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.

Drive In and Drive On

Hocking Hills Drive-In Logan OH 01-24-2013

After we left Athens, Ohio, I wanted to pass through some of my old haunts, so we headed north toward Nelsonville, Logan and Old Man’s Cave. Just past the 595 exit on Rt. 33, I looked to the right and spotted the remains of the Hocking Theater. I was going too fast to stop, so I blew right past it. Knowing that there are a couple of readers who are drive-in nuts, I  drove five miles to the next exit to turn around and head back to it.

I probably should have gotten off at the 595 exit and gone exploring like this guy did in 2003, but we had miles to go, so I made do with a shot from the main road. (You can click on it to make it larger.)

It’s in both better AND worse shape than the drive-in at Bloymeyer.

Bad vibes at No-Tell Motel

I’ll write about some of our other Ohio stops, but I’ll jump ahead to our search for a motel in Louisville, Ky.

Friend and passenger Jan Norris told me before we left on our grand journey that she likes to plan where she’s going to stay. I said that my plans change on a whim, so I drive until I get tired, then start looking for the best place at the lowest price. We agreed to be flexible.

When it became obvious that we weren’t going to make it into Cape before midnight, and because the weather forecasts all called for ugly stuff to start falling out of the sky around midnight and to continue on through the night, I told her to set her sights on Louisville. She pulled out her computer and, with much pecking and pausing, announced that she had found us two inexpensive, highly-reviewed, non-smoking rooms in a chain hotel that had been recently remodeled.

Jan’s going to check it out

When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed several things: the parking lot was almost empty; the curtains had that “old” look, and the metal-clad doors had an awful lot of dents and dings in them. Jan said she’d ask to look at a room before we committed.

My bad vibes multiplied when a sign on the lobby directed us to another door where we had to talk to the clerk through a slit in what looked like bulletproof glass. She wouldn’t give us a key to inspect a room unless I left my driver’s license as security. I don’t know if she thought we were a couple of AARP members in search of a free spot to unleash our passions or if she was afraid we were going to steal the towels. Given our wrung-out, road-worn looks, I’m going to put my money on the latter.

The room was about half a block away, give or take, and on the third floor reachable by an elevator that had graffiti scratches on the walls. The rooms all opened to the outside, so it was a cold, windy walk. The room itself was clean, but so small you couldn’t have swung a bob-tailed cat in it.

We both reached the same conclusion: it was time to move on. I told Jan I’d get the car and warm it up while she got my license back. I only regret that she didn’t return the key to the desk clerk smoking a cigarette and sporting a glow and a big smile. Maybe then she wouldn’t have been strip-searched for hidden towels.


Home, Home Again

Cape bridge full moon 01-25-2013When we were getting close to Cape, I told Friend Jan, “The Cape bridge is really pretty at night. You might want to be ready to shoot a photo when we get closer.”

She started waving her cellphone around, making little squeals of what I hope were pleasure.

I had already called Mother to tell her we were about home and asking her if she wanted us to pick up anything from Hamburger Express. She did.

I had just made the right turn at River Campus to go work my way down William when Jan hollered “STOP!! Turn around! Look at the moon!”

She used up a whole day’s worth of exclamation points in 12 seconds.

So, minutes after entering Missouri, we were exiting Missouri, to go back into Illinois to go back to Missouri. You can see how this has been a long trip.

Day started off with ice

Jan Norris scrapes ice off car in Louisville Ky 01-25-2013

We spent too much time sightseeing on Thursday (pictures to come) to make it all the way from Athens, Ohio, to Cape in one shot, so we stopped on the west side of Louisville. The weather report didn’t look good, so I wanted to be on the west side of town so we wouldn’t hit morning rush hour and snow at the same time.

When I went to load the car, my head and feet almost swapped places. The whole parking lot was a shiny sheet of ice. I’ve never seen an ice sheen that perfectly smooth. The whole car was coated, too. It was time to give Jan a new experience: ice removal.

I handed her a can of spray deicer and a scraper and told her to have at it.

She handled that spray can like a well-trained riot cop with Mace.

“You need a smaller car”

Jan Norris scrapes ice off car in Louisville Ky 01-25-2013When it came time for the scraping, she said, “You need a smaller car. I can’t reach all the way to the middle.”

“No, I need a taller passenger.”

That’s when I came clean: “The deicer speeds the process up, but the car’s defroster would have had the windshield warm enough for the wipers to slide the ice off,” I explained.

I should have waited until she put the can of deicer down before I broke that news.

Snow is Like Cold Sand

Jan Norris Athens breakfast 01-23-2013I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. After doing a dry run at the Athens County Historical Society and Museum, I decided to rework my presentation to include more photos taken in Athens County.

I was feeling a bit sleepy (make that REALLY sleepy) around 2 a.m., so I thought I set the alarm on my cellphone for a 20-minute nap. I set it all right, but failed to hit the DONE button. I woke up  with a start at 4 a.m., saw the time, saw the phone alarm, then decided I was still too tired to do anything. I set the alarm for 7:30 and hit SAVE and DONE.

After getting the show put together, Friend Jan Norris and I headed downtown for breakfast. Excellent food. Jan had eggs, two sausage patties, hashbrowns, toast and an order of pancakes (which she pronounced the best she had ever eaten). “I heard that you’re supposed to eat lots of carbs when it’s cold,” she justified.

Presentation went well

I had a good audience for my photos of Southern Ohio and the years of protests at Ohio University. There’s a good chance that I’ll be working with the group for quite awhile. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, by the way.)

An icicle!

Jan Norris Athens OH sports icicle 01-23-2013_0667Jan was excited to see an icicle hanging above us. I tried to explain how guys at Scott Quadrangle, the dorm I lived in, would suspend a thin wire out a second or third floor window, then drip water down it. Layers and layers of ice would build up until the ice spear would be 20 or 30 feet long and a foot or more thick at the top.

The university, not looking forward to writing a “Dear Mom and Dad, Your child took part in an innovative experiment to determine just how long an icicle can grow before breaking off, ” letter, put an end to the practice.

Starting to find the style

Jan Norris Athens OH 01-23-2013_0671She was looking a little less like a rainbow-covered Michelin Man today. [Wife Lila suggests that I clarify that the Michelin Man look is from all of the layers of clothing, not the natural Jan. Of course, Wife Lila hasn’t seen the size of those breakfasts….]

She got cold AND snow

Athens snow 1-23-2013Jan went roaming around town while I was wrapping up at the museum. She came back to say that it was snowing. Indeed, it WAS. A fine dusting of dry snow that didn’t look like it was going to amount to much.

We made arrangements to meet OU friends Terry and Lyntha Eiler for dinner, then drove around to find the apartments Wife Lila and I lived in when we were newlyweds. We found one for sure, and maybe a second one. It looked “almost” right, but I couldn’t be positive. By this time, the ground was turning white and some of the intersections were getting slippery.

We had a great dinner (sure wish I had left off the onions), then walked outside to see the sidewalks covered and quite a bit on the roads where the cars hadn’t worn it off. On the way back to the motel, we passed a car that had slipped off onto the median.

We head toward Cape Thursday if we don’t see bad weather rushing at us. I told her she’ll have a chance to scrape ice off the windshield in the morning. I mean, after all, she wants the WHOLE cold weather experience, right?