Restaurant Reviews

Foodstuff

I don't usually mention chains in this space, but Cracker Barrel recently impressed me. It's not the cuisine at this Southern-style restaurant and country store that's such a treat, though the biscuits ain't bad. It's the audio library the chain offers as a service to travelers -- and as an incentive to get folks to visit more than one Cracker Barrel on their journeys. At any of the 320 locations (in 35 states), you can rent a book on tape, listen to it on the road, and return it to a different store when you're done. Even if I'm only motoring from Boynton Beach (1475 SW 8th St., 561-736-6001) to West Palm Beach (2411 Metrocentre Blvd., 561-686-0660) -- the two locations in our vicinity -- the convenience is terrific. And it sure beats listening to our less-than-inspiring radio stations.

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick