Author/driver Alyce Cornyn-Selby drove from one side of the United States to the other AND, of course, she ate out alone!
In April 2002 author/driver, Alyce Cornyn-Selby got into an "open cockpit," very topless roadster and drove from one side of the United States to the other.
Subsequently, Cornyn-Selby contacted SoloDining.com: "I am not a restaurant critic by ANY stretch but I found some places that made me feel wonderful and I'd be happy to share them with your visitors."
We were THRILLED to hear from the celebrated author of several books, including, One Thing Worse Than Being Alone Wishing You Were: Craving Solitude and Getting It.
While driving an open cockpit vintage roadster SOLO coast to coast, she experienced first hand the surprise
of finding wonderful people and restaurants on her nerve-racking and hilarious three-month trek.
The following excerpts appeared in past issues of SoloDining.com, the newsletter.
Since 1942, Lambert's Cafe has been stuffing Americans with what they wanted food and lots of it! I think I saw some of the same diners here that I saw at Brown's in Arkansas (more on that phenomenon in a later issue). Just off the exit, the parking lot was large and dusty and spread out around the building like a sitting grandma's apron.
About 50 people were waiting outside to get in, listening for their names on a public address system. This was a serious eating emporium. And such a fun loving atmosphere that solo diners would be welcomed.
Inside, Lambert's looked like several gymnasiums decorated with flags, kites and license plates with a dozen squadrons of people ravenous and just off the road. Seno (my roadster) landed a prime-parking place and I waltzed right in (no wait!) being just one person has so many advantages! Inside it was packed with happy people and even happier wait staff because they really do throw the rolls. And they were yeasty, hot, already-slippery-with-butter pillow rolls. This was the stuff that made the Midwest immune from criticism for being overweight.
I watched a blond college boy emerge from the kitchen with a bucket of equally blond rolls. Unhappy flashbacks
from grade school softball experiences kept me from waving for a roll. But the smell of the yeast overcame my lifelong
fear of catching balls. I asked a waitress,
I was lucky and caught both of mine. These carbohydrate bliss balls were worth the effort of wrestling with my old baseball demons. Fresh and fluffy and buttery all over-cosmic manna the kind of food that, were I an Egyptian queen, I would want put into my sarcophagus for the trip to the next life.
The chef salad was as big as a microwave oven and I took it with me and ate it for two more days. The wait staff,
which all seemed to be fun-loving college kids, came around with fried potatoes and fried okra all you wanted.
The iced tea was served in a container bigger
Why do they have the tradition of throwing these rolls anyway? Well, it used to be that the owner would try to pass out the hot rolls in the usual way real nice by saying, "Would you care for a hot roll?" This didn't work too well on extremely busy days and, as legend has it, one customer said, "Just throw the #%X*! thing!" So they've been throwing rolls at Lambert's for over 25 years.
I met another Jason, a fellow minding the register in the gift shop, who was right at my roadster when I was ready to leave. He pointed out his black Corvette roasting in the hot sun. I asked him what he thought people should know about his state and he said Missouri was the "Show Me" state and that it was not just a slogan. He felt that people there wanted to see it to believe it. I certainly had to see Lambert's to believe it!
The Ozark hills provided me with scenes that I hadn't seen anywhere else. Like a long, long stretched roller coaster, the high hills take you up, up for a great view and then you race down, down playing tag with trucks that can't go up fast (so you pass them) and then come barreling down (filling your rearview mirror with their grilles). There are at least seven of these thrilling hills before it started to flatten out and became the Missouri I remembered from my childhood years of living in Belton near the Kansas border.
When I exhaled on this drive, I could still smell and taste those lovely rolls.
1800 West State Highway J
"Our rolls are 5 inches in diameter and if we laid all the rolls that we baked in one year side by side, we would have 177.27 miles of rolls. In the past 21 months we have baked enough rolls to reach 300 miles. That's the distance between St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee."
Amazon.com readers/reviewers loved HIT THE ROAD: Across America in A Topless Car ". . . great insight into human motivation."
To buy this book, click: Going Topless
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