanation is what my parents would always tell my vacationing siblings and I when we asked to eat there.

Yes, they have a rather large gift shop. Nostalgia buffs of all ages will, no doubt, find items of interest lining the shelves. But, a large number of repeat customers, myself included, go there for the food. On my first visit, taking the advice of my husband, I ordered chicken n’ dumplins.
(http://www.copykat.com/asp/copykatrecipe.asp?recipe=84) I also decided to try the fried apples
(http://www.copykat.com/asp/copykatrecipe.asp?recipe=87) and biscuits.
(http://www.copykat.com/asp/copykatrecipe.asp?recipe=83) Everything was delicious. As I was complaining that I ate too much, I realized how much I missed my grandma’s version of the same meal.

The first Cracker Barrel opened in Lebanon Tennessee, in 1969. It was the brain-child of Dan Evins, who wanted to better serve the dining needs of travelers, who stopped at his family’s gas station, along Interstate 40. He had always believed that mealtime was family time. The problem, as he saw it, was that the popularity of newly emerging fast food establishments, was making it more difficult to find a restaurant which served made from scratch meals.

To date there are over five hundred stores in 40 states. 2004 marked the 14th consecutive year the restaurant was named the “Best Family Dining Chain in America”. Although the company has had to “adjust” to the size of the business , the majority of the menu is still homemade.

I suggest that everyone visit Cracker Barrel. The smell of fried apples, upon entering the store, is worth the trip in itself. (If you visit in the fall it will probably be pumpkin pie that you smell.)

The next best thing to an on-site visit is re-creating the meal at home. Clicking on the links above will take you to the recipe pages. I have been told that you can obtain actual recipes from Cracker Barrel Management, but I have not verified that fact. These recipes come from different Internet sources, but have received favorable reviews.

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