Michael and I braved the winter cold Sunday morning for breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants – Owensboro’s Cracker Barrel. While we have plenty of great places to eat breakfast in Owensboro (Denny’s, Bob Evans, Dunkin’ Doughnuts..), Cracker Barrel offers something none of the rest do…. Fried Catfish! You know me, that little distinction is all it takes.
The breakfast I almost always order comes with your choice of any meat on the menu and, no, it never takes me long to decide. Although, I will say this – Cracker Barrel’s ham and bacon are uncommonly delicious too.
The eggs are always exactly how you want them, the hashbrown casserole is the stuff culinary dreams are made of, and the biscuits?? Oh, man, words can’t even come close.
Something that always amazes me about Cracker Barrel is the WIDE variety of food they have – and yet they’re able to fix EACH like it’s their specialty. Fried Catfish, Chicken, Steak, Fried Okra, Green Beans, Gravy, Grits, Biscuits, Cornbread Muffins, Hashbrown Casserole, Eggs, Ham, Meatloaf, Greens, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, etc (lots of etc.). Everything on their menu is excellent.
As soon as we sat down (even before our sweetheart of a server came over and long before I had my cherished fried catfish), something else hit me: Being in Cracker Barrel just fits. It’s home-y, it’s comfortable, it’s cozy, it smells delicious, it’s friendly… it’s comforting.
When you go to a restaurant regularly, you develop a camaraderie with its “faces.” These “faces” (hostess, server, manager, cashiers…) are the restaurants personality and the personality of Owensboro’s Cracker Barrel is as good as it gets. Servers who aren’t even taking care of you often smile, speak, and even ask if you need anything.
That’s not common in most restaurants, but it is common in Cracker Barrel.
When you walk through the doors, everyone seems intent on giving you a wonderful experience – and when you leave, almost everyone wants to know how it was! I love that. When we were leaving on this particular morning, our hostess asked how everything was. I told her, “Delicious as always,” and she said, “That’s what we like to hear!” I also told her, “Every restaurant in the world needs a server just like Raymond (one of the faces of this Owensboro restaurant that provides enough personality for himself and twelve others).” The hostess and a server standing nearby both smiled and said, “That’s for sure!”
Cracker Barrel is a special restaurant chain here in the South and the one in Owensboro is (in my opinion) extra special.
Cracker Barrel proves that although great food and great value are important (they excel in each of those categories), how you make people FEEL is just almost as important. I’ve always felt like a restaurant (or any business) should make each person who walks through their door feel like a welcomed guest. Cracker Barrel has a reputation for doing just that. I would say it’s just good old fashioned Southern hospitality – but we’ve all seen enough exceptions to know that this isn’t always the case.
There’s something within the foundation of Cracker Barrel, itself, that fundamentally seeks out the friendliest people as its “faces”. That’s more than just smart… it’s as comforting as the rocking chairs that sit out front.
Owensboro’s Cracker Barrel is at 5311 Frederica St.