cracker barrel + a tiny church in yuma, az

A spontaneous boyfriend and low gas prices prompted a mini road trip last month to Yuma, AZ. Why Yuma and why Arizona, you might ask? Mostly it was so I could finally try Cracker Barrel, a chain “down home cooking” restaurant present in many states but not California. Jake and T has tried it last year when they went to Aspen so it was finally my turn. I know, it’s just a chain restaurant but I was still curious!


We rolled out early on a Sunday morning after dropping off Jake’s dog at my house. It was really a lovely day.


It’s about a two and a half hour drive out to Yuma.


This photo was taken as we were leaving so it looks empty but we had to wait about 30-40 minutes for a table. 


I dig that they have rocking chairs out front for you to sit in while you wait for a table. The rocking chairs are also for sale in case you fall in love with one and really want to take it home with you.


There was also a large checker board game set up outside. Jake is using his phone as one of the pieces because they were missing a few. T didn’t even manage to get one of his pieces across… though I think it was his first time ever playing checkers (what!). 


Inside there’s a “country market” selling a bunch of various things. Looks like a random assortment of sauces, crackers, and mixes. 


And also a bunch of candy.


For the Hello Kitty fans of the world, I also spied this in the market. 

There’s also clothing, jewelry, household items, candles and other knick knacks. 


Inside the restaurant the walls are covered in various paintings and Americana signs. 

We decided to share one breakfast plate and one lunch plate for the three of us. 


[the cracker barrel country boy breakfast / $9.49]

The Cracker Barrel Country Boy Breakfast comes with SO MUCH FOOD. You get your choice of Country Ham, Pork Chops or Steak, plus three eggs AND Fried Apples, Hashbrown Casserole, Grits, Sawmill Gravy and Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits. Plus apple butter, if you remember to ask for it. 

I know the boys love ham, so when Jake asked me what choice of meat I picked ham. I’m pretty finicky about ham, so much so that I thought I didn’t like ham because I’ve had so much bad ham in my life. Sorry to say this one didn’t quite do it for me as I found it to be too salty. But that hashbrown casserole! Oh man, I liked that stuff. It was gooey and cheesy and I liked that. My only wish is that I thought it should have more “crunchy” bits on the top/outside for a nice little crust. 


The biscuits and gravy were decent. Not the best I’ve had, but also not the worst. Nothing to write home about. 


Same with the cheesy grits. I didn’t find them very cheesy or very flavorful. 


Fried Apples though! Oh man. This is like apple pie filling and I loved it. I dipped my biscuit into this rather than the apple butter because I thought it was so delicious. It’s served warm and the apples are soft and sweet. 


The biscuits are pretty good, I’ll give them that.


Though the apple butter, like I said, was not as exciting as the fried apples. Fried apples FTW! 


[chicken n’ dumplins platter / $8.89]

For our “lunchy” choice, I picked the Chicken n’ Dumplins Platter with came with any three country “vegetables”. Vegetables is a loose term here since you have choices like macaroni and cheese, hashbrown casserole, more dumplins and fried apples as some of your choices. Hah! 

For the sides on this one I picked the country green beans, more hashbrown casserole and macaroni and cheese. The green beans were much too soft for my liking and didn’t taste all that fresh to me. Hashbrown casserole still excellent and the mac n cheese was creamy and good. 

As for the chicken n’ dumplins itself… well… I thought they were kind of meh. The dumplins were a little too chewy and gummy for my tastes and I just felt like the dish did not have enough seasoning overall. I found them to be a bit disappointing. 


Overall I seemed to like the side dishes more than the actual entrees they served here which doesn’t surprise me since it is, after all, a chain restaurant. I know they’re supposed to make everything in house here but it doesn’t quite taste that way to me. But I’m still happy to have finally tried it! 


Plus, the final bill didn’t hurt my wallet too much. Gosh, it was a lot of food! I’m glad we had a teenager with us to help eat it all. 

Cracker Barrel
1780 S Sunridge Drive
Yuma, AZ 85365-2029

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Urbanspoon

We still had the whole day ahead of us! I told Jake there was this tiny church somewhere in Yuma that I had wanted to visit in the past but never got around to it and so he let me pick the next part of our journey. I did a little internet research and found the tiny church. 


You get off the freeway and go up this long road that feels like it will not go anywhere special, but next to some fields we saw this sign and dirt road. 


And we found the tiny church! See. I wasn’t kidding. 


A peek inside the door…


There are six small pews inside and two pieces of stained glass. Here, Jake and T are saying a little prayer. 


And I am…. I don’t know what I’m doing. Don’t ask. 


For a little perspective, here’s the tiny church next to my car. Hah!

There were two people there that day doing some care and maintenance for the church and they told us that they do hold services here sometimes though it wasn’t really clear when. From this page it looks like they hold sunrise Easter services. The church was built in 1995 by farmer Loren Pratt in honor of his deceased wife. In 2011 the tiny church was destroyed in a storm but was rebuilt by the family. It’s a lovely little stop for any road trip.

Pause, Rest, Worship
S Avenue 13E
Yuma, AZ 85365

The tiny church is near the “Bridge to Nowhere” which we went to look at after visiting the tiny church. Coming soon in another post! 

4 thoughts on “cracker barrel + a tiny church in yuma, az

  1. I love roadside oddities like that! We stopped by one of those tiny churches somewhere in Canada (on the Bruce Peninsula, getting back to Toronto). This church was even smaller than the one we went to. We did similar pix too, haha. You look like you are givine a fiery sermon and about to say, “Repent Sinners!”, haha! 🙂

    One of these days, Bert, TC and I will have to do a roadtrip to Yuma. One of Kirk’s contributors is Ed from Yuma and he has a lot of great posts that make me quite curious.

    1. Hi CC! I know your love of roadside oddities, too, I thought you’d appreciate this 🙂 I love stuff like this, too, always a fun photo opportunity. Oh yeah, I forgot about Ed from Yuma – I didn’t know we were going to Yuma though, otherwise I would have looked up some of his posts beforehand.

  2. I’ve never had good chicken and dumplings! I always think its something I’d like but every version seems kind of bland and the dumplings are sooo gummy. Have you tried the one at urban solace here in SD? People seem to like that one but didn’t do much for me. Maybe I just don’t like chicken and dumplings….

    And the tiny church is adorable! HAha. You are clearly preachin’ in your picture 😉

    1. Hi J.S. – I haven’t had the version at Urban Solace! I usually make chicken & dumplings at home, but the dumplings I make are drop biscuits that cook on top of the soup so they are fluffy and light. There used to be a restaurant here a long long time ago called Po’ Folks and I would always order the dumplings there, which were the long strips (kind of like the chicken and dumpling soup at Souplantation). I do find a lot of the time the dumplings taste too gummy but I’m secretly holding out for trying a magical batch again that makes me fall in love with them. San Diego probably isn’t the best place to find them, haha. Whenever I visit another Southern state, I’m going to seek out good dumplings!

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