Who knows where Paradise, Utah is located? How many people have actually been there? With a population hovering around 800 people, a number of canines, a few cats, a few hundred cattle, some pheasant and fish and then throw in the fact that the town is tucked away in a far corner of Cache Valley, there probably aren’t many reasons to visit Paradise, unless you have family there.
Many local people may remember the Cracker Barrel restaurant/convenience store/gas station in the center of town. Well, it closed down for a number of months for some much needed renovation. I believe that people who had frequented the restaurant side for prime rib on Fridays and Saturdays were quietly anticipating the reopening. About five months ago, it reopened quietly and has been gaining steam ever since.
I have talked to people that have eaten lunch at the Cracker Barrel and family that has enjoyed prime rib a couple of times during the past month. Finally, I found an opening in my schedule to drive all the way out (15 minutes south of Logan, Utah) to Paradise and test out the Cracker Barrel.
The exterior has been remodeled with a covered front porch that will be available for outdoor dining during the warmer months. The inside kept some of the feel of the bygone days. However, the front diner style seating and the dining room have been completely redone with a fresh look. I beat the lunch crowd, so I found a booth where I could watch the door and the outside. There are huge windows all around to let the light in and keep it friendly.
While I was waiting for my prime rib sandwich (the special of the day at $7.95), I watched people start to come in. Most were locals (to Paradise), and it appeared that most were fairly regular. I probably was sitting at one of their booths. The lunch sandwiches ranged from the prime rib that I ordered to a fish sandwich to hamburgers. The price range was $5.99 to $8.99 for the lunches.
A few minutes later, my sandwich came out. I was expecting a sandwich with some thin slices of prime rib and a few condiments. What was in front of me was a total surprise! It was a slice of prime rib about an inch thick with lettuce, tomato and a light smear of horseradish sauce. Some fry sauce (it’s a Utah thing) for the onion rings and an extra bit of straight horseradish, I was set to dig in. I thought the sandwich was well worth the few minutes to drive out to Paradise. The sandwich was big enough that I had to get a take out box.
The service was friendly. The astmosphere was pleasant and from what I could see, everything was kept clean.
The Cracker Barrel offers catering for small and large groups. They do the catering a little different from many other restaurants. There is not a set menu for catering, so you can specify what you want for your event. Even if the item is not on their regular menu, ask and it may be available.
The Cracker Barrel is located in downtown Paradise, Utah at 8990 South Hwy 165. The phone number is 435-245-4258 and the restaurant is open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.