This 'Old Country Store' restaurant chain is about as American as it gets
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is truly an all-American restaurant chain, and a fixture along America’s highways. It has more than 600 locations in 42 states, so it’s just about impossible to drive for an extended period of time and not encounter one. But we bet that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about this down-home destination.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is truly an all-American restaurant chain, and a fixture along America’s highways. But we bet that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about this down-home destination.
It Was Founded by a Shell Oil Sales Rep to Improve Gasoline Sales
ID 36610973 © Milan Surkala | Dreamstime.com
Dan Evins was tasked with finding creative ways to improve gasoline sales while working as a sales representative for Shell Oil, and the idea for Cracker Barrel came out of that. All early locations featured Shell gasoline pumps on-site, and they weren’t phased out entirely until decades later.
Early Locations Were All Located Near Interstate Highway Exits
In line with the founding philosophy of selling gasoline, all early locations were located right by major highway exits. Many remain located right near the off-ramp to this day.
It Tested a Carry-Out-Only Concept in 1994
Jeff Greenberg / Contributor / The Daily Meal / Getty Images
In 1994, the company launched a concept called Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Corner Market in a handful of suburban residential neighborhoods. It didn’t pan out, and all locations were closed in 1997.
Since Day One, Every Table Has Had a Peg Solitaire Game on It
And not only that, they’ve been made by the same company the whole time: Lebanon, Tennessee’s Qualls and Sons Novelties.
It’s Partnered with Some of Country Music’s Biggest Stars
Cracker Barrel sells a lot of country music CDs, so it’s only natural that the company would partner with some country stars. They’ve entered into exclusive release deals with stars including Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Alabama, and Alison Krauss.
It’s Faced Several Race- and Sexual Orientation-Related Controversies
After about a dozen employees were fired in 1991, word got out that a company memo advised managers to fire employees if they didn’t display "normal heterosexual values." The company ended this policy after demonstrations from gay rights groups, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the company added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.
Lawsuits have also been filed by both former employees and guests claiming that they had been racially discriminated against. In 2004, an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department found that the chain had been segregating dining rooms by race, giving white customers priority over black customers, and allowing white servers to refuse to serve black customers.
The company has taken strides since then to improve its image, and has come a long way: the non-discrimination policy is on display in every restaurant, minorities make up about a quarter of its employees and 11 percent of its management and executives, and the CEO, Sandra Cochran, is only the second woman to hold that position in a Tennessee-based publicly traded company.
It’s Been In an Ongoing Feud with Kraft Foods Over the Cracker Barrel Name
itemmaster.com, Photo Modified: Flickr/ Laura/ CC4.0
Ever wonder why there’s also a Cracker Barrel brand of cheese in your local supermarket? Kraft, its parent company, which has sold cheese under that brand since 1954, has taken a “live and let live” approach to this issue — but sued the restaurant chain recently to put an end to a 2012 deal that would have brought meat products branded by Cracker Barrel restaurants to grocery store shelves. The two compromised, and the products are now sold under the “CB” brand name.
It Supports a Wide Range of Charities, and Has Its Own Charitable Organization
The chain supports charities and causes in the communities in which its restaurants are located, and was very active in supporting recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and in Nashville after flooding in 2010. It also provides support to employees through the Cracker Barrel Cares organization, has partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project, and provides an annual scholarship through the National Black MBA Association.
You Can Buy Most of Its Products Online
Cracker Barrel’s online store is incredibly well-stocked, and you can purchase everything there from home décor to candy, clothing, jewelry, bedding, gifts, games, books, and soap. And while you’re on the site, you might as well check out these helpful tips on caring for your American flag.
It’s One of the Few Chains That Doesn’t Post Calorie Counts Online
The vast majority of restaurant chains, from McDonald’s to Applebee’s, are upfront about their nutrition information, generally posting them right on their websites. Cracker Barrel doesn’t, however, simply saying “Cracker Barrel certainly understands the health-conscious concerns that some of our guests have,” before directing visitors to websites that may or may not feature select nutrition info, like weightwatchers.com.
