Located just off U.S. Highway 65 midway between Springfield and Branson, Lambert’s Café II has become a tourist attraction in its own right. The restaurant has become a popular stop for tourists visiting the Branson area, or for people just passing through. The legendary “home of the throwed rolls” has been serving up American home-style cuisine in a very folksy, down home atmosphere at its Ozark location since 1994.
Lambert’s distinguishes itself from other restaurants in its policy of providing large thirty-two ounce drinks, side items or “pass arounds” which are passed to all customers, free refills for nearly all entrees, and of course, for throwing their famous homemade rolls to their customers.
Buses and large groups are welcome at Lambert’s Café. The restaurant does not accept reservations, but it is still most helpful to call ahead and inform a manager when you and your group plan to arrive.
The menu at Lambert’s II includes entrees ranging from golden fried chicken to steaks, pork chops to fried catfish filets. The restaurant has a kid’s menu for children ages ten and under, which includes the choice of a hamburger, chicken leg, chicken and dumplings or roast beef with two vegetables and a soft drink.
Servers make their rounds supplying their guests with pass arounds, which include fried okra, fried potatoes and onions, black-eyes peas, macaroni and tomatoes and apple butter. And then there are the rolls. A server will walk through the dining rooms throwing the rolls to patrons while another follows closely behind with sorghum molasses.
Lambert’s Café has two other locations, the original in Sikeston, Missouri and Lambert’s Café III in Foley, Alabama. Other restaurants have copied the “throwed roll” concept, but Lambert’s maintains that they originated the practice. The tradition began in 1976 at the Sikeston location. Norman Lambert would walk through the dining area and hand rolls to his customers. One day when the restaurant was packed, Lambert had trouble get through the crowd to hand out the rolls. One customer, who was eager to receive a roll, yelled at Lambert to just throw the roll to him. He did, and a tradition was born.
Lambert’s Café II has a gift shop where visitors can purchase Lambert’s souvenirs, including large drink mugs and coffee mugs, t-shirts, and sweaters, as well as sorghum, candy and many other items. You can also purchase souvenirs at the cashier’s booth on your way out of the restaurant.
When you’re visiting southwest Missouri, or if you’re just passing through, your trip isn’t complete without a visit to Lambert’s Café II in Ozark. The food is great, and at reasonable prices. The down home atmosphere and friendly service also make a visit to Lambert’s lots of fun. This is a place that I gladly recommend to couples and families.
Lambert’s Cafe II
1800 West State Highway J
Ozark, MO 65721
Phone: (417) 581-7655
Fax: (417) 485-5830