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Hungarian-born owner at home in German eatery

by Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – For a taste of Germany right here in the Roaring Fork Valley, Rosi’s Little Bavarian Restaurant is a “delizioz” choice.

The restaurant, known for years as a top choice for breakfast and baked goodies, is expanding its hours to include dinner, owner John Pataky said.

“We’re keeping up with breakfast, but we’ve added a lot of other things,” he said.



The quaint restaurant, which is filled with German paintings and knickknacks, is located at 141 West 6th St., in front of the Glenwood Motor Inn. It consists of two main dining rooms, one with a big table for larger parties and the other with several smaller tables.

“It is hidden away and there’s people who have ridden by here and didn’t notice it,” he said of the eatery.



The restaurant first opened in the 1980s, Pataky said, and he purchased it from Rosi and Jim Huff in 1999.

“I came up from Denver. I had a German delicatessen there,” he said.

And although Rosi sold the restaurant that was named after her, she still bakes all the pastries in-house.

Pataky was born in Hungary, but spent much of his youth around German-Americans in Denver, where his mother ran the kitchen for the Edelweiss Club.

“My dad was Austrian, so I had a lot of that,” he said. “Plus the German club was the biggest one down there.”

Pataky – who is also an accordion player for a wandering minstrel band that wears lederhosen and marches around Beaver Creek – played in a German folk band on the Front Range for 25 years.

“So I really know the German culture,” he said.

For breakfast, which is available seven days a week, the restaurant offers all the standard dishes, plus some specialties such as huevos rancheros; eggs Alaska, which has smoked salmon; and eggs Neptune, which has crabmeat.

Dinner is served at Rosi’s Wednesday through Saturday, but Pataky said if he’s busy enough, he might expand to six nights.

Pataky and his 22-year-old daughter Jenn Connor – who works at the front of the house – run things at night. The restaurant staff includes chef Steve Suazo and sous chef Phil Riley. European fare is served up with a smile – and made from scratch.

“We’re the only ones with authentic Hungarian goulash,” Pataky said, comparing Rosi’s to other local eateries. “Also, I don’t know if anyone else does a brat and sauerkraut.”

In addition to those choices, Rosi’s has weinerschnitzel, smoked bratwurst, veal bratwurst, a frankfurter sausage and the sarburger pork roast.

“And we have the Euro platter for the hearty appetite,” he said. “You can choose three of the restaurant’s European specialties.”

The entrees range in price from $12.95 to $21.95, and the combination platters are a few dollars more.

Rosi’s also has a nice selection of authentic German Paulaner beers – hefe-weizen, double bock, lager, amber and Marzen – and offers Becks and Becks dark. For those who prefer to drink beer made closer to home, Rosi’s offers that famous American beer with the German name – Budweiser.

“We also have a full-service bar,” Pataky said. It’s not a sit-down bar, but liquor drinks are available to seated customers and a list of wines is offered, as well.

Vail legend and native of Germany’s Black Forest Helmut Fricker, who plays with Pataky in the minstrel band, said he loves Rosi’s breakfasts and he appreciates the fact that real German beer is available.

“The alcohol here makes me see double and feel single,” Fricker joked.

Pataky plans to have a celebration of the restaurant’s dinner offerings on June 14.

“We’ll have beer and brat specials, with Paulaner on tap,” he said. “It’ll be a good time.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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