Brighton restaurant to get national publicity

By Kevin Denke
Posted 1/26/11

    Though it’s difficult to refer to Brighton restaurant Lauer Krauts as either a diner, a drive-in, or a dive, there’s no doubt it is unique — and popular.

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Brighton restaurant to get national publicity


    Though it’s difficult to refer to Brighton restaurant Lauer Krauts as either a diner, a drive-in, or a dive, there’s no doubt it is unique — and popular.
    And that’s why the restaurant was chosen to be featured in an upcoming episode of Food Network’s top-rated show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
    The local eatery found on South Sixth Avenue, opened in August of 2006 by Brighton native Robin Trujillo. Both Trujillo’s mother and father are from families that are Germans from Russia. It was always Trujillo’s dream to open a restaurant that gave homage to a popular family meal item: the krautburger. Krautburgers are a mixture of fresh hamburger, cabbage, onion and sauerkraut baked in homemade bread.

    “We would always have krautburgers on special occasions like Christmas Eve,” Trujillo said. “There are a lot of other people around here whose ancestors were Germans from Russia, and there were no outlets to get krautburgers except for from places like church bazaars.”
    Trujillo had worked for several years out of college for a company that she loved. It was sold to a large corporation and things changed, she said. That’s when she began to consider her dream of opening a restaurant a little more seriously.
    “I had always wanted to try it and my husband said, ‘Let’s go for it,’” she said.
    Trujillo said she had no previous experience in the restaurant industry. “I had never even served a drink,” she laughed.
    But Trujillo’s father, Bob Lauer, knew his entrepreneurial-minded daughter would have no problem opening her own business. He laughed as he recalled how Robin had always had a mind for business, even as a young girl.
    “She ran a candy stand out of locker in seventh grade and made enough money to go on vacation,” he laughed.
    In addition to her parents, Trujillo also had the support of her husband of 11 years, Dave. He is also a Brighton High School graduate who now works as a general contractor. In 2004, with the help of her family, Trujillo began the process of opening her first restaurant. It took Trujillo several months to get the property rezoned and then carry out a complete remodeling of the former apartment. It would be nearly two more years before the restaurant finally opened.
     While they were working out the zoning issues, they were also busy in the kitchen. Trujillo spent countless hours with her aunts and her mom, Lori, testing out recipes in her mother’s kitchen.
    “It all goes back to grandma — my grandmother Schreibvogel,” Trujillo said. “I was taught her recipes by my mom and aunts. We wanted our specialty to be the krautburger. All of the dough is made by hand.”
    Though the recipe is a version of one from her mother’s side of the family, a main component of the restaurant’s krautburgers comes from Trujillo’s father’s side of the family.
    “My dad has been making his homemade sauerkraut for more than 30 years,” she said. “He learned how to make it from his dad, Martin Lauer, thus the name of our business, Lauer Krauts.”
    Since Lauer Krauts opened more than four years ago, it has been a smashing success with both locals and visitors from across the nation, many who learn about the restaurant by word of mouth.
    Trujillo said Lauer Krauts’ specialty has remained the krautburger, which can be ordered without cheese or with American or pepper jack cheese. During lent they also serve a vegetarian version on Fridays. But the local eatery has become famous for many other dishes, including their German sausage wraps, hot dog wraps and soups and desserts of the day. They also offer catering.
    “Then, I wasn’t working enough hours, so dad thought I should make breakfast in bread,” Trujillo laughed. Breakfast in bread is potatoes, egg, cheese, country gravy and meat baked in bread and is offered beginning at 7 each morning.
    Customers became so enamored with Lauer Krauts that several wrote to the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” to tell them about the hidden gem. Trujillo vividly remembers the call she received Oct. 6, from the show.
    “When I got the call that we were selected, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought I was going to go out of my skin.”
    “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is a food television series that premiered in April 2007 on Food Network. The program stars and is hosted by Guy Fieri, who is easily recognized by his spiky bleach-blonde hair. Fieri won the second season of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2006, and in addition to “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” is host of two other Food Network shows and the NBC game show “Minute to Win It.”
    “I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but he was really fun and made you feel really comfortable,” Trujillo said of Fieri.
    Bob Lauer, who was present during the taping of the program, was also impressed with Fieri.
    “It was just so cool and the way he treated Robin was really impressive,” he said. “He was a real genuine character.”
    The show’s crew filmed at the Brighton restaurant Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. It was the first time the show was filmed in Colorado, Trujillo said. Trujillo was 39 weeks pregnant with her first child, Max, during the taping. Max was born just eight days after taping was complete.
    Trujillo is waiting to hear when the Lauer Krauts segment of the show will air on Food Network. The air date could be anytime from four months to a year after the taping, so she’s expecting that it could be soon.
    “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Trujillo said. “I don’t know what I did to deserve all of these blessings, but I’m so thankful.”
    For information on Lauer Krauts or for the soup or dessert of the day, visit For information on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” visit For catering or orders of a dozen or more krautburgers, call Trujillo at least 24 hours in advance at 303-654-9700.


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