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Gregory Muir
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The wife loved the old cracker barrel. I was never a huge fan but remembered the food as being better. We've eaten there twice on a trip and I found this blog while looking for confirmation of what I'd figured happened. This is sad but typical of corporate establishments. I saw it happen when I worked fast food as a day job in college. Establish the reputation on quality, then substitute inferior product to save on operations but lose business in the long run as people realize they aren't getting what they paid for. In comparison, we hit up a taqueria at a gas station, a little mom and pop shop, total hole in the wall, and the difference was night and day. Ingredients, fresh. Salsas, you could taste they were made on-site. You cannot fake this. The flavors popped and danced off the plate, even though the plate was a sheet of wax paper in a plastic basket. It is difficult to scale an operation like that. You could not turn that shop into a hundred location franchise with minimum wage workers. Can't happen. Don't even try rolling it out nation-wide. I mean you can try but you will end up with disappointing, homogenized blandness. It'll just be another taco bell. Get the runs at the border.
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Feb 24, 2015