Tasting the Past: Recipes from Lexington’s Closed Restaurants
Lexington loves local restaurants and reminisces about favorite dishes from closed restaurants that we want to try again. So we dug into the Herald-Leader archives, contacted local chefs who ran some of Lexington’s most popular restaurants, and reached out to seasoned recipe collectors to put together a collection you can bring to your table. Enjoy.
If you were lucky in the mid-1990s, someone invited you to lunch at Flag Fork Herb Farm in Lexington, a coffee shop in a gift shop at 900 N. Broadway. And if you were really lucky, you got a slice of lemon geranium pound cake while you were there that sparkled with lemon glaze and sugar crystals.
The cafe was started by Mike and Carrie Creech, who sold antiques and art. They wanted to add dried flowers, potpourri, that sort of thing, and then started growing the herbs that became their signature blends for soups or dips.
They first opened Flag Fork Herb Farm in Franklin County outside of Frankfort, then added a store in Lexington. This turned into a teahouse with gardens and herbs incorporated into the recipes. At least initially, food was brought daily from Alice’s restaurant on South Ashland Avenue, where it was prepared by Ann Gautier.
A typical menu included cold soups, salads, cold sandwiches, and savory dishes like turkey and dill pasta salad. And there were almost as many desserts as starters. You can come for lunch or just for the afternoon dessert. Generations of Lexington women celebrated special events amid dried wreaths and gifts. Not a few engagements and babies were revealed there.
Flag Fork Herb Farm Garden and Cafe closed in August 2011 after 16 years, but the blends are still available at Good Foods Co-op, A Taste of Kentucky, and other places that sell Kentucky foods. The building has been a series of restaurants, most recently refurbished as the new home for Lady Remoulade Kitchen.
Luckily, Lexington cookbook author Barbara Harper Bach asked for the recipe for this delicious lemon geranium pound cake. You can make the cake without the geranium leaves, she says, but that definitely loses something.
Collected by Barbara Harper Bach of Flag Fork Herb Farm