Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mammy's: The Real Cracker Barrel

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Below is the beginning of a charming story by Norman Fulkerson on life off the beaten path.

In an ever changing world one thing seems to always remain the same, a meal at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. It is perhaps that universal sameness, both in food and d├ęcor, which always leaves me a bit disappointed. While the artifacts that hang on the walls are authentic they have nothing to do with the owner, nor those serving the food.
This fabricated ambience made up of assorted farm tools, metal signs, family photographs, cast-iron cookware and old-fashioned toys might have an initial appeal, but it falls short of satisfying a deeper desire for something authentically down-home. It lacks individuality we so appreciate and merely delivers an ambience that is mass produced in cookie cutter fashion coast to coast.

What we desire in a place that calls itself an Old Country Store is organic society and are often sadly disappointed. This is exactly what I found off the beaten path at Mammy’s restaurant in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Hourigan Family Recipe Book
As with other examples of organic society in America, I was not actually looking for such a place when I drove into Bardstown, Kentucky on a particularly nice sunny fall morning. This charming city earned the Rand McNally distinction of being the Most Beautiful Small Town in America for 2012[1] so I figured it might be a good place to find an authentically down-home breakfast rather than the standardized version so commonly dished out at Cracker Barrel.
Christy Clark with the Hourigan Family Recipe Book which she used as inspiration to start her family restaurant

This is what led me to Mammy’s and a memorable conversation with owner Christy Clark who took time from her busy schedule to tell me the history of her restaurant.
To read the rest of the story, click on the link below.

Mammy's: The Real Cracker Barrel

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