Cracker Barrel menu items you'll sadly never get to eat again

There are few things quite as comforting as rollin' into the Cracker Barrel parking lot, knowing what wholesome goodness awaits beyond the doors. If there's a line, you might sit a spell in one of the country eatery's rows of rocking chairs. You might play a game of oversized checkers. The point is, there's no rush. You're willing to wait because you know the delicious fixins in your near future are worth it.

But every now and then, the unthinkable happens. Cracker Barrel changes up the menu, leaving you longing for some dish that, at that moment, you're certain you can't live without. Although it isn't unheard of for Cracker Barrel to bring back a seasonal item once thought retired (helloooo, campfire chicken!), some dishes simply vanish and leave you with a biscuit-sized hole in your heart.

We hate to bring up painful memories. We do. But, well, we felt it was only right to revisit some of the delectable menu items you'll probably never get to order at Cracker Barrel again. We totally understand if you feel the need to drown your sorrows in things like Burt's Bees lip balm, old-fashioned candy, and Fixer-Upper-style knick-knacks from the restaurant's quaint country store.

So, feel free to stock up and then join us in remembering these retired dishes.

Strawberries n' cream French toast

It may always be breakfast time at Cracker Barrel, but that doesn't mean you can always expect to find your most favorite breakfast dish. OK, so they have a pretty good track record of providing precisely what you want to nosh on in the early a.m. But for true fans of the franchise's strawberries n 'cream French toast, every breakfast visit henceforth may feel like a bust. On August 11, 2015, Cracker Barrel tweeted one final warning: "End summer with a sweet finish. Try our Strawberries n' Cream French Toast Breakfast before it's gone, 8/16."

Suffice it to say, they seemed to remain true to their word and take it off the menu. So, what made this dish so special? As with all Cracker Barrel's French toast, it was cooked using four slices of grilled sourdough bread. There was one major exception — the restaurant stuffed it with a delightful cream cheese filling and topped it with powdered sugar and fresh strawberries. Swoon.

Upon realizing Cracker Barrel was no longer creating strawberries n' cream French toast, some customers disavowed the restaurant altogether. Lamented one such customer in 2015, "Cracker Barrel doesn't have my strawberries and cream French toast anymore. I'm never returning." And, in 2017, another echoed that sentiment, saying they "honestly don't need to come" to Cracker Barrel ever again.

Chicken salad sandwiches

Cracker Barrel serves leafy green salads with grilled chicken or fried chicken on top. However, at some point, they decided that serving actual chicken salad — particularly in the form of chicken salad sandwiches — wasn't a sound idea. Spoiler alert? Fans were not happy with the removal of these tasty chicken-salad-loaded sammies.

Some customers lost their faith in the establishment, and we aren't just talking about the restaurant itself. "My papa just said 'Corporate America got me in the jugular AGAIN' bc Cracker Barrel doesn't have chicken salad sandwiches anymore," tweeted one customer with a father who obviously loved Cracker Barrel's chicken salad sandwiches. Another pulled the guilt trip tactic, lamenting that they were "so disappointed" the item wasn't on the menu.

That was the bad news. The good news is that copycat recipes for Cracker Barrel's chicken salad abound on the internet! CDKitchen offers a fairly simple version, for example, that entails mixing chicken breast with sour cream, mayo and a few other items to mimic the original's taste and texture. Once created, you can slap it between two pieces of bread, biscuits or crescent rolls and call it a (delicious) day.

A plethora of pancakes

Don't get us wrong — you'll likely never find any shortage of pancakes at Cracker Barrel. The eatery always serves their light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes along with seasonal options like pancakes dotted with "wild" blueberries from Maine. Alas, if we learned one thing from poring over social media interactions with Cracker Barrel, it's that you shouldn't get too attached to any special version of Cracker Barrel stacks.

Take for example pancakes topped with fruit. Sure, you've still got options. However, one of them is not cherry pie filling, which YouTuber Deedra Kerby felt passionate enough about to film a video protesting the absence of. (Pro tip: Buy Cracker Barrel pancake mix from the country store and then top them with canned cherry pie filling and whipped cream from your local grocer. You are welcome.)

Another popular variety of Cracker Barrel pancakes that has seemingly gone the way of the dodos is chocolate chip. In March 2018, one customer tweeted she would "never stop being mad" about this. And as recently as February 2019, another customer tweeted that they'd driven all the way to the restaurant for their "favorite breakfast" of these chocolate-studded stacks, only to find they were no more. 

Some customers swear that while chocolate chip pancakes aren't on the menu, Cracker Barrel will make them for you if you ask nicely. We suspect this could also be the case with other retired options, such as multi-grain and sweet potato. Hey, it couldn't hurt to ask, right? 

