The Discontinued Cracker Barrel Dinner We May Never See Again

cracker barrel dining area
cracker barrel dining area - 4kclips/Shutterstock

The Cracker Barrel menu has changed a lot since the restaurant first opened in 1969. Though southern breakfast staples like biscuits and buttermilk pancakes have stood the test of time, others like fried chicken liver and campfire meals have come and gone. Unfortunately for fans of the restaurant's haddock, Cracker Barrel no longer offers this menu item either.

Cracker Barrel's haddock dish consisted of a boneless, wild-caught North Atlantic haddock filet. Similar to the restaurant's current grilled fish offerings, the haddock was coated in a blend of cornmeal and flour before being grilled, forming a crispy outer crust. This menu item, priced at $9.99, allowed customers to choose between either buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins, and any three of the Country Sides.

Cracker Barrel last posted about its haddock on Facebook in 2018. By 2019, a customer review on TripAdvisor noticed that it could no longer be ordered in person, even though it was still available on the Cracker Barrel website.

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cracker barrel haddock with sides
cracker barrel haddock with sides - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store/Facebook

In many cases, when a restaurant removes something from the menu, it's because it wasn't well-liked by customers or declined in popularity. However, that doesn't seem to have been the case with Cracker Barrel's haddock, at least judging by the comments left on the restaurant's Facebook posts. It consistently received positive feedback, and some diners even said it was their favorite dish to order.

Cracker Barrel's decision to stop offering the haddock may have been due to high costs or seafood supply issues. Cracker Barrel Vice President of Culinary and Menu Strategy, Cammie Spillyards-Schaefer, admitted to Today in 2018 that Cracker Barrel can't source its shrimp domestically due to how much of it the restaurant chain requires. It's possible that Cracker Barrel ran into a similar issue with its haddock and decided it wasn't worth keeping it on the menu.

The discontinuation may have also been part of a more extensive menu revamp, which was fully rolled out in 2020. This consisted of improving some recipes and removing others altogether for a more streamlined menu. "We delete menu items from time to time to make room for new signature, craveable menu items that our guests love," Spillyards-Schaefer explained to Nation's Restaurant News at the time.

cracker barrel fish fry dinner
cracker barrel fish fry dinner - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store/Facebook

Though Cracker Barrel isn't known to bring back discontinued menu items, that isn't to say that haddock won't ever return to the menu in the future. In fact, the restaurant temporarily made it available in the spring of 2024 as part of its seasonal menu. YouTube channel J & B In The Hills, who filmed a vlog while visiting their local Cracker Barrel, shared that the discontinued haddock was listed as "Fried White Fish" on the seasonal menu and could only be ordered after 11 a.m. "while supplies last." As of May 2024, it didn't appear to be available anymore, at least not on the Cracker Barrel website.

Interestingly, the Fried White Fish was not mentioned when Cracker Barrel sent out a press release about its spring 2024 menu. This could mean the restaurant was trying to test how well the haddock would sell without any advertising. J & B In The Hills only had positive things to say about the haddock, praising its flavor and texture. So, at least we know if it makes a permanent return, it'll probably be just as tasty as before.

Read the original article on Daily Meal