If you have a hefty appetite and like your dinner served with an ample side of insanity, then don’t miss Lambert’s Cafe, The Only Home of the Throwed Rolls. The competition in Gulf Coast Alabama among stadium-sized quirky themed restaurants is stiff, but this one takes the prize. It’s big and it’s busy; in 2013 year Lambert’s customers consumed 23,760 – 44 oz. cans of sorghum molasses with 2,246,400 ‘throwed rolls’.
There’s always a lengthy table wait despite its location eight miles north of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores in Foley, Alabama. Upon arrival, a gatekeeper will issue you a tiny piece of paper with a large number on it and likely tell you that the wait is more than an hour. When they call your number, you get to move to the inside waiting area.
The restaurant decor gives new meaning to the term kitsch with old car tags and Lambert family memorabilia providing endless distraction. The music is loud, and an announcer is continually calling out birthdays and congratulating customers for their innocuous achievements.
Tables are simple and the drinks come out it massive plastic truck stop travel mugs. Oven mitt clad servers in blue farm shirts and red suspenders circulate through the crowd tossing colossal hot white rolls to whomever sticks their arm in the air. Within seconds of claiming your seat, bite-sized cubes of fried okra are spooned onto a paper towel on your table.
The menu is deep south comfort all the way. The basics such as chicken fried round steak, fried chicken and fried pork chops are staples. If you are a soul food connoisseur, you’ll enjoy down home favorites such as liver and onions, hog jowl and country ham. Most meals come with a choice of three sides; all the usual things are on offer with the addition of some lesser known classics such as cucumber and onions, fried apples, white beans, turnip greens and candied yams.
In addition to the sides, they offer free bottomless ‘pass-arounds’ with all meals. Staff circulate with large commercial pots of fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes, black eyed peas, cooked cabbage, apple butter and molasses. Be sure to try the macaroni and tomatoes – it tastes way better than it sounds. The apple butter will curl your toes.
The food is good. The portions are ridiculous. Steaks are served in large frying pans. The chef salad comes in a ‘roll’ the size of a beach ball. Everyone leaves laden with styrofoam to-go boxes. The restaurant’s motto is “We hope you come hungry, leave full, and hopefully have a laugh or two!” And they live up to it. Lambert’s is the perfect place to gain some weight while creating fun family memories.