8.22.2013

Dining Out Paleo: Cracker Barrel

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo
    
Thursdays I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to a whole foods diet, opting for the freshest and most nutrient dense foods while avoiding grains, sugars, sometimes dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.

It was after 8:00 pm.  I landed at the airport in San Antonio, gathered my luggage, picked up my rental car, and set Waze to navigate me to my hotel.  I was just starting to get hungry but still holding out from all the healthy snackies I had brought with me on the plane.  My stomach was on California time, my brain was on Texas time.  By the time I reached my hotel and got settled into my room it was well past 9:00 pm and my stomach and brain were finally on the same page.  Not much was close to where I was staying and it was far too late to seek out some of my ol' Texas dining favorites.  After a few desperate searches on Yelp, it was either the warm crunch of a Schlotzky's sandwich or the creamy comfort of Cracker Barrel.

With the thought of having to squeeze into my interview suit in just over 12 hours, I figured my best options for meat and veggies would be found at Cracker Barrel.  I figured correctly.  I scurried my way through the general store and was quickly seated among the other two families dining so close to closing time. 


I was thrilled to see a Low Carb Offerings section of the menu.  Options that wouldn't require much thought from my overtired travel-frazzled brain.  Chicken, roast beef, fish, and steaks!  Actually, now that I write this and look back over this menu, I can't imagine why I passed on all those tasty options.  I must have been seeking out one thing and one thing only...


...a bacon cheeseburger.  I have been incorporating small amounts of cheese into my diet lately, mostly in the form of feta and salads.  When I start to notice stomach disgruntlement, I immediately know it's time to cut the cheese right back out of my diet.  While I waited for my food, I played a requisite round of the peg game.


On this particular evening, I devoured the meat patty and bacon and cheese with no issue.  I also opted for a side order of green beans.  Not farm fresh, but also not a hash brown casserole. 


For a late night, last minute meal I was pretty satisfied with my option and was happy to discover that any future visits to The Barrel won't require a glutton-fest of pancakes, gravies, and hash brown casseroles, but instead I have a few better grain-free, sugar-free options awaiting me.  And maybe there will be a bite or two of hash brown casserole without any photographic evidence.

The next morning, I gladly slipped right into my suit which was surprisingly more loose than the last time I sported it for an hour of professional Q&A about my life and times as an engineer.  And now for another gratuitous suit-selfie:


The rest of my time in Texas was spent eating great food with great company and those posts will be up in the next few weeks.  And for those of you who may be asking...all two or three of my friends... this suit has proven to be pretty lucky.  Or maybe I'm just good at interviewing.  And I'll leave it at that.

Maybe some time in the not too distant future there will be a whole lotsa more Dining Out Paleo posts from deep in the heart of Texas.





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