Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is the name of a chain of restaraunts in 40 states (according to their web site For the most part, Cracker Barrel features what I think of as Southern style food: Biscuits and gravy, country ham, sausage in link and patty form, etc. Their breakfasts are yummy, yummy, yummy. The food is surprisingly good, in my humble opinion. It is the only place I have found in the N.Y. capital region where one can get one's mitts on country ham.

There are some downsides to going to Cracker Barrel. The actual restaraunts are a nightmare to behold. This is because there is a "country store" that one usually has to walk through to get to the restaurant. The store is full of all the kind of crap that you probably wanted as a kid (little wooden toys, wind-up toys, candy galore), and the sort of things your aging aunt whom you just can't quite get the nerve up to put into a home clamors for day and night (quilts with the Lord's Prayer stitched on them, "collectible dolls", and all variety of kitsch). But the food is good.

The other serious problem with Cracker Barrel is that, being headquartered in Tennessee (and given the name for God's sake), you won't be surprised to find that they have had some problems with gay employees. They have been sued for labor discrimination against gays, the most public case involving a lesbian employee. Did I mention the food is really good?

Their sole vegetarian offering (as far as full meals are concerned) is to replace any egg with an egg substitute called "Eggstro’dnaire®". As for vegan stuff, they don't have a single thing on the menu that doesn't involve meat or dairy in some capacity.

Since the late 1990s, all Cracker Barrels have been smoke-free establishments.