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Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Kinda Heart Cracker Barrel

Since my post about fat waitress stirred up so much controversy the other day, I thought I should write about a perfectly wonderful waitress I had recently and try to even things out. And not only was she a little darling, she was also skinny. There, I said it. I went to The Cracker Barrel because I felt like my arteries were running entirely too smoothly and I wanted to clog them up a bit. I understand that The Cracker Barrel has a less than stellar attitude towards the gays, but when it comes between equal rights and biscuits and gravy, my true southern nature shines through and I must throw the gays under the bus. Two orders of biscuits with extra gravy please.

My waitress was named Candice and she had worked there for two years. I know this because servers have their names embroidered on their aprons and then they get a star embroidered for every year they have been there. I once had a waitress there who had seven stars. She was like the brigadier general of Cracker Barrel. Candice was sweet, attentive and professional, god bless her little pea-pickin', gay-hatin' heart. I really have to give it up to those servers at The Cracker because looking around the dining room, I saw what most of their customers were like: rude, hungry, cheap tippers who have a brood of children hanging off their teets. Seriously, one lady had four kids all under the age of five and she looked like she couldn't have been over 25 years old. I hate to say it, but there was some major poor white trash going on up in there. (And I can say that because I spent a few years of my life living in a trailer in Texas, and I ain't talkin' a double wide, either. I speak of PWT, because I know of PWT.)

People go to The Cracker Barrel ready to chow down. I watched one lady instruct her server to remove everything from the table except the salt and pepper shakers. He cleared the bowl of creamers, the table tents, the oil lamp, the hot sauce and the little game where you move the golf tees around. I couldn't hear what she was saying but thanks to my ability to read lips, I was able to tell what she said: "Honey, you best be making plenty of room for mines food 'cause mama's about to go to town." Moments later it was clear why she needed the space. Between her and her husband they must have ordered enough food for a small village. They were serious about eating. And not so serious about tipping. When they left, there were two empty plates, one half-filled glass of sweet tea, a few crumbs and two dollars.

But Candice kicked ass. She filled my water before it was half empty, brought me lemon wedges even though I didn't ask for them, and remembered my extra gravy. You know. For the biscuits? She did consistent check backs and cleared the table the moment I had crammed the last bit of pancake in my mouth. And yes, I had biscuits and pancakes. And eggs. And sausage. And cheesy hashbrowns. I told you when people show up to The Cracker Barrel, they mean business. And I am including myself in that group. And I graciously include myself in the group of poor white trash. Humble beginnings, my friends, humble beginnings.

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27 comments:

grahamophone said...

What's Cracker Barrel without the golf-tee game? Happy for you getting back to your PWT roots! There's a little bit in most of us.

The Ranter's Box said...

Great post and as always, spot on!

FemgineerFatale said...

I'm South African so I don't get the reference to this restaurant :( still enjoyed the post though. What's their history with the gay-hating? Or are you kidding?...

Donda said...

Cracker Barrel sausage sucks donkey balls! I wouldn't feed it to my dog...if I had a dog. Didn't realize the gay thing...I may just decide to find me a girlfriend for the day just to patronize...sounds like awesome fun!!!

葉婷 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼.................................................................

Bryan said...

I'm just wondering how much you tipped her. I also have a special place in my heart for Cracker Barrel. That's mostly the same place where all the heartburn takes place after chowing down on some wannabe good, down-home Southern cookin'. But Craker Barrel is nothing without the golf-tee game, whatever it's called.

Gloria said...

Hilarious! I also have an affinity for the Craker Barrel. Those cheesy hashbrowns are to die for and the gravy isn't half bad either. The chocolate coca cola cake is pretty stinkin good too! Would love to get some Craker Barrel goodness right about now.

Professor M... said...

Loved the post and have to agree. Most of the time, Cracker Barrell servers are the epitome of patience! One day, I'm gonna own one of those rockin' chairs!

G said...

I'm one of those rare touristy types who tips when he's on vacation.

If you do your best, you should get what you deserve, regardless if your restaurant caters to normal folks or tourists.

I appreciate good service and tip accordingly. It takes a lot of bad to make me not tip, and it usually has to do with what goes on in the back as opposed to how I'm treated in the front.

Pizza Girl said...

