When we asked readers what recipes they wanted the most from Lexington restaurants that are no longer open for our Dining with the Past series, one consistent favorite came up time and time again: Stanley J’s Deli.
People really miss this potato salad.
Like DeSha’s cornbread, Brooking’s chili and Atomic Cafe’s rum drinks, Stanley J’s potato salad is legendary.
The restaurant at 3101 Clays Mill Rd. closed in September 2011 after more than 20 years serving legendary sandwiches and the kind of homemade sides people bought by the pint to take to gatherings or stick in the freezer. On closing day, people lined up for one last batch.
The deli was started by Stanley Joseph Tarnofsky in 1989 with his wife Carol Codell. Stanley died in 2005 and his children continued for six years before they began pursuing other careers.
Interestingly, the grocery store’s Facebook page is still alive and people periodically go there just to leave creepy messages. Often about potato salad.
We searched our recipe archives and found that in May 2002, longtime Herald-Leader food writer Sharon Thompson wrote a great story about the joys of potato salad and she had included a recipe from Tarnofsky.
Not THE potato salad recipe, though. “Stanley was always saying, ‘This is close to it,'” Thompson said recently. But he kept the exact details secret.
The version he gave her includes sweet potatoes and garlic.
Which are certainly not in the version that fans rave about. This one, according to a photo shared by a fan on the restaurant’s Facebook page of a container’s label, contained only seven ingredients: red potatoes, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, green peppers and onions. greens.
Luckily, the Lexington food blogger behind “Food, Friends, and Memories” shared a recreated recipe in 2011, just after the grocery store closed, which she says even cheated on her husband after six trial batches.
Here are the two recipes. Make them, taste them, tell us what you think. (Both make quite a bit of potato salad, so you may need to schedule a meeting or cut back on ingredients.)
From the Food, Friends and Memories blog
This story was originally published April 21, 2022 06:00.