The food is Southern-fried Denny's, but better
I order a coffee and the Sunrise Sampler, which comes with two eggs, grits, buttermilk biscuits + gravy, apple butter (on request only), fried apples, hashbrown casserole, smoked sausage, country ham, and thick-sliced bacon. All that food is only $8.19. Incredible.
Anyone stopping by later in the day can order the same huge, Southern-style portions at low prices: chicken-fried chicken with gravy, and sides like mac & cheese and green beans. Hamburger steaks (?!). Chicken and dumplings. Sugar-cured ham. And don't forget those biscuits.
As we wait for our king's feast-sized breakfasts, Gina tells me that she would go to Cracker Barrel after church on Sundays in Conway, AR, "because that's what you did." Right off the I-40 highway, her family would routinely wait an hour to eat Southern comfort food from a chain restaurant. But they're in the South! Surely there was a less chain-y place to eat better comfort food, right? Surely! But that's just what you did.
The food arrives quickly. The coffee tastes like it's from one of our nation's finest gas-station shops, the eggs are fine, and the sausage exists. I'm disappointed. But then I eat a biscuit. And then I spread the apple butter on the biscuit. I take a forkful of piping-hot fried apples.
And then I get it. You can't get this at Denny's. I shove the fried apples into my mouth one after another, and then I polish off two biscuits with apple butter like it's nothing even though I'm not that hungry. If I needed to drive for five hours after this, there'd be enough food on the table to sustain me. All for $8!