For the past 6 or 7 years, every Memorial Day weekend has found me on the way to
Once exit 73 on i-55 north rolled around, I pulled off and was soon out of the car and walking to the entrance.
You can’t help but be a little shocked at the sheer size of Lambert’s and the constant smell of rolls.
When you step inside, you continue to be shocked as seemingly every piece of
Even before I could a menu, the star attraction rolled out of the kitchen.
Hot and fresh from the oven, there’s a trick to getting a roll.
The idea is the roll man asks who wants a roll, and people yell and throw up their hands. Seconds later, a roll is hurled to a lucky recipient. I’ll admit the thrower has some serious skill. He will throw you a roll from 2 feet away to 100 feet across the restaurant floor.
Sitting at a bar next to the kitchen, I received my roll by a simple underhanded toss.
With a great crusty top and good flavor, the rolls really are the best thing at Lambert’s
How can you enjoy your roll without butter? Actually, once you get a little butter on one of the hot rolls, you’re hooked. It takes every measure of self control not to sit there eating nothing but butter and hot rolls.
A nice feature at Lambert’s is the idea of a “pass around”. Various members of the wait staff walk around the restaurant with a bowl or pot and pass out small servings of side dishes. The first “pass around” I got was a spoonful of fried okra.
Perfectly fried and not at all mushy, the fried okra were a great start to the “pass arounds”.
After 10 or so minutes without a menu, my waiter realized his mistake and quickly brought me a menu. Not having been here in a year, I asked him if Lambert’s was known for anything besides the rolls. With his negative response, I decided to try out their hot beef sandwich.
Doesn’t look too bad does it? It does to me. I hate eating on plastic plates, I feel like I’m at Piccadilly or a hospital.
The fries were the first thing I tried, and my God were they terrible. Dense and tasteless, these fries had the innate ability to go from oily & crunch to gummy in a single bite. Simply uncanny.
I thought I might fare better with the green beans, but I was wrong. Way too salty and tasting like they came from a can, I didn’t even dare to finish the bowl.
Roast beef with gravy is supposed to be a sublime dish, but a decent cut of beef is quickly ruined by a terrible, powdered mix gravy.
Leaving the entrée behind, I was soon able to get a tally of the “pass arounds” for that day: macaroni & tomatoes, fried okra, fried potatoes, and black eyed peas.
I was able to try some of the black eyed peas, and they weren’t bad. However, the first thing that popped in my mind was “these peas are a little flat, they need some pork.” That probably says more about me than it does the peas.
The last thing I was able to try was a generous spoonful of the fried potatoes.
Full of peppers and onions, the fried potatoes “pass around” might challenge the rolls as the best thing at Lamberts.
On the way out, I thought there is one thing that I can’t fault Lambert’s for, and that’s portions. For the sheer size of the entrees to the constant supply of “pass arounds”, Lambert’s is the perfect place to get a cheap, filling meal. However, the negatives of Lamberts outweigh the few positives. Besides, I stuck out like a sore thumb in madras and a polo shirt. I would need to buy more jorts, camo, and Jesus/American flag shirts to be a regular at Lambert’s.