Confession time: when I have a cheat day on my diet, boy do I have a cheat day. I was recently in Pennsylvania and dined at the Cracker Barrel. Oh, what a feast. But the calories at Cracker Barrel are really something to behold…
Diet Cheat Day At Cracker Barrel Approaches 3,000 Calories…
Travel is not always about fancy restaurants or organic farm-to-table dining. Sometimes it is just about comfort food that is not widely available at home.
I live in Los Angeles and we don’t have a Cracker Barrel restaurant nearby. The closest one is in Camarillo or Rialto (although there does appear to be a “Cracker Barrel Kitchen” in Hollywood that offers takeout). For whatever reason, I love the food there and appreciate that you never walk away hungry.
My choice is always the Cracker Barrel Sampler, which comes with:
- chicken n’ dumplins (500 calories)
- meatloaf (360 calories)
- ham (540 calories)
It also includes three “country sides” from which I chose:
- green salad (170 calories due to balsamic vinaigrette)
- hashbrown casserole (190 calories)
- loaded baked sweet potato (620 calories)
Plus buttermilk biscuits (160 calories each) or corn muffins (210 calories each).
So let’s do the math, including the one muffin and one biscuit I enjoyed. That’s 2,750 calories in one-sitting and a heck of a lot of carbs. Good thing I only had water to drink!
This, folks, is why Americans are obese and why I rarely go out to dinner anymore (and when I do it, it is just for kabobs with salad).
How filling was the food? I did not eat for the next 26 hours. Even then, I wasn’t all that hungry.
Ignorance is bliss, so they say, and I joked that this was a 2,000-calorie dinner. Little did I know that it was actually a full 2,750 calories. And with that ex post facto realization, I really am not sure I am willing to order the same thing again at Cracker Barrel. True, it’s really delicious. But I will pay for it down the road…a dear friend dropped dead in front of our eyes on Sunday evening (massive heart attack). Sobering. When it is our time, it is our time, yet we would be wise to carefully guard the body we have been entrusted with.
The more I learn about the processed foods we eat, the more I tend to eat at home. When I’m traveling though, that presents a whole new challenge: a challenge I will have to take more seriously going forward.
This is how I feel about Taco Bell — unfortunately, there’s all over LA for me LOL
I’ve written before about my love of Taco Bell, though I’ve been very good at avoiding it this year!
Matt! I love you enthusiasm for Cracker Barrel and United Cheeseburger! I’ll confess – I secretly love Sizzler!
I’ll confess, I love Sizzler too! 😉
I’ll just get a veggie plate at CB and with the biscuits (‘n jelly, of course) that’s plenty for me. Their HQ is here in TN so they’re easy to find and I have one less than 5 mins from my house.
I’ve lived in the south since ’94 and have been to a Cracker Barrel one time, and only because I wasn’t the driver.
The food there is disgusting (just look at the picture of that “ham”), and a heart attack on a plate.
I agree, never have a meal there that was memorable. The ham looks greasy.
The ham looks truly awful. We buy our pork by the half from a local farmer, I know from ham and I cannot identify that cut. It looks like bites molded together.
That “salad” has a lot more than 170 calories
I’m just going off the linked nutrition sheet directly from Cracker Barrel. I’d guess a bit more too.
Sorry for your loss. It must have come as a complete shocker and traumatizing event. Be well!!
It’s not the total amount of calories that is the worst here; it’s the rather ungodly amount of carbs. That’s probably why many Americans are obese with ‘beetus.
One time on a cross-country road trip, I stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Virginia for lunch and ate about as much as you did. About 30 minutes down the road at a rest area on I-81, I introduced my strict “No Cracker Barrel For Lunch on Road Trips” policy. Let’s just say overindulging at Cracker Barrel with 300 post-lunch miles to go is a very bad idea, on par with overindulging at Taco Bell in the same situation.
By the way, next time you can’t resist a cheat meal, get the cinnamon apples for desert.
You know you must repent for your Glenn actions by either doing a few minutes of cardio on the treadmill. Or eating healthier. Or perhaps taking a walk at the local park on an empty stomach in attempts to lose some weight. Agree? 🙂
Already done! 😉
I really hope that was your hair in the hash brown casserole…
It looks very pubescent
@Brian: Uh oh. I didn’t notice it until now!
