I first heard of Lambert’s Café in a children’s book I was reading aloud to the kids a few years ago. In the book the children in the story went to Lambert’s with their grandparents and there experienced the unique dining experience that is iconically Lambert’s.
I didn’t realize that Lambert’s Café was a real restaurant until we were driving through Missouri on our bus trip last year and I saw the billboards for Lambert’s Café. The tagline: “Home of Throwed Rolls” was the giveaway that it was the same place that was highlighted in the book.
We didn’t stop there last year, but when we decided that Springfield, Missouri would be our stop for the second night of our trip I told Toby I knew just the place for dinner!
I didn’t give much away. I just told my family that they were in for a treat. I knew the experience would be as enjoyed as the homemade southern cooking.
We arrived just in time, walking through the doors at 8:50 pm. The restaurant closed at 9:00, but they welcomed us in with a smile and seated us at a table.
The first clue that this dining experience would be different than other places was the table settings, which consisted of a roll of paper towels and a cup of silverware.
Our waitress came over and took our drink orders. When she returned the kids received their second clue that this was going to be a unique dinner. The cups were huge. Rusty was thrilled. When we go out to eat my water lover always seems to be waiting on refills. There was no running out of water at this place!
Then we ordered. The food here is homestyle, with southern classics like chicken fried steak and fried chicken being some of their top sellers.
After ordering, the fun began with a waiter yelling, “Fresh rolls!”
The kids soon picked up on how things worked at Lambert’s when they saw hands being raised around the room and rolls started flying.
At Lambert’s Café if you want one of their delicious, homemade rolls you have to catch one.
Don’t worry if you miss on the first try… many people do. The floor is littered with fallen fare.
They will just send another one your way.
Luckily we were eating dinner with Tyler, who eagerly offered to get us rolls anytime someone wanted one. He loved the “sporty” aspect to the dinning experience and caught many rolls for our table.
In addition to the flying rolls there were also “Pass Arounds.” These were side dishes that come free with your meal. Waiters walked around with bowls of macaroni and tomatoes, black eyed peas, fried potatoes and onions, and fried okra that you could try while waiting for your meal.
We all tried fried okra for the first time and found it better than expected. Tyler was the only wouldn’t give it a try, despite the persistence of our cute waitress.
Our stomachs were already filling up thanks to the “Pass Arounds” and the delicious rolls, when our dinners arrived.
Talk about generous servings!!
Toby and Rusty’s chicken fried steak meals came out in frying pans.
I ordered the fried chicken and it was the BEST fried chicken I have ever had. The food was incredible. It was one of the tastiest meals we have ever had and easily measured up to our gold star standard of a Disney World Resort restaurant in both quality of food and level of interactive entertainment.
We are so glad we gave Lambert’s Café a try!
When we left we stopped at the visitor’s map to mark our hometown and record that the McCleerys were here.
It was an awesome evening!