Buttermilk oven fried chicken

It seems like sacrilege to say that Cracker Barrel no longer serves their buttermilk oven fried chicken, but that would tragically appear to be the case — and customers are certainly salty about it. Here's what we can deduce from our social media sleuthing. The dish was referenced by Cracker Barrel up until at least 2016. Then, in summer 2018, customer outrage piqued over the perceived fact that Cracker Barrel had stopped creating this classic Southern dish.

In May 2018, customers took to Twitter to share their sheer anguish over this decision. One proclaimed themselves "triggered," while another insisted they were "done with this place." In June that same year, a truly distraught Cracker Barrel patron pleaded their case to the restaurant, explaining, "I drive over an hour to eat buttermilk over fried chicken, and to hear that it has been discontinued totally broke my heart. Bring it back please!!"

In all fairness, Cracker Barrel does offer a chicken fried chicken dish consisting of, in their words, "a generous portion of our deep-fried chicken breast fillet topped with Sawmill Gravy." However, that apparently offers little consolation to devotees of the buttermilk oven-fried version. 

Fried catfish sandwich

If you grew up in the South, you probably grew up on fried catfish sandwiches. If you grew up elsewhere but happened to stumble upon this Southern favorite at Cracker Barrel, you understood the appeal. And if you didn't get to try this dish at your local Cracker Barrel, well, you might be out of luck.

Here's what we know. Way back in 2011, a Cracker Barrel customer tweeted a simple, yet descriptive status about the pure joy that comes from eating this dish. "The level of happiness in my heart has gone up tenfold simply from eating a fried catfish and pickle sandwich," she tweeted, adding, "I love you, Cracker Barrel." (Same, Emily. Same.) But then in April 2018, another customer posted an angry Denzel Washington GIF to convey their utter displeasure about Cracker Barrel discontinuing the fried catfish sandwich.

This brings us to the present day. It would appear the latter customer — not to mention Denzel — has every right to be upset. The fried catfish sandwich has, in fact, been removed from the menu. Yet, that's not to say all hope is lost. The restaurant does still serve catfish, both spicy grilled and cornmeal breaded and fried. And they've gotta have pickles, right? So our advice would be to find yourself a server looking to add another star to their apron, and ask them to special request this discontinued dish from the kitchen.

Apple sauce

Applesauce may not be the type of thing one typically associates with a rebellion, but that's nearly what Cracker Barrel had on their hands when they decided to stop serving applesauce as a side. Judging by the impassioned tweets of diners, this sweet side stopped appearing on the menu in 2013.

Some lamented the decision. "Is nobody else mad that Cracker Barrel discontinued apple sauce as a side because I get really emotional about that topic," observed one diner. Others questioned why it came to that. And one diner pointed out that Cracker Barrel essentially robbed diners of the opportunity to dip their chicken tenders in their side of apple sauce. This is, clearly, a modern travesty.

Since the ingredients of this side aren't readily available, it's hard to say what made it quite so irresistible to Cracker Barrel patrons. If customers have a craving for apples, they do have a few options: apple n' cinnamon oatmeal, fresh apple slices, spiced apple tea, apple cider BBQ chicken breast, and all-American apple pie. But alas, no applesauce. 

Beef stew

Who doesn't love a big, comforting bowl of beef stew? There was just something about this particular dish from Cracker Barrel that made you feel good about the world. Until, that is, they decided to discontinue it in 2013 — that fall, the world got a little bit darker for Cracker Barrel patrons.

"I just flew from CA to FL, straight to Cracker Barrel from the airport, to find out you discontinued my beef stew! DISAPPOINTED!!" tweeted one distraught diner. Mourned another, "Okay, so I just found out that @CrackerBarrel got rid of their beef stew and I am so upset. I loved it so much!! ☹" And if you're thinking time may dull the sting of not being able to chow down on this hearty dish anymore, you'd be sorely mistaken. Fans were still taking to social media as recently as 2018 to express their sorrow over losing such a culinary treasure.

Cherry chocolate cobbler

When a dessert has the words "chocolate" and "cobbler" in its name, you know it's gonna be good. Ask any fanatic of Cracker Barrel's cherry chocolate cobbler dessert, and they'll confirm as much. In fact, judging by social media, it would seem the cherry chocolate cobbler was quite popular. "We're [at] @CrackerBarrel enjoying dinner, and talking about how we wish they would bring back Chocolate Cobbler. Best dessert ever," tweeted one diner in October 2018.  It's no wonder patrons were left reeling in shock when the establishment stopped serving it.

As of early 2019, Cracker Barrel's cobbler selection only includes fruit cobblers — blackberries or peaches, typically — topped with ice cream. And while that sounds good, it sure isn't cherry chocolate cobbler. Christin Mahrlig from Spicy Southern Kitchen describes it best, saying, "With chocolate and cherries, this country dessert has the taste of Black Forest Cake but in an easy to make cobbler form."

