Recipes from the Road: Louisville Lady Potato Pancakes

louisville lady potato pancakes

By Johnny Atlas for Tom Tom Magazine

Illustations by Carly Marcoux

The last time I was in Louisville, Kentucky was July of 2000. My trip coincided with the Second Annual Southern Girls Convention. We hung around my friend’s house listening to Freakwater records watching my ex-girlfriends’ little girl play on her ma’s drum set. It was adorable and it was Sunday and Sunday is a day for brunch. These ladies I knew in Louisville were pretty fancy. When I asked what we were enjoying for brunch, my ex pointed to a pile of potatoes she had in a bowl and handed me a chunk of gruyere to shred. The cast iron skillet was heating up on a low flame. Kentucky brunch was about to happen. These potato pancakes were so good we stole the recipe away to Olympia for our upcoming secret cafe. 


∙ 9 small red potatoes

∙ 1 sprig of fresh tarragon

∙ Wedge or chunk of gryuere cheese

∙ A bit of butter

∙ Salt & Pepper

1. Put them in a pot with water, bring water to boil, and then drain. We found the best way was to lightly  They don’t need to be super cooked.

2. Then you want to grate the hot potatoes into a bowl.  Chop up your tarragon nice and good.  You won’t need to use all the tarragon.  I’d say a small pinch per potato.

3. Gently mix in the tarragon with the grated potatoes.  Add some salt and pepper.

4. Heat up some butter in a skillet on medium heat.

5. Next form the tarragon potato mix into little pancakes and fry in butter until golden brown on both sides.

6. Top them off with sliced or shredded gruyere, and cover cakes with lid for a spell so the cheese melts nice.  These go great with some quick steamed kale and fried eggs for breakfast before heading to the next town.

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