Kraut Burgers and Berry Patch Farms

A mid-day field trip to Brighton found us eating Kraut Burgers for lunch and exploring a wonderful certified organic farm.  Let’s take a look.

With my friend Marla as tour guide, Kirsten over at  My Kitchen In The Rockies and I were given a mighty fine tour. You see, Marla’s Russian-German descendents settled in this agriculture rich area of Colorado. She and her family still live in the area and when she suggested that Kirstin and I meet her for a Kraut Burger, followed by a stop at Berry Patch Farms, we couldn’t get it on the calendar fast enough. 

Let’s start with Lauer Krauts, a small family owned and operated  restaurant in Brighton simply serving Kraut Burgers and a soup of the day. You can get your Kraut Burgers three ways; regular, with cheese or with jalapeno. I opted for the original “regular” version. A Kraut Burger is ground beef, onion and cabbage and some seasoning, steaming inside a fresh-baked bun. Cut it in half, squeeze in some spicy brown mustard and you’ve got a delicious treat.

The meal even came with nice visit with the owners who demonstrated a sauerkraut making machine and gave us a view of a special German pastry, kuchen. 

Their kuchen is made with a German berry that can only be obtained by growing it yourself. Smaller than a  raspberry with a more tart flavor. They grow the berries behind the restaurant and keep a list of patrons that want to purchase a slice of kuchen each fall. Doesn’t it look beautiful? I didn’t write down the name of the berry…darn it. Marla actually just commented on this post and informed us the berry is Schwartzbeeren and you can read abit about it at this link:  http://www.volgagermans.net/portland/foods.html

Seating inside is friendly and hospitable and we had such a good time chatting with everyone. Kirsten, my blogging friend is from Germany has only lived in the states for a few years and I honestly didn’t think they were going to let her leave. Too much fun talking about German food.

Lauer Krauts is beaming with small town charm and great food. I’ll definitely be back.

Next stop was Berry Patch Farms, which hosts a barn full of beautiful certified organic produce grown on the land that surrounds it. Take a look at their website to learn more about them.

You can also pick your own at Berry Patch.  We didn’t, but as you can see by the look on this young man’s face, it’s a satisfying task. Man, don’t those raspberries look good. It’s a wonderful  place, with a great selection of produce and a lot of items I had never heard of…lilac and chocolate bell peppers to name a couple. It even comes with a greeting crew of beautiful roosters, a farm dog that chases the roosters and a pig that doubles as entertainment and sheriff.  As you can imagine, I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

Thank you to Marla for a wonderful Foodie adventure, and stick around for a slide show tour.

[slideshow]

On this day..

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Comments

  1. nancy says

    Please put this on the list of things to do for our next visit. I grew up on kuchen. It was different but this brought back memories of “Grandma’s Kuchen” :). But have not seen a sandwich like this. Looks delicious!

  2. says

    That sounds like a lot of fun. That kraut burger looks exceptionally good in that sealed bun. The wooden mandolin looks like a complete pain to use but quite authentic. (They didn’t have a food processor hidden in the back, did they? ha ha)

    • ButterBall says

      Chris, those are what you use today too…you can buy them on Amazon. They are heavy because cabbage is rather hard to slice through with a regular mandoline–and 10 or more pounds of cabbage will burn out even the best food processor.

      Slang for the kraut shredder is “hovel”…just like a dilapidated building made of wood and metal.

    • says

      So glad to hear from you. When I switched jobs, my rss feeds in my email went away. Didn’t anticipate that. I’ve been trying to re-subscribe to all of my good friends blogs. Thanks for stopping by, another friend found.

  3. says

    That was such a wonderful day. Marla, Lauer Krat was fantastic. The berries for the “Kuchen” are called “schwarze Johannisbeeren”. That is at least how I understood it. I could be wrong. My mom used to make marmalade out of them. The berries are delicious. Here is the wiki link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schwarze_Johannisbeeren_Makro.jpg

    I just made my “Krauteintopf” that is very similar to the ingredients Marla’s grandma used for the filling of her Krautburgers. Lea Ann, you and Marla should come for lunch to my house one of these days and have a taste. My family loves it.

    I am looking forward to Wednesday!!

    • says

      Thanks for the berry clarification Kirsten. I googled and googled and couldn’t come up with anything. I’d love to have some of that Krauteintopf! I’m really looking forward to Wednesday.