If you're dying for a fix, Mahrlig at least offers a solution by way of a copycat recipe. It may not be the solution (aka strolling into Cracker Barrel and ordering the dessert), but it could at least quell your cravings for the time being. 

Red-eye gravy

You can't very well talk about country cookin' without throwing some red-eye gravy into the mix. And for a shiny moment in its history, Cracker Barrel served this red-hued elixir. Much to diners' chagrin, though, the item disappeared sometime in the fall of 2017. As one patron tweeted at the eatery, "I was told that you no longer offer red-eye gravy. I demand answers." A year later, another fan of the gravy facetiously tweeted, "Cracker Barrel got rid of red-eye gravy and I'm only a little upset."   

So, what makes red-eye gravy so addictive? This classic Southern pan sauce makes just about anything better: country ham (which it's made with, too), biscuits, grits, fried potatoes, fried eggs… the list goes on and on. You pick something you want to pour it over — and then serve it along with something you can use to sop up any extra gravy. It's got the kind of kick that you can't forget, thanks at times to the occasional-ingredient of strong black coffee.

Gravy lovers currently lamenting the loss of the red eye version at Cracker Barrel can derive comfort from a few facts. First, the restaurant does still serve other gravies: creamy herbed pan gravy, sawmill gravy, roasted gravy, and turkey gravy. Second, recipes for red-eye gravy abound on the internet. The recipe knockoff blog Cracker Barrel at Home offers a copycat version that's so easy anyone can make it.

Frozen mugs for any beverage on the menu

Once upon a time, Cracker Barrel bestowed diners with a most magical gift. Whenever one ordered certain lovely libations from the menu, servers delivered the beverage in a frozen mug. As in, yes, a gloriously frosty mug straight from the freezer, guaranteed to keep your drink ice cold right down to the last drop. Ordering milk? You get a frozen mug! How about a nice cider? Frozen mug for you, too! How about lemonade? You better believe it, bub.

But, in the summer of 2018, the restaurant made a drastic change. As one then-employee tweeted, "We just got rid of our frozen mugs ☹ Cracker Barrel takes everything great away." While some diners simply referred to it as a "sad day at the barrel," other loyal patrons took it personally. "So I was informed this morning that @CrackerBarrel no longer has frozen mugs. That is just wrong. Always got a frozen mug for my milk at breakfast almost every Saturday for the past 25 yrs," one such diner tweeted in July 2018.

Like many other items Cracker Barrel "discontinues" or "removes" from its menu, the frozen mugs aren't entirely out of the picture. They're still offered in at least a small capacity — should you order a frozen mug sundae with roasted almonds, you'll see firsthand.

Steak fries

If you never scarfed down a plate full of Cracker Barrel's steak fries, you never really lived, friend. These thick rectangles of perfectly browned and salted potato slices were, in a word, delightful. Unfortunately, Cracker Barrel swapped them out in 2018 for homestyle fries. Not surprisingly, the removal of steak fries elicited a primal ire from patrons the likes of which Cracker Barrel may never have seen before.

"I'm furious that @CrackerBarrel got rid of their steak fries. Wut r u guys thinking????" one diner tweeted. Another insisted they were "heartbroken." Another felt betrayed by an outdated promotional piece, tweeting, "The fact that I just saw a Cracker Barrel advertisement with steak fries in the picture makes me very angry. THE LIES THE LIES!" One even joked they suffered a mild eye twitch and nearly went "full middle-aged white woman" on Cracker Barrel upon learning of the discontinuation.

Even worse, Cracker Barrel themselves confirmed that steak fries aren't an option anymore. In August 2017, when one diner tweeted how unhappy they were with the home fries, the restaurant responded. "We appreciate your feedback. Steak fries are no longer on our menu, but we will share your request with our Culinary Team." Well, Culinary Team?! We're all waiting.

Fried pork chops

It's reasonable that when you go to eat at an old-fashioned country restaurant, you expect fried pork chops to be on the menu. If you've ever spent any time around any Southern kitchen, you know this to be true. And, for a while, Cracker Barrel did honor its country roots by serving up some serious fried chops with country fixins.

But things went South (pun intended) in 2014. Summed up one peeved-off patron, "I'm really disappointed in Cracker Barrel. How do you call yourself a country restaurant and not sale [sp] fried fish or fried pork chops." Tweeted another, "I get mad every time I think about how Cracker Barrel doesn't have fried pork chops. But seriously… like why wouldn't you have that?!"

But, as vlogger Luefras noted in 2018, Cracker Barrel did add turkey chops to their menu as a lighter fare option. While the turkey chops appear to be seasonal, the restaurant does still offer another option in place of fried pork chops: two bone-in grilled country pork chops.