Cracker Barrel was my childhood. I’ve been hundreds of times, but probably less than 10 since I turned 25 (I’m 37). It’s the definition of comfort food, and when I go nowadays, I almost feel sympathy for the folks eating there that seem to be regulars. All that being said, for US visitors that want to experience “Americana,” there’s probably no better place to go.
ji’m sorry that looks disgusting…for that many calories it should at least be good.
I will say that, when I was in Europe for a month visiting family, I felt so much better day-to-day. And it wasn’t like I was eating especially healthy. But the basics (chicken, eggs, milk, yogurt, fruit and veggies) seemed more “fresh.”
I have no evidence for this nor have I researched it, but I do think there is something seriously wrong with the food supply chain in the United States, and the kinds of chemicals and additives that are allowed in livestock feed/our food.
Sorry to hear about your friend. It is pretty traumatic to see someone die right in front of you.
Also yes, Cracker Barrel food is disgusting.
Cracker Barrel is fantastic, and especially as I can get some relatively decent okra there. The prices really can’t be beaten, either.
I looooove Cracker Barrel BUT the Sampler used to be a far more reasonably portioned deal that was priced around $10-$11 with smaller servings of the main dishes. Not sure how yours shook out but at the ones I’ve been to in Arkansas and Virginia) it is absolutely monstrous and priced at like $17 or so. It’s more than enough for two people and actually a pretty awesome deal if you’re dining with someone and you can both agree on the sides (I’m usually with a friend who is not into plate sharing, or with my mom and we cannot agree on sides). The way they portion it at the CBs I’ve tried it at, I can’t imagine eating all that food solo.
Also – and again, based on my experience at a few AR locations – Cracker Barrel’s grilled catfish is amazing and relatively speaking, fairly healthy.
I know the woke mob can be a bit overzealous in their ever intensifying cancel crusade, but I do actually support the boycotting of Cracker Barrel. Their record on handling LGBT and minority employees is egregiously bad. The ownership is stuck in the ‘60s and I have no interest in supporting that.
Cracker Barrel should be free to hire and fire as it pleases and the public should be free to boycott it if it finds the company’s labor practices objectionable. This is what liberty entails.
“the public should be free to boycott it if it finds the company’s labor practices objectionable”
But then some people will whine about the woke mob and cancel culture…
I’m a sucker for Randy’s Donuts whenever I fly into LAX, which in the past year has been pretty often. Just this past Tuesday I housed 4 glazed raised. Luckily my travels in the next year will shift to PHX so my belt will get some relief
Lucky you—you’ll have Cartel Coffee at PHX.
From a very early age we have tried to impress upon our daughter that one of the surest ways to out yourself as an ill mannered boor is to make fun of the gustatory preferences of others.
Just in case you get the hankering again, there is the CB in Victorville. And try the Big Boy Breakfast – three eggs, pancakes, ham, bacon, maybe grits, and biscuits. Or the Chicken Fried Steak. And if you’re going to eat like you did, might as well get a real Moon Pie on the way out.
Seriously? Looking at the photos, I can’t imagine a temptation that would be easier to resist. I like Taco Bell just fine, but this stuff looks toxic.
This post is insane, you literally just throw out that your good friend died right in front of you as an aside to a damn Cracker Barrel food review.
I’m not sure what’s more sad, the food or the priorities here.
Btw, Cracker Barrel is the Golden Corral of southern food. Anyone whom enjoys it hasn’t had the real thing….. at least in a long time to remember what it’s really like. 🙂
I second the recommendation for the cinnamon apples but my favorite (I think I had it about 5 years ago or so-hopefully it hasn’t changed) is the Coca-Cola cake. Like (almost) everything, moderation seems to be the key for “cheat” food experiences.
I could not believe my eyes when I read Matthew willingly visited a Cracker Barrel. I live in PA and the nearest CB is an hours drive and a destination for many people.
Last night at Chilis I had a 6 oz sirloin, broccoli and corn on the cobb (390 calories).
That’s a great display of self-control!
I have never been to a Cracker Barrel. I did. not realize Sizzler still existed. Aren’t brawls commonplace at Cracker Barrel? Did 9 Matthew go to Taco Bell in Bangkok last year?
Please list the brawls that you mention occurring at CB, or the ones you have obviously seen. Must be widespread since you mentioned such. Maybe Matthew saw one when he lifted his head from the feast on his plate? Very elitist habit – throw something out totally untrue as if fact. What’s next – CB and Russian collusion?
Nothing says white trash like a CB in PA. Obviously Matt isn’t but I’m sure he wasn’t in the presence of many of his readers there.
You must be a regular there lol