Dan Evins could have probably remained prosperous in his family oil business, but he wanted to serve a different market. Dan turned to the restaurant industry and identified something missing. He saw the new interstate system being built and realized there was an opportunity there. Dan could have just created another car hop or fast food restaurant, but he wanted more. He focused on two things his childhood memories of eating dinner together and the country stores, trading posts or general stores he visited as a child. All the same type of store just with different names depending on what part of the country you visited them. He combined those two childhood memories and created something in Cracker Barrel that is still unique today.
Cracker Barrel keeps up with its homestyle country store reputation with the iconic rocking chairs lining the front porch of the restaurant. But they’re not just props the company buys the chairs from a family in Springfield, TN. The Hinkle family has been making rocking chairs for more than 180 years as the business continued to be passed down from father to son for six generations. Cracker Barrel has been selling the same chairs for 40 years, since the store first opened. Now a big business, the Hinkle Chair Company makes nearly 200,000 rocking chairs a year for Cracker Barrel.
In perhaps the strangest bit of Cracker Barrel trivia, the popular restaurant’s Facebook page was the center of a viral internet meme in 2017. On February 27, Bradley Reid Byrd took to Facebook and asked a simple question to Cracker Barrel’s page: “Why did you fire my wife?” Turns out, Brad’s wife Nanette had been an employee as a retail manager at an Indiana Cracker Barrel for 11 years, and when she was let go (on Brad’s birthday!), Brad was furious. He posted a status that expressed his anger, including:
“After 11 years, those low lifes [sic] at Cracker Barrel let my wife go. I would really like to know why and those of you who know me these days, know that I WILL find out. In the meantime, if any of you would like to know also, please go to their Facebook page and ask them.”
From there, internet vigilantes demanded answers and the #JusticeForBradsWife took off like wildfire on social media. In the weeks following, Cracker Barrel’s Facebook and Instagram pages were flooded with comments from people wondering what happened to Brad’s wife (whose name is Nanette). A Facebook group aptly titled Brads Wife was started, and it gained more than 100,000 followers. As people continue to troll the social media pages, people are still patiently waiting to find out what exactly happened to Brad’s wife and if she’ll be rehired.
4. Maple Jam n’ Bacon Double Cheeseburger
903 calories, 51 g fat (23 g saturated fat), 1,230 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (2 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 66 g protein
There are so many problems with this burger, and that’s not even counting how hard it would be to get your mouth around it. With two beef patties, bacon, and maple jam, anyone polishing off a cheeseburger of this size is looking at just barely missing the 1,000-calorie mark, as well as consuming three more grams of saturated fat than the daily recommended amount. And those nutritionals above don’t even count the homestyle fries, cole slaw sampling, and buttered corn muffin that come on the side, which collectively will bump the entree up another 770 calories. If all of the above sounds excessive to you, just keep scrolling.
5 Surprising Facts About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
This article was updated on Nov. 13, 2014.
Some restaurants have a cult-like following. As I learned at the end of last year with this article, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) is one of them. With this in mind, I scoured the company's financial documents to uncover a handful of things that even the most dedicated customers probably didn't know about the Tennessee-based restaurant chain.
1. Retail sales account for a fifth of total revenue
While Cracker Barrel's main business is food service, which accounts for roughly 80% of total revenue, a not-insignificant portion comes from retail sales. The waiting area in each of the chain's 633 locations consists of a retail store with an assortment of apparel, branded food, music, and toys and games, among other things.
Image source: Cracker Barrel.
The move is ingenious because it solves the biggest problem facing stand-alone retail stores: getting people in the front door. On top of this, because it's the waiting area of a restaurant, Cracker Barrel has little to no competition for its customers' attention. Waiting diners have essentially no choice but to peruse the merchandise.
The net result is that Cracker Barrel generates $2.7 billion in annual revenue from its retail business. That equates to $415 of sales per square foot, which is in line with retail giant Wal-Mart.
