I was close to Tennessee, but far, far away from Switzerland, I was in Rural Missouri and at Lambert's Cafe . This restaurant is famous, I mean FAMOUS in this part of the world for country cookin' (no g on cooking, EVER) and (this is the most important) when you want a roll, you put up your hands and the roll boy fires a roll at you from across the restaurant.
I was a bit apprehensive about visiting for lots of reasons (never mind the cow bell decorated vehicles) but because it looked very much like a family establishment and I was eating alone. But how often am I going to be in this part of the world (don't answer that question, something are better unknown)? So I bravely marched past the arcade room, past millions of license plates, past this:
And asked for a table for one. He asked, "Would you like to sit at the bar?" Where's the bar? (I thought this was a dry establishment.) He laughed and said, "Well you can't drink there, but right there is the bar." So I took a seat right up front where I could look out over the entire restaurant and employees wandered by to make small talk with the over the road truckers. A PERFECT seat!
They serve all beverages in oversize mugs. I asked for water to drink and as the boy walked up with this humongous plastic mug he tripped and spilled it all over me!!! But wait, the mug was empty. It was really corny and funny. A girl comes by before I even ordered and offers me some fried okra. I said, "I don't have a plate." The guy at the bar said, "Just grab some of those paper towels fold them up and she'll put them on there."
I was torn, should I order meatloaf or Chicken Fried Steak? I asked the waitress, she says, "Just a minute" and leaves. Next thing I know here she is with a serving of meatloaf. "There try it and let me know."
I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and mashed potatoes, turnip greens and fried apples. After I received my food, more people kept coming by, "Would you like some fried potatoes? Would you like some stewed tomatoes and macaroni? Would you like apple butter or sorghum for your roll?" It was like visiting a huge group of long lost relatives. I ate until I was miserable, and still left so much food. "Don't you want to take that with you?" To bad I was too far from home, because I could have made several more meals on what was left.
What a great time and a great restaurant!