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Food magazine features Longbranch Restaurant

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

The Longbranch Restaurant in Granby has hit the big time. Those who keep tabs on the culinary world will be excited to learn that the Longbranch has a modest mention in the November issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine “Every Day with Rachael Ray.”

The issue, which was placed in newsstands starting Oct. 15 also mentions the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort, Buster Midnight’s and the Tubing Hill in Fraser.

For those not “in the know,” Ray is an icon, a diva if you will, in the foodie world.

She’s a Food Network television host, host of her own talk show the Rachael Ray Show, best-selling cookbook author, has a cookware line, and is editor-in-chief of the lifestyle magazine.

Cooking has been a way of life for Ray. Her family owned several restaurants on Cape Cod, Mass. before moving to New York. In her 20s Rachael threw all her boundless energy and know-how into several culinary venues. Before long her “30-Minute Meals” segment was picked up by a CBS TV station and later nominated for two regional Emmys in its first year. Her magazine offers not only simple and savvy recipes, but menu planning tips and suggestions on food destinations, which is where the Longbranch comes in.

Kara Williams of Carbondale is an award-winning freelance journalist who put the local piece together for the national magazine. She pitched a story idea about a Colorado hot springs article to the travel editor this past spring, with the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort on her possible itinerary.

“The Glenwood Springs Hot Springs pool is practically in my backyard, and my family and I have been to the hot springs in Ridgway and Ouray. It just seemed like a great way to get some coverage of these nifty places, not to mention I wanted an excuse to check out some other statewide hot springs,” she said.

The editor assigned the article in May, and Williams happily made the trip to Grand County in June. She met up with two childhood friends: Jill Conrad who lives in Denver and Kevin Paige, who is from New Hampshire and was traveling to Denver on business.

Williams had also been in touch with local Gaylene Ore of Ore Communications, who also helps out at the Grand County Colorado Tourism Board. As a big supporter of the restaurant, Ore suggested the trio check out The Longbranch while they were in town and scheduled professional photographer Kerrick James to come out later and take photographs for the piece.

Ore said she’s known Marlene and Ralf for about 15 years and has always liked them and their restaurant. “I’ve taken lots of people there and they’ve always really liked it,” she said. “We take people there quite a bit.”

When the Lindenlaubs first saw what would become their own business, they too fell immediately enamored with the place. “I liked the potential,” Ralf said. “We walked in and I said that’s the place I’d like to buy.” With a close eye on the desires of their clientele and much dedication, they have made the restaurant a success for the last 26 years. “You want to go somewhere unique, and that’s this place,” Ralf said. “There were times that have been tough, but it’s been worth it.”

The couple was originally from Europe ” Ralf’s originally from Dresden, Germany and Marlene came from Salzburg, Austria. From spaetzle to strudel, Ralf has fine-tuned many authentic dishes into the menu from his extensive training. And, according to many locals the popular restaurant has some of the best German food around.

Williams’ buddy Kevin Paige, a sales representative for Luftansa Airlines (a German company), apparently agreed that the restaurant’s worth a visit. Williams had convinced him to fly in a couple days early so he could sample the Longbranch and Hot Sulphur Springs Resort with her. “I figured since he’s been to Germany more than 60 times, and lived in Germany for a year he could tell me whether the food at the Longbranch was authentic.”

He, Williams, and Conrad shared the wienerschnitzel, jaeger schnitzel and German combination plate; and Williams said “Indeed Kevin gave it a thumbs up!” She said that’s why she selected the Longbranch to profile for her article. “The German comfort food seemed like a nice complement to outdoor winter fun.”

“She just liked everything about the place,” Marlene said recalling Williams’ visit. “They liked all the woodwork, and we always get compliments on the food.”

“I liked the unassuming, old-fashioned family restaurant atmosphere,” Williams said. It was “Very comfortable … and with the menu being so varied, offering Italian and Mexican food too ” I think it’s great for families with children who are picky eaters. (Something for everyone).”

The trio also had a great visit to the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. She said her male massage therapist was “excellent” and that her group “enjoyed sampling the different temperatures and pool designs. … I’d like to return with my husband and check out the romantic hillside pool.”

She said her team also had an “awesome” breakfast at Buster Midnight’s across from the County Seat Grill in Hot Sulphur Springs. “Kevin, my friend (the airline employee) had a burrito the size of his head ” and yes, he ate the whole thing! Affordable prices, great morning food, friendly service. I’m glad we stopped in.” She said the “folks at the gas station down the road recommended it.”

Williams said she also wants to try out the Fraser Tubing Hill which was closed during that last visit, adding that she hopes to return to Grand County in the winter with her kids to go tubing.

Williams’ story is in the “High Five” section of the magazine, “a one-page round-up of themed ‘dates’ readers can have.” For each region, Williams compiled an outdoor winter activity, the hot springs pool/site, and a restaurant. November copies of the magazine are set to arrive at the local City Market and Safeway stores, to be placed near the cash registers.

“Of course I feel honored,” Ralf said. He and Marlene admit they had never heard of Rachael Ray before June, but realized what a big deal Williams’ visit and feature was after their son Kim said what a “really cool lady” Ray was.

With the restaurant on the market and the Lindenlaubs ready to retire, the magazine feature came at a good time. Although Ralf clarifies he is not included in the sale ” and many have asked ” he’s willing to pass along some recipes and tips. “It takes a lot of dedication and commitment,” he said.

Marlene said she’s already had some of the local subscribers call to congratulate her and Ralf about the article and that they’ll “have to send some copies to Europe, just for the fun of it.”

The Longbranch and its sister restaurant Schatzi’s pizzaria is open for dinner 4 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday on Granby’s main street through Oct. 20 and then again starting Dec. 17. It’s easy to spot with its signature display of international flags outside.


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