Tag Archives: food

Lambert’s Cafe, Foley, Alabama


Hi Everyone!

I had a strange malady hit me yesterday – I lost my sense of humor!  After searching for it diligently for the last 24 hours, I have finally recovered it so I am cleared to write. 

Front of Lambert's Cafe in Foley, Alabama; courtesy of infrogmation of New Orleans

 

When we were at Perdido the other weekend, we made time to take Kayla to eat at Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, Alabama.  Lambert’s was first established in 1942 in Missouri, and eventually expanded to include another Missouri location and the Foley location.  The same family still owns and operates all three Lambert’s.  Eating at Lambert’s in Foley is unlike eating anywhere else (except, I suppose, the two Lambert’s in Missouri.)

 (All the pictures from here below are copied from the Lambert’s Cafe web site and reposted here with permission; my camera picked this optimum camera opportunity to run out of battery.) 

The Inside of Lambert's

Lambert’s signature food/event is the throwed rolls.  In fact, their website even reflects it at www.throwedrolls.com.  Whenever you eat there, they bring out pans and pans of yeast rolls that are over 5 inches in diameter, and if you want one, they throw it to you. 

Getting ready to throw

 Kayla did not believe us when we told her that the wait staff  throws rolls to the customers, and once she caught the first one thrown at her, her face had a bemused “I’m not in Kansas anymore” look.   
 
Our seating was ideal for Kayla to truly experience Lambert’s for the first time.  (Many Alabamians and people from other states that come to Alabama’s Gulf Coast will tell you that a trip to Lambert’s is obligatory once you are in the area.)  We sat along a hallway that connects two bigger main rooms with her facing the entrance to the restaurant, so that all of the Lambert’s staffers bringing pass-arounds could see her first. 
 

We were in a booth on the right down towards the end of the hall

 
One of the many things that Lambert’s does differently is that, in addition to the meal that you order, “pass-arounds” are brought by your table.  That is, the waiters will carry around pots of various items, like cabbage, black-eyed peas, apple butter and fried potatoes and onions, and offer you portions of them in addition to your main meal.  Kayla didn’t know quite what to think the first time someone came around and offered her some of whatever was in it.  She was both a little startled, and a little impressed, as she started to realize the sheer amount of food that was available to her.
 

A waiter offering a pass-around

Our waiter, a friendly young man, came to take our order, and then came back with a pot, offering Kayla a pass-around of something like fried apples, I think.  She opened the pot to look at it, and a toy stuffed ferret jumped out of it, kind of like a jack-in-the-box.  She gave a startled little scream, Mark and I couldn’t help laughing, and from that moment she never lost track of where our waiter was when he was in eyesight.  She was going to be sure she didn’t get fooled again! 

The menu allows you to choose a meat and two or three vegetables from the side menu, or a salad or sandwich with one vegetable from the side menu.  The quantity of food that you get is really remarkable. 

A sample plate

 

 It is even more remarkable that Lambert’s can give you this quantity of food while keeping up the quality of food as well. 

Our waiter tried a couple of other tricks on us while we ate – he brought by a pitcher that he said was for a refill, then dropped it sideways like he spilled it, but it turned out it was a fake pitcher.  Kayla thought long and hard about that one, but was reconciled enough with it to enjoy it when he tried to play the same trick on another table. 

In spite of our most valiant efforts, we could not eat everything in front of us, so finally we gave up and asked for the check.  Even Kayla, who is about to experience a growth spurt and therefore is eating everything in sight finally had to cry uncle.  The waiter brought the check by with a closed box labeled “Fresh Mints” and tried to get Kayla to open it.  She absolutely refused, since her trust in the waiter as far as closed boxes goes had been entirely shattered, so he left the box on the table.  Mark and I couldn’t stand it, so we opened the box gingerly to see what would come out of it – it was a toy mouse on a spring.  Kayla edged away from the box slowly, like she thought the mouse would come to life but Mark and I just kept laughing. 

By the time we left, Kayla had judged Lambert’s and not found it lacking, so she desired a souvenir from the gift shop.  My idea of a souvenir was a T-shirt;  her idea of a souvenir was stick candy.  I won, since I held the checkbook, and she yielded, since she was quite full already. Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Cheese Grits, the Sequel and Where only the Brave Dare Go


Hi Everyone! 

