👺  06/2019  —  THIS CHAIN SUCKS  —More Ways Than One —

I was trained in a Manhattan restaurant in NYC and we did a huge chicken business, fried, grilled, in stir fries, salad and sandwich’s.   About two hundred pounds of  a cow in burgers, 15 - 20  chickens a day, delivered fresh, we prepped, cooked  and ready by lunch time.  I am a chickenhawk and just wrote a paper on Chicken in Tampa Bay… 

On TV this week all we heard was ad after ad that Cracker Barrel was now into Fried Chicken.  After a few days , I said to my associate critic, lets try the Fried Chicken at Cracker Barrel, I was TV brainwashed… she said OK…  After our meal there, and my statement to the waitress was  “ Who cooked this sh*t and why is he still working here” 

It was the worst fried chicken I have ever been served in my life. And I just did a local special on roasts and wings so I was tuned into some good chicken… and this was inedible. This was not fried it was destroyed…and disgusting… I wouldn’t serve it even if my theme restaurant was a cemetery.   It looked dead… After I wrote it into the paper voila! chicken ads stopped, no more Southern Fried chicken at cracker barrel… Until now… 

Update  —  04/27/2021  - Cracker Barrel is back on TV with round two of pretending to know how to make fried chicken…their  first round was a total failure and they stopped it…cold, after a ton of complaints.  Best described as “ it was flat disgusting” by all four of us at the table, thing it was fluke, we tried again…

Now chicken is popular again and even burger joints have embraced  the bird (due to cost and availability) wings are getting scarce.  And Cracker Barrel is touting their hand breaded fried Southern Chicken again… round two, and they will try to fry and die again…

Our Meal Back In 2019 — Our server, a really nice young lady told us you were getting a breast, a thigh, a leg and a wing.  

  • Best description would be where did they get the anemic chickens.  These were smaller pullet size, could have been squab it had so much breadcrumbs on it.
  • Concrete bread crumbs crispy no, case-hardened yes.  If you had a tender bite, this stuff was like rocks and scratched your gums.  It had more crust than two of its competitors.
  • I chipped and peeled back the layers of coating to get to the chicken and I would call it about a 60-40 relationship, 60% coating and 40% chicken with no taste.  Two bites later, I got tired of fighting with it.
  • I asked for the manager.  I got the assistant Manager,   “ Numb-nuts”  no name tag, no hello, no nothing… except Wazzup?   I think  “  Hello,  I am XXXX, how, can I be of service for you?   I think would have been more appropriate   
  • Where did they find this moron?  This Cracker Barrel does a good business and most of their other locations with serving conventional Americana foods But I would be scary about a 3.5 in evaluation. I was very wrong, the critical industry accurate sites showed them at a range of 2.3  to 3.0. Even worse. 
  • When you counted secret employee rated statements.  Their employees rated them under a three, what does that tell you…  They do business because they are at every exit on the highways and the first place after hours of driving for tea,  pee and sustenance.

Their Ad Bragged About Southern Fried Chicken, At Cracker-Barrel —  “ Authentically prepared, double-breaded by hand with a custom blend of three types of black pepper and several seasonings and spices, then fried until it is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside”.   

Not what we got  — Rock Hard Is Not Crispy,   It’s Burnt Or Stale —  This was a breadcrumb concoction cooked in a pressure cooker  (AKA KFC PRESSURE COOKERS)  and came out rock hard or laying under heat lamps stale.  

I live in the South and we do a lot of Chicken.   Thus it is Southern Fried Chicken.  It was all for naught and the worst  $10.79. I could have spent times two.  For the 25 dollars I could have brought home five cooked chickens from Costco who won our Chicken Roasted contest and enjoyed them… The picture above is not what we got, it was Fifty Shades Of Grey darker and ominous to the point of not appealing… nor edible.

I chatted with the manager.  “ Made-from-scratch offerings, the ad said".  I'm still scratching my head as to how did they screw this up.  He explained the equipment is new and can’t differentiate between a wing and a breast so it doesn’t cook evenly.   

Then I asked,  if he considered stopping serving it that way.   Then I suggested, calibrate cooking times and temperature,  If it’s that fast cooking, do the wings and legs alone and then cut the time.  I was then told they are automatic and not changeable or they had no clue as to how to do this.  

Carried forth by the dumb and untrained.   Simple, it’s a new process for them, no experience, so the result is bad faster food… and it’s called a pressure cooker.  Same process as the thing KFC uses.  Except no proper training, no testing, a poor showing.

Maybe the B team was on duty and don’t know how, but  I quote their ad:  ” We pay homage to one of the most well-loved dishes in Southern cooking, each piece of bone-in Southern Fried Chicken is authentically prepared, double-breaded by hand with a custom blend of three types of black pepper and several seasonings and spices, then fried until it is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.”.   What a crock of corporate bullsh*t…

It was till you guys got to it... Where are the corporate bean counters when you need them...  I doubt if they had real Southern Fried Chicken made well nor Pressure Cooker Chicken

Resolve - Not Really A People Place To Eat Or To Work There  —   This was a total disappointment and the manager or asst manager whomever that moron was offered some tenderloins in exchange which was appreciated.   But that was f*ked up too, for the lousy chicken was replaced by more lousy chicken this time the two… insulting with tenderloin flat topped chicken as a consolation.  Burnt on one side naked on the other…

Adding insult to injury “  F*ked up beyond repair ( FUBAR)…  
Burnt black anemic 1/4 inch thick slabs of chicken meat totally burnt
on one side and 
not cooked on the other.

I had it… I looked, I pitched, and left… the tenderloins were insult to injury and thus I’m unloading to corporate, and my contacts in various food resources nationwide thru the six sites I write on not to eat that garbage.  How did this moron manager get the job? Did the same idiot screw up the chicken and then the tenderloins.

I grabbed the check, tipped the girl nicely, Samantha who was nice.  It was not her fault, a bad chef, or worker, or management fell on their butt that day,  and realized this place has gone down hill and something real is failing there.

Make Your Own Real Southern Fried Chicken  —  Fried chicken is probably the first dish one thinks of when asked to name Southern dishes. It ranks right up there with cornbread, greens, and grits.  This is a basic Southern fried chicken recipe, and it is easy and delicious. Serve this crispy fried chicken with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, along with steamed broccoli or another favorite side dish. Use bone-in chicken pieces in this recipe. For boneless chicken breasts or cutlets, take a look at this recipe.


4 pounds chicken pieces

1 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

3 cups vegetable oil

Kosher salt