2. Its best-selling item has nothing to do with food
Now that you know about Cracker Barrel's ingenious method of leveraging its customers' wait time, what do you think its best-selling item is? It must be something small, right? Maybe a jar of jam or a Duck Dynasty T-shirt?
As the subheading suggests, all of these guesses are wrong. It turns out that Cracker Barrel's best-selling item is a rocking chair.
3. Travelers are Cracker Barrel's core customer base
Every restaurant has a core customer base. People go to McDonald's in search of a fast and inexpensive meal. If you want something that's almost as fast but better quality, Chipotle Mexican Grill or Noodles & Co. fit the bill.
At Cracker Barrel, however, it looks to a specific niche of customers to fill its coffers: travelers. According to a presentation to analysts and investors, travelers make up approximately 40% of its business.
It's for this reason that 83% of its stores are located along interstate highways, with the remainder located "off-interstate or near tourist destinations."
4. It's among the top billboard advertiser in the restaurant industry
How does a company that caters to travelers advertise? Billboards, of course.
"Outdoor advertising (i.e., billboards and state department of transportation signs) is the largest advertising vehicle we use to reach our traveling and local guests," states the company's latest annual report. "In 2014, we had over 1,600 billboards and this expenditure accounted for 44% of our total advertising spend."
In fact, Cracker Barrel relies on billboards so much that it claims to be "among the top billboard advertisers in the restaurant industry." Now that's not something you hear every day.
5. The government shutdown really stung
When the government shutdown last year due to a political impasse over spending and the debt limit, you'd be excused for concluding that such an event would only impact the likes of, say, Lockheed Martin or Boeing, both of which generate significant revenue from the federal government.
Surprisingly, however, Cracker Barrel fell victim to the political stalemate as well. As CEO Sandra Cochran reminded analysts on a conference call at the time:
I'll start by, maybe, reminding everybody that 40% of our business, overall, is related to travel visits. But that has particular areas where there is concentration. So -- and one of those happens to be during fall break. So the shutdown, for us, not only affected us in the areas where people maybe weren't working, but perhaps, more importantly, it affected the travel occasion.
So, for example, we have a store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, right at the base of the Smoky Mountain National Park. Well, the park was closed so people didn't want to really visit that whole area. An awful lot of our guests during that time of the year travel up and down the eastern seaboard, looking at the fall foliage, and many trips evidently end in Washington, D.C. to see the monuments. So that kind of travel was disrupted.
So we did see an impact relating to the shutdown. It probably affected us because of our travel emphasis, more than other concepts. And we did see that when it -- the shutdown was over, that there was an improvement.
Summing up Cracker Barrel's success
Whether you knew any of these things or not, it's impossible to ignore that a handful of them go a long way toward explaining why Cracker Barrel has been so successful over the years. By zeroing in on a captive customer base, marketing in an inexpensive but effective manner, and leveraging its customers' time in the waiting area, Cracker Barrel has proven that its business acumen is far removed from its simple but pleasing down-home country cooking.
Cracker Barrel Restaurant’s Best Recipes You Can Do at Home
You’ll find everything you love about country cooking, plus a few items that might surprise you. Their country cooks have added some new things they know you’ll like. And of course, you’ll still find old favorites like Meatloaf, Chicken n’ Dumplins, Roast Beef and plenty of tasty country vegetables on the menu.
Among their most popular items are: Fried Chicken Livers, Hickory Smoked Pork Barbeque, Grilled Pork Chops, Fried or Grilled Chicken Tenderloin, Beans n’ Greens (a cup of Pinto Beans and Turnip Greens served up with onion, relish & Corn Muffins) as well as their famous Half Pound Hamburger Steak, Sugar Cured Ham, Homemade Beef Stew and Farm Raised Catfish Fillet (deep fried or Spicy Grilled).
>>> And now here is their most popular meal of all – Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings Full Meal Recipe:
–Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings–
1 3-4 pound chicken cut up
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.
