Vacation Day 2: Lunch at Lambert’s

IMG_3761Have you ever been hit in the face with a piece of bread flying through the air? I haven’t but if it was going to happen, it would have happened at lunch today. We went to church this morning, my wife and I, along with my two brothers, my mom, my grandmother, and my brother Landon’s girlfriend, and since the communion cracker turned out to be less than filling, we were eager to get something to eat afterwards. We decided to go to Lambert’s, a place famous for throwing rolls, that I hadn’t been to in more than a decade, so my wife, my brother, and I sped over to the restaurant about fifteen minutes away to get our name on the waiting list, and the rest of our family followed shortly. I was shocked to see the parking lot so full of cars, because from what I remember of Lambert’s, it wasn’t all that great, more hype surrounding the thrown rolls than the actual food it served. I dropped my brother off at the entrance and began circling the parking lot looking for a single parking space, which turned out to be much more difficult than I’d thought.

It was 11:30 on a Sunday morning, and I had to circle the parking lot twice, which took about ten minutes, before I found a single place to park. I assure you that I’m not the sort of person who spends any significant amount of time looking for a parking space near the front of any given lot, so it wasn’t like I was being picky; I literally couldn’t find an open spot. When we finally parked and found my brother in the crowd of people, who like us were waiting for a table, he told us it was going to be a thirty minute wait, so we sat down on a bench a baked on high in the hot Alabama sun for half an hour. Unfortunately the wait time had been extended, perhaps because the restaurant goers had decided they weren’t going to stand for the mayhem anymore and decided to fight back, throwing rolls back at the employees as fast as they themselves could dish them out, a full fledged roll fight ensuing, but whatever the reason, it took longer for us to get a table, so we took shelter from the sun for the remainder of our wait.

Inside we were seated and each handed plastic menus, that seemed obnoxiously big at first, before I realized that they had to be that big in order to fit all of the food onto the page, which included barbecue, burgers, fried chicken, and steak, among other things. It took me a while to decide what I wanted, because there were several things that looked pretty good, but eventually I settled on chicken fried steak, with mashed potatoes and french fries, potatoes on potatoes, carbs on carbs on carbs, most of which were topped with gravy. While we waited for our food to arrive, various side dishes were brought around, fried okra, black eye peas, macaroni and tomatoes, like hors d’oeuvres at a redneck wedding, for us to munch on. With a paper towel spread before me, I munched on the fried okra atop it each time I was lucky enough for the okra girl to pass by. The side dishes passed by multiple times over the course of about twenty minutes, and there was still no sign of the famous rolls, but eventually they arrived, hot from the oven. The roll thrower tossed the rolls in every direction at raised hands throughout the restaurant, and I’m pleased to report that I caught two, one for myself and one for my grandmother.

The rolls were big and pretty filling, but not all that special aside from the fact that they were thrown to you. By the time my food arrived I was already feeling full after eating several helpings of fried okra, eating a giant roll, and drinking like a half liter of water that sat in the huge mug before me, but being the true American that I am, I was determined to at least eat some of the food that I ordered. Like I said, I didn’t remember much about the food at Lambert’s when I visited years before, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good everything was. The chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes were both really good, and the french fries, while I figured would be an afterthought, thrown on the plate as a filler, were actually really good. Of course the portion was much too big, and I only ate about half of what was on my plate, but on the bright side, I now have another good meal waiting for me in the refrigerator. Lunch ended about four hours ago and I still feel incredibly full, but maybe later my wife can roll me down to the beach so I can enjoy a beautiful sunset.

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