Over the weekend a group of us trekked to Sikeston, MO in a rented van to eat at Lambert's Cafe. If you are not familiar, Lambert's is the "Home of the Throwed Rolls," meaning you better watch your head, and was named as The Number 1 place to pig out on the travel channel.
I had never been, but Jack has, and some other friends, so I knew the jist of it. Country food, flying fresh rolls and people walking around serving up a variety of sides. I was excited. In fact the Thursday before, Jack had stopped there while out of town for work and brought me home what was left of his chicken fried steak dinner (which was a lot). Yum!
Once seated, we all held our hands up ASAP to get some of those fresh hot rolls tossed to us. I waited patiently, sniffing my roll (OMG I could have that scent in my face all day...soooo good), for the sorghum guy to come around. I gave up, ate my delicious roll, had them throw me another one, and finally got sorghum on that roll. Sorghum is awesome. Like a molasses and honey hybrid. Sweet and rich.
Being the silly person I am, I decided to order something "weird" from the menu. So I chose "Hog Jowls." and item for which there was no description accept that they were sliced. Everyone thought I was crazy, until my plate showed up. It was pretty much a giant plate of BACON! Well, better than bacon...thick sliced and less salty. I got it with white beans (eh) and a baked sweet potato (which was good, but I only managed to take 2 or 3 bites of).
While we waited for our food, the Okra gal came around. Since we didn't have plates yet, we tore off a paper towel from the handy dandy built-in paper towel holder on our table, and she put a big hot pile of the crunchy morsels straight on that.
While i was still staring in awe at my plate of jowls and everyone Else's food, the fried potatoes and onions came around. Even though I really had no room on my plate, I had him slap some in the middle of my plate. Thank goodness I did because they were one of my favorite things of the night! Later, I also got black-eyed peas, which were also good...better than the white beans.
I felt like I ate and ate and ate. We were all so stuffed when we left, and we had leftovers! Even after sharing my jowls and eating as much as I could, I had 2 handfuls left! I also ordered Jack some fried chicken livers to go, since he couldn't make it that night. Holy cow! When you order something to go, they give you your order and the two side dishes, PLUS a container of all the pass-arounds and like 3 rolls! So a $9 chicken liver ended up being a feast for a family of 4. What a deal! And, yes I snuck a few of the livers and they are heaven.
What a fun little road trip! Totally worth it. The food was good, the atmosphere was tons of fun, and the place itself was very interesting. It's touristy, but it a fun laid-back way. My friend kept describing it as "Crackerbarrel on Crack," which is perfect! There are video games and the extremely addicting falling quarters game (you know the one...you drop in a quarter which in turn pushes other quarters over a ledge...how do they not fall?!?!), and great photo opps with all kinds of crazy antiques and signs and statues and such. Some of the decor is decidedly creepy, though...so just don't look up too much:
I'd totally make the drive again (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours from st. louis) for a good time and an over-stuffed belly.
Lemme tell you, the Ozark restaurant is the same! I had a tonne of fun with my first encounter with hog jowls. So much that I named my blog after it: Hog Jowls.
Pete in Canberra, loving' your bloggin'
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