2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.
3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.
4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.
6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes, but don’t stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.
7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.
–Cracker Barrel Country Cornbread Dressing–
2 quarts of day old, grated cornbread
1 quart of day old, grated biscuits
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 tsp coarse ground pepper
1 quart (32 ounces) plus 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix onion, celery, grated cornbread, and biscuits, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add melted margarine to mixture. Stir until well blended.
Add chicken broth to dry ingredients and mix well. The dressing should have a wet but not soupy consistency like a quick bread batter (banana bread or cornbread).
Divide mixture evenly into two (8 x 8 inch) pans sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour until lightly brown on the top.
–Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Biscuits–
1. Work together Bisquick and buttermilk to smooth dough. Dip hand in just enough Bisquick to kneed dough in bowl until smooth and elastic.
2. Shape dough into 16 thin patties, placing 1 atop another forming 8 biscuits in greased 9? round baking pan. Bake at 450 16 to 18 minutes or until golden. Wipe tops at once in butter. They split easily because of the way you formed them with the 2 pieces.
3. To make BONANZA Copycats, add 4 ts sugar. Shape into 6 patties, 1? thick, 3? round. Place close together in greased round baking pan. Wipe tops in soft butter. Bake 450 18 minutes or until brown.
4. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Split with thumbs instead of cutting with knife. These do not keep well. Right out of oven wipe tops again with dabs more butter to keep surface soft and tender.
–Cracker Barrel Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake–
1 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
Heat butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola to boil and pour over the flour mixture. Mix well. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and marshmallows and blend. The batter will be thin with marshmallows floating on top. Bake for 45 minutes.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 box confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Boil first three ingredients. Remove from the heat and blend in the sugar and vanilla extract. Spread on warm cake.
It’s served warm with premium vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy a real Cracker Barrel tradition!
A Graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course, Brian Alan Burhoe has cooked in Atlantic Coast restaurants for over 30 years. He is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation. Brian’s articles reflect his interests in food service, dreamstudy, imaginative literature and our best friends — our dogs.
His Home Page is A CULINARY MYSTERY TOUR – A Literary Chef. His articles have been reprinted on numerous culinary websites and various Blogs, including the popular WUVING.com.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Facts:
– Cracker Barrel uses 70,000 pounds of flour every day to produce their made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits and chicken dumplings.
– In 2007, Cracker Barrel sold enough pancake mix to make 8.2 million pancakes. That’s a stack of pancakes 32 miles high.
– The Cracker Barrel Heritage Music label has release exclusive CDs from Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Tippin, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Amy Grant, Sara Evans and The Charlie Daniels Band. The SONGS OF THE YEAR CD features today’s country superstars performing classic country songs.
– August 2009 – For the 19th consecutive year, a consumer poll in the food service RESTAURANTS & INSTITUTIONS Magazine ranked Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. the “Best Family Dining Chain.” The Consumers’ Choice in Chains Award is based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and their visits to 200 of the nation’s largest restaurant chains. The survey measures opinions on food quality, menu variety, value, service, atmosphere, cleanliness and reputation.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/food-and-beverage-articles/home-cooking-cracker-barrel-restaurants-best-recipes-you-can-do-at-home-cracker-barrel-chicken-dumplings-full-meal-recipe-with-chocolate-cake-1474784.html
About the Author
A Graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course, Brian Alan Burhoe has cooked in Atlantic Coast restaurants for over 30 years. He is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation. His articles reflect his interests in food service, dreamstudy, imaginative literature and our best friends — our dogs. His Home Page is A CULINARY MYSTERY TOUR – A Literary Chef.
10 Things You Should Know About 10 Barrel
My original plan was to hop on I-84 out of Sun Valley, ID and hightail it straight to the Oregon coast. Sunshine and saltwater were calling my name, but after a quick peek at a map, the pull of buffed out singletrack and hopped up craft beer proved to be too great. My plans and route quickly changed. Next stop – Bend, OR.