My favorite time to go to Cracker Barrel is when I'm hungover and they're having a sidewalk sale. You would be surprised how amusing cankles become when you're trying to puke by rocking back and forth in a rocking chair on the porch.

P.S. Last time I was at Cracker Barrel my kid spilled milk and my amazing waitress had to come and mop it up (which I would've done myself if they'dve let me). Tipped her $15 on a $30 bill.

Mary A. said...

Pancakes. Cracker barrel has the bestest pancakes in the wuuuurrrld.

And then. . . as you leave, you can load up on all sorts of gifty tchotchkes that you don't need and don't really want, but you KNOW that singing fish is gonna make a great gift for someone!

♫芬妮♫ said...

followed your blog:]

Billy said...

Delightful post. So many memories at the Cracker Barrel. In Montana it is the closest thing I get to Southern comfort.

Kacey Prime said...

Ive never even heard of Cracker Barrel... but I feel like Im missing out big time!!

la fiesta rosa said...

ur post is so funny

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Vani said...

this is unbelievable ... is this blog came from our bitchy waiter.... no f words.. nothing harsh.. nothing rude.. Praising others... wow!!! wow!!! wow!!!

Penny Lane said...

THANK YOU!

Whenever my family and I would want to get away we would go to a little hotel in Mount Holly New Jersey and next to it there was a Cracker Barrel. It was precious.
My family and I developed a strong liking to it.
But no one every knows what I am talking about.
"Cracker Barrel huh?", " What the hell is Cracker Barrel?" and so on...
I am glad that finally, someone knows that I am talking about.

Thank you again!

Peace and Love,
D

JJ Patton said...

I LOVE Cracker Barrel! I've been to a few here in Louisiana and Arkansas, and I always go with a girlfriend to avoid the gay-hating stares! Haha. Biscuits and gravy from Cracker Barrel give me goosebumps.

"Throw the gays under the bus." Haha.

JJ

Maggie said...

This was a great post, but with one inaccuracy. (I only noticed it cuz I worked at a Cracker Barrel for 5 years.) You get your second star after 4 months. Works out like this: 1st star after 1st month; 2nd star 3 months later; #3 six months later; 4th and final star another six months later.

It is possible she's been there for two years and just never taken the tests (yeah, they make you take a test if you want your next star and corresponding itty bitty raise), since that was the case with most of my former coworkers.

Just thought you might be interested. I've never heard of any other restaraunt making their employees take tests, so it's kind of unusual trivia. :)

Anonymous said...

first off, you're an idiot. i work at Cracker Barrel and the stars DO NOT signify how many years you've been employed and you are a LIAR because you have NEVER seen 7 stars ANYWHERE. The highest you can achieve is FOUR!!! and that is based on your level of numbers you produce per hour for the store you work in!!! Don't talk about stuff you don't know about.

SkippyMom said...

Gee Anon, I think Maggie has a more articulate and true version of the stars system.

Perhaps you could learn from her, be a little kinder and find your name?

It isn't hard.

babbiedoll said...

I think Anon is pissed because she only has ONE STAR!

Anonymous said...

workers get stars per par level, it only goes to four. its not per year they work there, or it shouldn't be. they should do computer work and evaluations to get a higher par level

Anonymous said...

Stars are not given per year and you can only get 4

Zell said...

I work at the Barrel & so does my sister. She waits tables & I work cash a couple nights a week.
The only time you have more than 4 stars is when you slap some gold stars on yourself. :) It's their PAR (Personal, Acheivement, Responsibility) system. That's how they train everyone.
What I always find amusing is when a guest asks me how much they should tip. I can calculate 20% pretty dang fast & that's always the figure I give them. 95% of the time that's what they leave. It just leaves me gobsmacked that people truly have no idea how to tip.

Anonymous said...

ShezAnEnigma: laughing, you said there was a woman about 25 with 4 small children, and then referenced poor white trash. At 25, I was married to a man in the navy (and had been since I was 18)and we had four small children. We were not poor white trash, nor did we come from poor white trash, so that analogy was on the same level of people who think if you are a server you have no education. We all know that's not true. Just an observation. (However, we seldom took the kids out to actual restaurants. They had manners, we were always (99%) complemented, but - it is hard work. It was much easier to take them to fast food and let them play. haha)