  • Cheese Grits, the Sequel

From Print Shop 2.0 - Rising Steam

Last night, Kayla was helping Mark while I was cooking supper.  I left the kitchen to go check on them, and when I got to the room, Kayla said to me, “I wish I could have cheese grits for supper, like the ones they make at school or that Grandma Pat makes.”  (Steam started rising from my stomach toward my ears.)  She then added, “That’s because they have the right kind of grits and cheese.”  (The steam hit my head and started to roll around my eyes in advance of a full whistle blast.)  She reflected a minute, then added cheerfully, “Well, you have the right kind of box but not the right kind of cheese.”  (Small wisps of steam began to slip out from my ears.)  At that point, I told her that she probably should quit while she was behind, and went back to working on supper, which, for the record, was NOT cheese grits and probably won’t be for some time!

  • Where Only the Brave Dare Go

The Inside of My Refrigerator (Not!) From PrintShop 2.0

I really looked at the inside of my refrigerator last night.  To really look at the inside of your refrigerator means that you have to intentionally look at every item on every shelf, as opposed to the instant identification search you do most of the time – ie., you want milk, locate milk, grab milk and return the rest of the refrigerator’s occupants to the comforting, cool dark that they love. 

When I did look, I saw that the inside of the refrigerator is beginning to be a very scary place, which means that the time to clean out the refrigerator has arrived again.  The last time I went through the refrigerator, say six months ago (Mom, I am just kidding – I have cleaned it out since Christmas!), throwing out all leftovers and other items I could not place a date on, I found three science experiments involving fermentation (I didn’t know until then that it was possible for lima beans to ferment), two new kinds of penicillin, three mutant bacteria that did NOT have good intentions for humanity, and four cures for cancer.  If you see the HazMat team headed toward my house this weekend, you will know what caused it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Nancy

Cheese Grits and Pugliese Bread


Good morning everyone! 

Even though it was a cold night, at least it was a stormless one!  We all got some much needed rest.

A Breakfast with Grits

  • Cheese Grits

Saturday morning, Kayla woke up and asked me to fix her cheese grits.  For those of you not from the Southern United States, grits are a breakfast food, consisting of flakes of coarsely ground corn and mixed with boiling water to make a porridge-like substance.  It is, I am told, very like polenta.  I would not know, since I have never been tempted to try polenta given my dislike for grits.  Kayla, however, loves them. 

Unfortunately, there was a problem with her request for grits Saturday:  I have never been able to make grits to her satisfaction, which means up to the culinary standard set by her Grandmas Dottie and Pat.  The last time I tried two years ago, I received enough of a critique from her majesty that I resolved to myself that it would be a very long time before I made grits for her again.  However, after a time lapse of two years, I decided that her home grits probationary period had run, so I was willing to give it another try, with a couple of caveats.  The first was that I wouldn’t make cheese grits since I only had shredded cheese, as opposed to a single slice of American cheese to place on top of the cooked grits, which is the way Kayla insists cheese grits should be made.  The second caveat was that no matter what, Kayla was not to tell me how much better either grandmother’s grits were, or give me continuous suggestions on how said grits should be cooked, since I intended to (strangely enough) follow the package instructions.  I almost had to perform a swearing-in ceremony on the last condition, but she finally agreed. 

She did try hard to comply with both conditions, but she had one or two minor slips.  She started to tell me the grits were too watery when I poured them in the bowl for her  but she quickly bit it back and said,”Never mind.”  Then, once she had possession of the grits, she got up, went to the refrigerator and condescended to put the shredded cheese into her grits after all.  I assume that was because she found some flavor to be lacking.  However, since she never did explain the thought process behind the adding of the cheese, technically she did not violate the “no criticism” rule.  

  • Pugliese Bread

I like bread.  While not exactly a connoisseur, I am interested in different kinds of breads and the variations in flavor and crust that can be attained, so when, on Saturday at Costco, I walked by two loaves in a paper sack labeled “Italian Pugliese Bread,” I thought I would give it a try. 

I have now concluded that “pugliese” must be Italian for “crust that can’t be cut with a chainsaw,” or perhaps “pugnaciously tough crust” since even our best and sharpest bread knife could only saw about halfway through the loaf vertically – and that only with a great deal of effort – after which you had to bend the bread to finish breaking it off.  It was not quite as difficult to cut the bread horizontally, but it still wasn’t easy.  Surprisingly, the bread when heated in the toaster oven with a little butter on it was not too tough to eat, although it was a little chewy.  Still, I am going to learn the Italian words for “soft crust that can be cut” before I try any more novel types of Italian bread!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy