SIKESTON -- There are always a herd of tour buses in the parking lot at Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston. And locals also flock there.
"When and why did you start throwing rolls?" is the question often asked of waitresses and waiters there.
In 1976 waitresses tried to pass out hot rolls in the traditional manner. This was awkward on a very busy day when getting through the lunch hour crowd was nearly impossible. One day a customer said, "Just throw the **** thing!" The roll was thrown and throwing rolls has become a tradition.
More than half the people of the world depend on wheat as one of their basic foods and more of the Earth's surface is covered by wheat than by any other food crop. Of course, the most popular wheat food is bread, which brings us to hot rolls.
The ovens at Lambert's Cafe turn out rolls from 9:15 a.m. to 9 p.m., usually without stopping. With this in mind, you might be interested to know that last year Lambert's baked an average of 520 dozen rolls per day, for a yearly total of 2,246,400 rolls.
The rolls are 5 inches in diameter and if a year's worth of rolls were laid side by side, there would be 177 miles of rolls.
On Lambert's homemade rolls last year, hungry people spread 107,250 servings of jelly and 21,600 44-ounce cans of sorghum molasses.
Last year Lambert's made and poured 476,136 cups of coffee, 40,392 gallons of tea, cooked and fried 73,440 pounds of Arkansas okra, and served 48,960 pounds of white beans.
The cafe uses about 302 gallons of slaw and 2,509 gallons of mayonnaise each week.
Last year 132,743 pounds of choice round beef was cooked. It took a herd of 265 USDA choice steers to serve their customers.
And eggs? Last year the cooks cracked and cooked 368,940 fresh eggs. And then there's chicken, fish, butter, taters, pork chops. ...