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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cracker Barrel

No, this restaurant was not on my list of places to eat, it was just a convenient place to stop for a meal during a very long drive. My friend Vicky had helped me pack my stuff when I moved out of Columbia, and we were driving from Mizzou to Chicago when we decided to stop for lunch. I believe we were somewhere near the border of Missouri and Illinois when we saw the sign for Cracker Barrel. I told Vicky I'd never eaten there, so we chose that place to have lunch.

The restaurant had a sign outside that said something along the lines of "everyone here is welcome, regardless of race, age, etc." I forget the exact words, but that was the gist of what the sign said. I took note of this sign, which I thought was interesting. Cracker Barrel, aside from being a restaurant, also has a country store which sells little bric-a-bracs. I wandered around the store for a bit before we were seated, but saw nothing I particularly wanted to buy.

I looked at the menu, and it had typical offerings in US restaurants- fried chicken, porkchops, roast beef, etc. I decided to have the "Spicy Grilled Catfish Fillet". The fish was okay, it was tasty enough. And the three sides complemented it too. Nothing amazing, but it was filling comfort food.

Spicy Grilled Catfish Fillet

A few days later, in LA, I told Felicity and her boyfriend Blaine that I had eaten at Cracker Barrel. Blaine told me that there had been several lawsuits against Cracker Barrel involving being racist and sexist. I looked it up on the Internet, and sure enough, there were stories about the lawsuits that had been filed against the restaurant. That certainly explained the sign outside the restaurant saying that they didn't discriminate against customers. Maybe it was part of the settlement agreed upon in the course of the lawsuit. If I had known that the restaurant had such a history, maybe I wouldn't have stopped for lunch there. Maybe there is something more to the restaurant's name...

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