Here’s the deal – Bend offers the beer enthusiast 27 breweries to choose from. That’s one brewery for every 4,500 people. Or, if you need to look at it another way, you could drink at a different brewery every day for nearly a full month. Normally I’d see this as a challenge. But with limited time to drink and ride before heading west I needed to narrow it down to one brewery.
I asked Siri. She said she didn’t understand my question. Apparently she was as overwhelmed by Bend’s brewery options as I was. I called friends. I consulted apps. Then I saw 10 Barrel Brewing made a Joe IPA. It was a sign. I mean, if they’re nice enough to name a beer after me I kind of have to try it, right? Twist my arm 10 Barrel.
I bellied up to the bar with 10 Barrel’s director of marketing, Andy Goggins. The beer and stories flowed and before I cut myself off in anticipation of an evening mountain bike ride, I felt like we had bonded. And by ‘we’ I mean me and 10 Barrel’s beer.
I could wax poetic about my favorite 10 Barrel brews, but instead I’m going to offer up a list of ten things that you might not know about this Bend based gem.
It’s called 10 Barrel for a reason.
…or at least it is now. In 2006 Chris and Jeremy Cox got their hands on a 10 barrel brewing setup and founded a startup brewery. They called it Wildfire Brewing. In 2009 they changed the name to 10 Barrel Brewing Co., a nod to their humble roots, before expanding the operation to a 50 barrel system. Fast forward to 2016 and that original 10 barrel system is still in play. In fact, it is now used specifically for new beer development and special releases.
10 Barrel is owned by Anheuser-Busch
10 Barrel has three breweries with two more on tap in 2016
The new Cucumber Crush is 10 Barrel’s most award-winning beer
The first beer I drank at 10 Barrel, the beer that made me decide to belly up to their bar in the first place, was the Joe IPA. Yet after a couple of hours of sampling I walked out the door with a six pack (12 oz cans) of the Cucumber Crush, 10 Barrel’s most heavily decorated beer. Believe me, It’s the last beer I expected to pick up as I’m not usually a fan of sours. That being said, it’s biking season and I can’t remember another beer that I’ve thrown back that pairs more perfectly with a hot bike ride than the Cucumber Crush. Light enough to quench your thirst with a dash of tartness and slightly sweet cucumber flavor, the Cucumber Crush is just plain refreshing.
10 Barrel has two female head brewers
10 Barrel’s iconic Joe IPA actually used to be named Sam IPA
Originally named Sam IPA after the tasty Samco, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops used in the brewing process, 10 Barrel was forced to change the name when it was bottled and distributed due to potential conflicts with a large east coast brewery. A company-wide renaming process was launched. The name had to be classic. It had to be original. It had to be simple. It had to represent the everyman beer drinker. The result – Joe IPA. Mission accomplished.
Keep an eye out for The Paxton Project
10 Barrel has their own grassroots athlete team that is currently 190 strong and growing
Looking for a sure sign that 10 Barrel is sticking to their microbrew roots? Look no further than their grassroots athlete program. Currently with 190 athletes between Bend, Boise and Portland, the crew spreads the 10 Barrel stoke throughout the mountain west via their outdoor activity of choice. From mountain biking and skiing to trail running and kayaking, keep an eye out for the grassroots team when you’re getting after it outside.
This restaurant isn't known for their burgers, but they should be. My personal favorite is the maple jam n' bacon burger. This cheeseburger is complete with crispy, peppered bacon and sweet maple onion jam. It's super unique but also really tasty.
Served with hushpuppies and a side of cocktail sauce, Cracker Barrel's fried shrimp is sure to make your mouth water. As someone who is a shrimp connoisseur, I have to say Cracker Barrel has some of the best fried shrimp around. Pair it with a side of fries, and you'll be sure to satisfy your seafood craving with these crunchy bites of perfection.
