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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.


Lambert’s Cafe: Home of Throwed Rolls

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013For some reason or another, I’ve never been a big fan of Lambert’s Cafe, which bills itself as The Home of Throwed Rolls, but the place has a huge following. Mother, Friend Jan and I were getting a little empty while we were on a trek to the Stoddard County Confederate Memorial in Bloomfield, so we decided to pop over to the tourist attraction for Jan’s benefit.

License tags everywhere

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013I can remember going to Lambert’s when it was a small place. This one is huge with all kinds of interesting artifacts – particularly license tags – covering everything.

Throwed rolls

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013

When things got busy on May26, 1976, servers started tossing rolls across the room to customers. It has become as famous as flinging fish at Pike Place Market in Seattle. I’m not big on gimmicks, so that’s probably one of the reasons I’m not overly fond of the place. It IS good fun for folks who like that kind of thing.

The cafe’s website says they bake on average 520 dozen 5-inch in diameter rolls a day, for a grand total of 2,246,400 individual rolls a year. It doesn’t say how many of them aren’t caught.

Huge servings

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013

I ordered the XXL Center Cut Ham. The site says they served 52,322 pounds of ham, country ham and pork steak a year. I think it all must have been on my plate. I wish I had taken the picture before I started carving. It was nearly half an inch thick, and as big as the platter. I brought home at least half of it.

Photo gallery throwed together

Here’s a gallery of photos taken in and around Lambert’s Cafe. I could pretend that I had done a bunch of research, but I’ll send you directly to the source for interesting factoids about the place. They LOVE keeping stats. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

6 comments to Lambert’s Cafe: Home of Throwed Rolls

  • Dick McClard

    A fresh roll, a dab of molasses, watching for pass arounds, good friends, live music and watching for more rolls is hard to beat. And then you get your meal. If I want a good steak, I fix it myself. When I’m looking for the world’s best tea and salad, my wife takes care of that. If she would only sing and dance a bit for me, I wouldn’t need to leave home for the best dining experience around here. So, off to Lambert’s for red neck entertainment. And then there’s the bragging rights later because everyone knows that when you’ve gone to Lamberts you’ve had a good time and as you said Ken, you take half of it home for later.

  • That ham was closer to an inch thick – and would have fed six people or three teen boys dinner. Crazy portions! If quality matched quantity, they’d have to build warehouses to fit them in.
    As for the rolls, you should clarify that’s an annual figure. Daily, it’s around 6,240, and I’m thinking it’s for all three restaurants, based on how many I saw “throwed” during dinner. Get Mother Steinhoff a catcher’s mitt for next time. (if there is one) ..and remember to ask for the molasses, not available at our table.
    I did like the PA announcements: “Applause, please for Mrs. XXX – who turns 100 today!” “Mr. and Mrs. XXX are celebrating 48 years of marriage. Give them a hand. Mike so-and-so is on his first date today, hoping to get his first kiss – let’s wish him luck.”

  • Tim Luckett

    That story reminds me of a few colorful Cape eating places from the late 60’s/early70’s frequented by locals and college kids alike. They had huge portions and low prices when I lived there long ago. I’m not proud of it but on more than one occasion I would dine and dash at these places. The Southern by the old River bridge (15 cent biscuits and gravy, a 4 biscuit portion, the best in town at the time) and the Wayside smorgasbord, $2.00 all you could eat, great fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Does anyone remember the Chicken Shack off Kingshighway, $1.65 all you could eat or the Sunny Hill Dairy restaurant, Tuesdays all the fish you could down for $1.59?

  • Donna Brooks Higgins

    I grew up in Arcadia Valley area in Missouri but moved to Cape my last year of high school. Good old Central! I eventually wound up in Arizona. It was in 1995 that my 16 year old daughter and I drove from Arizona to Ironton and the Arcadia Valley area, for my yearly visit with my dad and stepmom. My folks decided we needed to go out to lunch. My daughter couldn’t get over that we drove about 80 miles (one way) for lunch at Lambert’s Cafe. It was well worth it. You are right, by the time we ate the hot rolls with sorghum or honey, fried zucchini and okra,macaroni and tomatoes, fried potatoes and onions, and whatever else they brought around for a “taste,” we took most of our lunch home with us! Great place to see and eat and listen to those PA announcements. We have since visited Lambert’s in Ozark, MO but I still like the original in Sikeston the best.

  • Linda Underdown

    I love to hear the piano player. She’s awesome. Knows a ton of songs. The food is good too. Portions way too big but love getting to eat the rest of it the next day.

  • Jesse James

    We stopped at the one in Foley, Al on the way back to Florida. Your pictures could have been taken in Foley. Food was good and we had plenty, they also let my wife and Mother-in-Law split a dinner. That worked good for them.

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