Road Trip to Dixie + Cracker Barrel lolz

restaurant

Remember on Friday when I said I had some cool things in store for the blog this week? I lied. I mean I did have some things in store, but then I forgot that I’m actually going to be in Tennessee all this week for my little brother’s wedding! Silly me. Jon and I are making the long 12-hour drive down to Tennessee tonight, aka ROADTRIP. It’s a trip we make once or twice a year so basically we’re pretty good at it by now.

This evening we will drive 2 hours to Pennyslvania and spend the night with Jon’s parents. Get a few hours sleep, then wake up at 3am and hit the road. Our favorite road trip foods include a 6am Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sheetz SHMISCUIT and then usually a stop at Five Guys somewhere near Salem, VA for a lil lunch. Plus at least three large cups of crappy gas station coffee and one bag of Chex Mix for the car. But I’m thinking of experimenting with a little fruit fast tomorrow instead because let’s face it I usually want to throw up by the time we reach the Tennessee border. To top it all off we usually end up going to Cracker Barrel for dinner where I really cannot stop myself from ordering fried chicken.

Speaking of Cracker Barrel, have you read this amazing article from The Fanzine “Cracker Barrels for the Creative Class.” My friend David recommended it to me last night. It’s about all the urban rustic-ness that is so popular among bars & restaurants right now, and how it’s basically already been done – by Cracker Barrel. Lolz.

“While my neighbors aren’t dressing up like the cast of Les Misérables (yet? time will tell), they are going, every weekend, by the droves, to what now must be places that number in the hundreds, all of which look like a throw-back Jean Valjean might have felt comfortable having a beer in while plotting the overthrow of King Louis-Philippe with his buddies. It can be pretty dehumanizing working in front of a computer 40 or more hours a week so it’s not surprising that we’d want to get our rustic on when we can. Never mind that a world lit by Edison Bulbs is grossly energy inefficient and ideologically at odds with what we’d like to say about our locally sourced selves: We’re interested above all in the real thing––or at least the realer thing than our day jobs––and nothing seems to say this with as much force as tasteful wood paneling.

The great irony for the would-be urban rustic eatery and/or saloon so favored by the modern jeunesse dorée is that it has already been done, and by the enemy. Since 1969, the full force of American industry has been deployed erecting the faux folksy aesthetic as an economy of scale. With all the calculation of Standard Oil, Cracker Barrel––”the old country store”––slouches like a great, greasy beast across large sections of the USA, having long ago mastered the art of artless imprecision whose charms the city folk are discovering.”

I’ll be posting updates from our slog across the Mason Dixon line tomorrow, so check back!

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