2. Spicy Grilled U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish
260 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 650 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 18 g protein
Finding something low-cal and low-carb at this restaurant takes work, but tread carefully when ordering the catfish. While its nutrition panel may look great, it’s served two ways — spicy grilled or fried with hushpuppies and tartar sauce — and the second option will cost you triple the calories and double the sodium. That’s not even counting the three sides it comes with. So order with the care unless you want to be stuck with an entree that belongs in the other category.
10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Saltines
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In my opinion, saltines are one of the most under-appreciated foods of all time. They should be more than just your sick or hungover food—they should be a pantry stable. These crackers are versatile, salty, crunchy (yet airy), low-calorie, and cheap. Here are ten things you should be doing with a box of saltines.
1. Make Salted Chocolate Toffee Brittle
If you want to make a cheap, quick treat, this chocolate salted toffee brittle should be your go-to. It only uses chocolate chips, brown sugar, salt, butter, and saltines. More than likely you already have some or all of these ingredients, and they’re all pretty cheap. Thank you, saltines, for this heavenly creation.
2. Make S’mores
Photo courtesy of Coryanne Ettiene on celebrations.com
Maybe you don’t have any graham crackers or maybe you want something lighter and saltier, but saltines should be your go to for both situations. You basically get the same experience, just a different crunch factor and a slightly smaller s’more. The ratio of more marshmallow and chocolate to less cracker is on point.
#SpoonTip: Use Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups instead of chocolate to make this s’more even more unique.
3. Incorporate Into a Pie Crust
Photo courtesy of @lalaburn on Instagram
Making a pie? Forgot to buy pastry dough? Just grab that box of saltines in your pantry. By just using crushed saltines, butter, and water (optional: add sugar), you can make a quality pie crust. It’s a bit lighter than a heavy dough or pastry, making it a refreshing way to switch up your pie baking.
4. Use as a Chaser
Photo courtesy of @robaemery on Instagram
This might be just me, but I find that chasing with saltines is quite effective for a few reasons. The salt content and plain flavor gets the alcohol taste out fast and is distracting. Also, it puts a bit more substance in your stomach to keep it settled throughout a night of going out. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, folks.
5. Make Little Pizzas
Photo courtesy of @nrgg_ on Instagram
This is super simple: dab on a little bit of pizza or tomato sauce, throw on a sprinkle of cheese, and microwave until the cheese melts. You can even bake a bunch in the oven if you feel like committing. These might give Bagel Bites a run for their money.
6. Throw Together a Cheese Board
Photo courtesy of @burkasaurus on Instagram
Pretend to be fancy and entertain your guests cheaply with saltines on your cheese board. We all know the cheese is the most important part anyway. Plus, everyone loves saltines whether they admit it or not.
7. Make Mini PB&J’s
This one is awesome for so many reasons. The crunchy alternative to soft bread is a satisfying way to change it up and give you that crunch factor. They’re cheap, transportable, bite-sized, and a fun thing to make for friends.
8. Top Your Easy Mac
This quick meal is always appetizing, but sometimes you need something to dress it up. Got a box of saltines lying around? Crush up a few and throw them in for an added crunch to your mac and cheese. Or, use them as a utensil to eat it.
9. Bread Your Chicken
Photo courtesy of @rickwilliamspga on Instagram
Substitute breading with crushed saltines for a lighter, crunchier way to make chicken. Add whatever spices you like, and voila, you have a cheap and simple breading.
Follow this recipe, serve it with your favorite sides and a glass of wine, and you’ve got yourself an upscale meal.
10. Dip into Salsa, Guac, or Hummus
Photo courtesy of @adventures_of_nomming on Instagram
There comes a time when you have more dip than chips. In that case, pull out your stash of saltines. Saltines and salsa or guacamole is definitely a different experience than tortilla chips, but it’s still good and satisfies the chips and dip craving. Hummus with saltines is actually really great, and they’re lighter than pita chips, allowing you to eat more. This combo is especially good with sliced cucumber on top.
If you have a leftover box of saltines from that time you were sick, go grab them and whip up a few of these ideas.