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Create your own hearty meal for under $10 at Cracker Barrel

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Cracker Barrel restaurant's Country Dinner Plates

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Cracker Barrel has given you an amazingly opportunity to have a fulfilling down home meal, and not break the bank. Their Country Dinner Plates menu (available after 11am) gives you an abundance of choices to customize your lunch, or dining experience on every visit for only $7.69. My friends and I were quickly seated by the window. We had a nice view of the Front Range, Pike’s Peak, and the Air Force Academy. The place radiated a nice, warm, family friendly atmosphere. It was a little loud. I couldn’t hear the country music like I could in the country store area. Our server was the professional, courteous, and knowledgeable, Samantha.

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My first friend ordered sugar cured ham with baby carrots, a baked sweet potato, and some light rye toast. My second friend ordered lemon pepper grilled rainbow trout with turnip greens, and a baked sweet potato. I ordered the half-pound hamburger steak with fried apples, and cheese grits. My second friend noticed the salt shaker was cracked. It was removed. Took a while, but eventually a replacement was delivered.

After a reasonable wait, our food arrived. I was a little surprised that the side dishes came in separate bowls, instead of on the same plate next to the main course. My first friend told me the ham was delicious and juicy. I sampled some myself. It was excellent. The baby carrots were steamed perfectly. I tried one. It was buttery & full of flavor. While the baked sweet potato, you could taste a brown sugar glaze with it. Oh so good.

My second friend let me sample each of her dishes. The flavors of the rainbow trout were well balanced. You could evenly taste the pepper, and the lemon. The fish just melted in my mouth. I’m not much on turnip greens, but she told me they are really good. She even liked the small chunks of ham that was mixed in. She also enjoyed her baked sweet potato. The butter biscuits and corn muffins, her and I got were so good. Both were served pippin hot. The corn muffin was full of flavor, and just crumbled in my mouth. As for the butter biscuit, it was soft and flaky perfection.

My half-pound hamburger steak had a beautiful black char on the outside, and a nice pink center. just as I had requested. The first to the last bite was crispy, tender, and juicy. The fried apples covered in a light glaze with some cinnamon and sugar, was okay. It didn’t really stand out to me very much. The cheese grits were decent. They were cooked properly, just not overly exciting.

When it came time for dessert, my second friend took Samantha up on her suggestion of the blackberry cobbler. My first friend and I were both going to order the baked apple dumpling. That’s when Samantha suggested we only order one. She told us that it was a pretty big dish, and both of us could split it. I’m glad she made that suggestion, thank you Samantha. The baked apple dumpling (golden apples with pecan streusel, oven baked crust, topped with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, and apple topping) was definitely more than either one of us could handle alone. The outer crust was tough to break through. A little over cooked I think. But once I got through, it was delicious. My second friend enjoyed her blackberry cobbler, also topped with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice cream. By the way, dessert is not included with the Country Dinner Plate menu.

Overall we enjoyed our visit. I look forward to going back to explore some the other choices to be had. Come try the Country Dinner Plate menu at Cracker Barrel. The experience is yours to create. Cracker Barrel is located at 8355 Razorback Drive. Just off east of I-25, Exit #150 near Academy Blvd. and State Hwy. 83. Bus & R/V parking is available. Hours are: 6 AM – 10 PM Sunday-Thursday; 6 Am – 11 PM Friday and Saturday. For reservations, or to-go orders call: (719)260-7721.

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