........or, The Mother Lode of all Food.
I can assure you that we did more than just eat on this trip but most of our activities were not as interesting as the food.
Have you ever seen that TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? The Farmer and I would love to take a driving trip across the U.S. when we retire and I've been collecting information about interesting places to eat so that we can experience our own version of the TV show.
One of the joints that would be at the top of any diners & dives type list would be McClard's Barbecue in Hot Springs. I've eaten pork barbecue in perhaps 8 states and McClard's ranks as number two. Number one was a joint just west of Clarksville, Tennessee, a teeny tiny place called Old Steve's Barbecue. Unfortunately Old Steve ran off with another man's wife and abandoned the place. Darn.
Although I love McClard's chopped pork barbecue, a while back my friend convinced me to try something on their menu called Tamale Spread. OH MY GOODNESS!! It's insane. The tamale spread is built from the bottom up. A homemade tamale (very large) is on the bottom, topped with the aforementioned chopped pork, their barbecue sauce, Fritos smushed around the sides and tons of grated cheddar cheese on top. We order the half spread because a full order is insane and you'd probably end up in the hospital. I simply cannot believe I didn't have my camera with me at McClard's. Here's a picture of a small amount of the leftover tamale spread that I had for breakfast the next day.
When it comes to large amounts of homecooked food, nothing can hold a candle to Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri. For years we saw the roadside signs driving from Illinois to Arkansas. "The Home of the Throwed Rolls" the signs proclaimed. We were never quite sure what a throwed roll was, but Lambert's was home to them. The same friend who steered me to the tamale spread suggested it would be a mistake to miss Lamberts. Unfortunately the timing was never right because we'd be driving through Sikeston early in the morning or very late at night. We arranged our schedule to arrive at lunchtime.
As you can see they're the home of hot rolls and sorghum. I'm not going to bicker about the spelling because the food makes up for any errors. It's sorghum, trust me.
The inside of the place is choc-a-bloc with stuff....everywhere. Every inch of wall space is covered. There are more license plates on the walls that on the road outside.
This was my meal. Country fried steak topped with homemade mashed potatoes and milk gravy (of course), green beans and fried apples. Also on the plate is one of the side dishes that are all you can eat. In this case it's the most delicious fried potatoes and onions I've ever eaten. They also walk around with huge bowls of fried okra, black eyed peas and large cans of sorghum molasses for your hot rolls.
Here's one of the famous rolls. They are hot and delicious yeast rolls. Yeah, they're big.
What's unusual is the manner in which the rolls appear at your table. They're throwed. Literally. The story goes that a diner couldn't wait for the hot rolls to arrive at his table, so he asked the server to throw one across the room to him and thus the tradition of the "throwed roll" was born.
HERE'S A LOOK AT THE AMAZING THROWED ROLL!!
I've turned the music off so that you can hear the guys do their thing.
The Farmer was the desigated catcher of our rolls. He was the catcher on his high school baseball team and he hasn't lost his touch!