    • ButterBall says

      Actually, they are NOT…they are Schwartzbeeren. They are a night shade, Which are a kin to the garden huckleberry. These berries grow in a cluster, just like the garden huckleberry, but are much smaller and sweeter. However, just as their kin, underripe fruit is toxic–you must be skilled and know what you are doing when you grow these berries.

      Schwarze Johannisbeeren is a Blackcurrant…cassis–they aren’t even close to nightshades.

      Neither are they “wonderberries” which were cultivated by Luther Burbank around 1906 by crossing a garden huckleberry with a blueberry.

      • Lea Ann says

        Butterball, thank you so much for all of your comments. Love and appreciate all of the information. Especially the history.

  4. says

    Looks like a fine field trip. I love to eat at little family places that specialize in something and do it well. I could go for a quart or three of those raspberries too.

  5. says

    Wonderful adventure! I would love to visit an organic “pick your own” like that. Great photos of the farm and produce, too. It gave me a good sense of all the goodies.

    As I was reading about the Kraut burgers I had an “aha” moment. Those look like Bierocks – and I’ve made those. My sister lived next door to a German woman who turned her onto the recipe many years ago. It sort of morphed from a roll into a casserole over the years, with the crust on top, but it’s the same dish! Delicious – I’ve made it for Dana and he gobbles it up!

    • ButterBall says

      They are Kraut Beirocks…Cabbage Rolls…Cabbage Burgers…Kraut Runzas–they are all they same thing just depends where you live and your family came from.

      • Lea Ann says

        I really do appreciate that information. When my mom saw the post her comment was “aren’t they just Beirocks?” :)

  6. says

    Wow! That looks like an amazing trip. I’ve never had that type of berry, but when I’m back to the States I’m going to look for it. Great blog, btw :)

  7. says

    Coincidentally enough, our next stop for Regional Recipes is Germany and you’ve definitely given me some inspiration with this post! what I wouldn’t give for a piece of that kuchen…

    • ButterBall says

      Joanne, just a little culinary history for your info. Please remember that these dishes are not from Germany. They are foods that were brought over from the German part of Russia. The area of Russia that Catherine the Great designated for her German villages (mostly in the Volga region) and populated with German immigrants so she would not get so homesick living in Russia–she was the 18th century German Czarina of Russia.

      Just like Ms. Lauer, I am of the same descent–100% and live in Brighton. Our forefathers adapted to the regional bounty and climate, so their food is heavily influenced by Russian fare, and eastern european foods. This type of food is laden with butter, sour cream, onions, cabbage, potatoes, egg noodles, flour or potato dumplings, and pork. Watermelon, sour cherries and Schwartbeeren (Volga black berries previously mentioned) are also prefered ingredients in many dishes. I have a 1/4 acre in these little berries…and they are a prized posession thanks to the passing of the seed.

      One of the largest settlements of GFRs in Colorado is from Brighton north to Wyoming & Nebraska. Basically, any where there are large crops of sugar beets, you’ll find GFRs. And if you look in the sugar beets farmer wife’s garden, you will find Schwartzbeeren.

      As a side note, these are the same folks that brought Duthhopping (a faster polka dance) Volga Russia.

  8. says

    Great foodie adventure, Lea Ann. I’ve never heard of those berries and I’m going over to read about them in a sec.
    Don’t those raspberries look perfect??

  9. says

    What a great way to spend the day. The Kraut burgers that is interesting-a definite German twist on a traditional hamburger. It looks delicious. The berries, are stunning. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  10. says

    I’ve been checking out your site and was thrilled to find the Kraut burgers. Despite the fact that I’m not German, I’m very familiar with these baked treasures. They are huge in Nebraska – where they were referred to as “cabbage burgers” or in Kansas as “bierocks.”

    I posted a recipe for them last fall, not too hard to make, especially if you use frozen dough: http://forkfingerschopsticks.com/cabbage-cabbage-burgers-%E2%80%93-runzas-bierocks/

    Thanks for the tip on Lauer Krauts – I will be eating there.

  11. tracie says

    I grew up on Kraut burgers, exactly like the ones shown in the picture, I actually found your website because I googled “Kraut burgers”. I’m from Greeley, Colorado and the elementary school I went to Scott, served Kraut burgers in the school cafeteria!! My Grandmother made amazing German food, and I’ve been trying to track down different recipes. We also had a lot of Kuchen, how is that pronounced? “couga” that’s how I say it. I was excited to see you liked the Kraut burgers, when I explain them to people they look at me crazy, I now live in Portland, OR, no Kraut burgers here. Thank you!!

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