[Ed. Note – I should always know better, but you should always save, save, save! Hence the reason this post is late.]
Vacations are a great time to get away. Sun, surf, or lots of theme park rides if you are like me. But vacations carry another thing for me: food! While a lot of this country has become one giant chain of Applebee’s, if you look hard enough you can still find local or regional favorites that can open your eyes to some great food. As Julie and I have travelled over the years, we’ve discovered new and unique places that we must eat at whenever we’re in the area. I’m constantly amazed when I talk to people who I ask where they ate on vacation, they said, “McDonald’s.” (yes, I’m looking right at you, Mouse Guest Eric!) We have a rule when we travel that we never eat anywhere we can eat at back home. Certainly, there is something to be said for grabbing a quick bite somewhere, but there is always an option that you can only do in a certain town.
To that end, whenever we’re in the Springfield, MO, we have to eat at Lambert’s, home of the throwed rolls. Home to good, old fashioned home style cooking, Lambert’s is a prime example of what is great about those places that you can’t eat at just anywhere. Every entrée comes with your choice of two vegetables (and yes, mashed potatoes and baked beans are vegetables here) and every meal comes with their world famous “pass-arounds” of fried potatoes & onions, macaroni & tomatoes, black eyed peas, fried okra and, best of all, Hot Rolls and Sorghum. But what makes those rolls so good is that they aren’t just passed, they are passed or thrown. During your meal, someone will come from the back room and holler “Who wants a roll?” When you raise your hand, you had better be prepared to catch because when they say throwed, they mean throwed rolls. Sure, you can ask your server to just bring you a plate of rolls, but where’s the fun in that?
So, when you travel, or even when you are in your home town, the next time you ask yourself where you are going to eat, think outside the box and head to that place you can only eat when you are in that neck of the woods. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be glad you did. Next week, we’ll look at a place that is uniquely Minnesotan. Hope you’re hungry.