When I first arrived in Florida, my Grandparents asked me what I'd like to do. They said that my week was my week and that I should make a list. My list was as follows:

1. Go to the beach and pick seashells
2. Cracker Barrel

I am rather easy to please. So this afternoon we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch; I personally like getting lunch there because it's a lovely time to digest food, isn't it? Gorging at breakfast is no good because you feel sluggish all day long, and you can't eat a massive dinner or else you can't sleep. Noon is a terrific time to take in a pimp's worth of fried foods without ruining your day.Now, if you've never been lucky enough to visit a Cracker Barrel, might I suggest you just give up and kill yourself this instant. I'll wait for you to do it; trust me, life isn't worth living if you've never known the joy of an establishment thats part-Good Old Southern Country Restaurant, part-Olde Tyme General Store. See those rocking chairs on the porch? They aren't decoration; thems be sittin' chayrs. You can sit in them or buy them, whichever scratches yer itch. I personally wouldn't want to buy a chair that has the ghosts of 1,000 Floridian asses in it, but I don't count - I'm Canadian. Once you walk past the rows of Gamgam Rockers, you enter the Olde Timey General Store (aka Tchotchkie Heaven).LAWD'A MARCY, are you looking at this place?? It's purposely designed to look like your Redneck Cousin Lurry's house in Kenesaw, Georgia. Lots of stuff, most of it catering to persons wishing Dubya was a name and not simply a middle initial. Like this treasure, for examps:Yes, dear readers, that's a stuffed race car. For the child who's entire life is practically a catalogue of Dale Earnhardt memorabilia. Now little Bradleigh or Taylor-Tyler can snuggle down to sleep while clutching at a soft, plush motor vehicle. But it's not all NASCAR and John Deere (or Lady Deere...which I saw). A good chunk of it is mildly Christianity-themed.Oh wait, did I say mildly? I meant heavily. It's as if the ladies of Westborough Baptist Church decided to find new followers of Christ through kitchen gadgets and scented candles. This is a salt and pepper set, in case you were confused. I know, at first I assumed I could purchase Eternal Salvation, but you know what they say when you assume something...no really, could you tell me? I'm in the dark here. Help a sister out.Gulp. Do I want to touch this one? Look, let's just save us all the trouble and know that I would make a wisecrack about Catholic Priests.I need to preface the following comment by apologizing profusely to my friend Ilana. I am soooooooo sorry!!! Okay, now that I have taken a bit of the sting out, here it is: when I was a kid, were these not called Jews Harps? I mean, I'm not the only one, right? Right?!?! I have to move on...

Every table has one of these nifty pin games. The point is to jump and move across the wooden triangle to eliminate pins and get down to one sole pin. The best I can do is 2 remaining. Most people can at least get down to 3. But 100% of people take this game way too seriously; they stare at it like it's the test that will land you a spot on the next Space Shuttle Launch.The food here is amazing, I swear to god. It is amazing Gordon Ramsay hasn't been to a Cracker Barrel yet (although I hear he won't go because he said he doesn't want to know what pure perfection was, and that Cracker Barrel would just make him too depressed with his substandard food. This is just a rumour, of course). I ordered the Old Timer's Breakfast. It includes (from Plate 1 to Plate 2, clockwise): biscuit, grits, another biscuit, sawmill gravy (which is essentially lard, fat, salt, bacon drippings, and thickening agents), sausage patties, hashbrown casserole, eggs. Not included is Heart Disease, Type 2, and a common side-effect known as Dumpy Horse Butt.

I could barely finish. I think I left a bit of food, but not too much, because I was struck with The Fear halfway through my meal (it's a side-effect of living in America for longer than 5 days). Anyways, all in all, Cracker Barrel was all it should be; good old fashioned Southern heart-attack food and old timey thingamajigs. Sigh...when I get to Heaven, I hope that Jesus tells me "Mayor...for being so good on Earth, your Heavenly reward will be to manage the Cracker Barrel up here" and then I will kiss his bearded face and tell him that dreams do come true and that he truly is the King of Kings (I think I may have ripped off that last part from the A Burns for All Seasons). Whoops, me mistake.


Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA! The name "Jews" harp has no connection to Judaism. No need to apologize.

Alice said...

My parents once planned all of our stops on the way to Florida based on where there was a Cracker Barrel. My Moms was obsessed with that place and all of it's country kitch.

Sigh, it's the only place I can eat fried okra.

alex davey illustrations said...

I threw up from that last one.
I'll never forget ordering dumplings and getting slop instead. It's because the only other time I've had dumplings at that age was from an Italian Restaurant (woulda you likea some parmesean cheese?)
I hate Cracker Barrel. You love Cracker Barrel. Sigh.

Jenn L said...

i love that place so might. the fried apples and biscuits are my life.

Jenn L said...

and by so might i mean so much

Tina said...

I have family in Kentucky and we used to drive down every year. We used to stop at Cracker Barrel so much that my mom had to enforce a "one Cracker Barrel per drive" rule. As in, once on the way down and once on the way back.
The crazy thing is people will wait 40 minutes for a table at that place. AND one time a barber shop quartet was singing when we went. They were wearing stripped shirts and everything.

ps I rock that peg and wooden triangle game. Got it down to one once.

fester said...

Are there no places in the area that you can git some good ole deepfried gator?