Q and I have a tradition that actually started at her diagnosis. Every evening during the long drive back home from the endocrinologist, we stop at Denny’s and have breakfast for dinner.
It’s so entrenched in our routine that I actually have mentioned it several times in Kids First, Diabetes Second.
We recently switched to a different endocrinology practice that is a little closer to home, but still an hour and a half away. When we hit the highway after our most recent visit, Q asked if we could stop at Denny’s. I don’t know that they have a location on our new route and I need to look it up before our next visit.
So there is a moderately sized town about halfway home and I pulled off at the exit with the most restaurants. I named some choices and we decided on Cracker Barrel.
As we ordered our dinner I asked the waitress, who we would learn was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, if she could bring us the nutritional info. I like to look at it before the meal comes so that I can eat and not let my food get cold while I’m looking up carbs or trying to research it on my phone. After we had our meals, she brought us a paper and said it only had the allergy info.
The waitress said she thought Cracker Barrel is very “diabetic friendly” which made me chuckle to myself. (It’s a lot of high carb fried food, biscuits, apple butter, etc.) She said Q’s fried shrimp was just under 2 carbs because of the breading and hush puppy, and that the fried apples were 2 carbs.
I asked if she meant two carbs or two carb exchanges. She said “carbs.” This was clearly not right. I could see it being two exchanges. An exchange is about 15 carbs.
So I used my phone to go to Cracker Barrel’s website. They are a national chain and should have the info on their site, right?
In fact this is what they say deeply buried on an FAQ page:
Here at Cracker Barrel, we pride ourselves on using recipes and ingredients that are genuine and of the highest quality available. We strive to prepare and present these food items to you in a way that upholds those authentic traditions of days gone by.
Cracker Barrel certainly understands the health-conscious concerns that some of our guests have. While we are currently unable to provide exact calorie or fat content information for our entire menu, the following choices may help you in your selection. You can get very specific nutritional information on some select dishes at both weightwatchers.com and healthydiningfinder.com
(And they didn’t link to those two sites, either.)
“Health-conscious”? No, my child needs insulin based on the number of carbs she consumes to live! It’s not a matter of watching her (tiny) waist line.
Even if their portion sizes or recipes vary slightly by location, I would have liked an estimate to go off of.
So I tried CalorieKing and a couple of internet searches and didn’t have much luck. I’m doing all of this while trying to have a hot meal and I’m sure the other diners all thought I was rude for typing away on my phone instead of interacting with my daughter…another reason why I like to see it before the meal comes!
I had pre-bolused for 30 carbs, actually while demonstrating to the waitress how insulin pumps work. I followed up with another 30 carbs as an estimation, having no experience with Cracker Barrel’s menu.
Q started the meal with a perfect blood sugar of 125. An hour after her Cracker Barrel meal, her blood sugar eclipsed 300!
It took several boluses and multiple overnight blood sugar checks to get her below 200.
I want to know how a national restaurant chain thinks it’s at all acceptable NOT to provide nutritional information for its guests.
Guess what restaurant won’t become our new routine.
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All Things Food (carb counts)