Gabys–Lakewood, CO

Gabys German Eatery
245 S. Harlan St.
Lakewood, CO
(720) 329-8188
Gabys German Eatery

Gabys German Eatery


For years I have searched out German food on my travels, although I have yet to make it to Germany to see how it should really taste. I have it on good authority, though, that it would taste like the food at Gabys (from my friend who lived in Germany and accompanied me to the restaurant). I already figured this out from tasting the food, but it is good to know that my instincts are correct, and the best German food is also the most authentic.

This was indeed probably the best German food I have ever had, although I do want to leave it open for other experiences I have had in the past which might resurface in my memory of some special dishes. One thing about Gabys is that it is not trying to prepare over-the-top special occasion dishes, but I would call it everyday food that becomes very special because of the flavor and the way it is prepared.

I assume it was Gaby who served us, although she was a little busy and I did not get to chat with her very much. I did learn that the restaurant had been open for a couple of years, and that they have daily specials which make the menu a little more interesting if you are a frequent visitor. In the short time it has been open Gabys has become probably the highest rated German restaurant in Denver on Yelp, leading me to think that the on-line reviews of Denver restaurants are some of the more trustworthy ones. I honestly would not have found this place without the help of Yelp.

Restaurant and auto repair shop

Restaurant and auto repair shop

There is an auto repair shop in the same building which initially made me think the two were connected, but this was not the case. The restaurant itself is a little larger than it looks from the outside, but it is a small place with perhaps twelve tables and apparently with Gaby doing all of the cooking. Actually my favorite ethnic restaurants are usually ones where there is only one cook, or at least that you know the food will be the same every time you go. I cannot guarantee that Gabys is this way, but if the Yelp reviews are to be believed then I have every confidence that it is.

Schnitzel

Schnitzel

Schnitzel with potato salad and mushroom gravy on the side

Every German restaurant seems to have Schnitzel, but they are not all equal. I do think, though, that almost every restaurant I have tried does a good job with the schnitzel, and usually it is difficult to say that one is really better than the other. This is the reason I was surprised to find that at Gabys, I really can say that I think think this is a better schnitzel than others I have tried. The only way I can describe it is that in addition to having top quality meat, the flavor and freshness make it stand out so that this really becomes the standard by which to judge the others.

The difference in flavor seems to be mainly because of the breading. Gabys serves the schnitzel the traditional way with a lemon, but there is a serving of mushroom gravy on the side so that if you wish you can make Jagerschnitzel out of it. Normally I would jump at the chance to add the gravy, and I thought it was excellent, but I really enjoyed being able to eat this schnitzel both ways and enjoying both of them.

This was a very interesting Potato Salad because it was made with blue potatoes. It did not seem as if the blue potatoes had a flavor that was very different from regular potatoes, except that it had a flavor (I would describe most white potatoes as being without much flavor, making it almost a requirement to add butter and salt). I believe the potato salad had all the seasoning that any other good version would have, but it just seemed as if the potatoes were exceptionally good (and of course I have to say that the seasoning was very good as well).

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

I ordered Sauerkraut on the side because it did not come on the plate, and I wanted to try it. The plate really had a sufficient amount of food, and I would have been satisfied with that alone. The sauerkraut had a very good flavor, but the potato salad was so exceptional that I think Gaby made a good choice by offering this as the side dish on the plate.

Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten

For the Sauerbraten I tried a sample but I got a very good idea of its flavor. This is a marinated pot roast with very moist and flavorful meat. I have had sauerbraten before in other restaurants but this one stood out because of the flavor. It is not often that I find food that I consider to be fine dining at prices that are as affordable as at Gabys, and this is definitely a dish that I would consider for it (although there were other dishes on the menu that seemed to be equally upscale).

Another consideration for trying the sauerbraten is that it is not served at many German restaurants in the United States, and therefore is a special treat at Gabys (although the way the schnitzel was prepared made it a special treat for me as well).

This Red Cabbage was a special treat as well because of the fact that I think Gaby is more skillful than most in the wine/vinegar component of it, so that it still has a good flavor but the vinegar flavor is not as strong.

Dessert

Black forest

Half of an order of black forest cake

There are several dessert choices including Black Forest, which had all the elements I expected in this pastry. The flavor was excellent, but in addition the freshness was at a higher level than I typically find at restaurants.

Other Comments
The restaurant is small but there were several empty tables when I went for lunch on a weekday. I imagine there are times when there is a waiting time for a table, but the way the food is prepared means that any meal is likely to involve a wait that is longer than at most restaurants. I believe they take reservations for large parties, though, which may speed things up for some people.

I did not see that they serve beer or alcohol but I did not inquire about this. Perhaps this will come in the future but right now I think the emphasis is on serving food that in itself is not only very good but is one of the more memorable experiences I have had in a restaurant.

My bill was very high because as far as I knew I was only going to make one visit and I wanted to try as many items as possible (sauerkraut, black forest, etc.). I do not regret ordering these, but I did think that if you just order one of the plates on the menu and skip some of the extras, you will have a very satisfying meal at a price that would be comparable with many “ordinary” restaurants. (To me Gabys is a place which I consider “extraordinary” with the accompanying temptation to keep ordering extra items, but I did want to make this one point about the size and the quality of the servings).


Gabys Web Site


RATING: 27

Cuisine: German
Cost: $$$
Hours: Wed.-Sun. 11:30 am to 2:00 pm; 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: N/A

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 9, 2019
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, Potato Salad, Red Cabbage, Black Forest

Special Ratings
star 5 Schnitzel
star 5 Sauerbraten
star 5 Potato Salad
star 5 Red Cabbage
star 5 Sauerkraut
star 5 Mushroom Gravy
star 5 Black Forest

Super Star–Denver, CO

Super Star Asian Cuisine
2200 W. Alameda Ave.
Denver, CO
(303) 727-9889
Super Star

Super Star


In the Chinese culture the number 8 is considered one of the luckiest numbers, as evidenced by the fact that the parking lots in the Oklahoma City Asian District are lined with cars with an “888” in their license plate (the Tag Agents in Oklahoma are many times able to give customers some choice about the numbers they receive). For me, my first visit to Lucky Star on August 8 (8-8) was particularly auspicious because it was followed by a take-out order by my friends of some 700 miles from Denver to El Paso of roast duck, one of the restaurant’s most well-known dishes, which I was able to share.

My visit to the restaurant itself gave me some of the best Cantonese food I have ever had in a restaurant, added to the fact that Chinese food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines. If China’s greatest Cantonese chef came to the United States and taught other chefs how to cook, I believe the food would come out like it does at Super Star. I have not had repeat visits to test the consistency of the kitchen, and I have not had the restaurant’s signature dim sum, but so far everything has been extremely good.

My first visit was actually a take-out order, although not on purpose. I had spent the day sightseeing in the mountains and arrived at Super Star shortly before 10:00 p.m. Yelp had listed them as being open until 11:00, but as I frequently find on this web site, the information was incorrect and they actually close at 10:00 every day. It was fine, though, because they prepared a take-out order which was probably the best take-out Chinese food I have ever had in my life. The staff was very gracious in cooking the food because it was so close to closing time, but mine did not take a long time to prepare and they had delivery orders ready to go as well.

The building is a small storefront space, and I can see now why people describe what seems to be Denver’s most popular dim sum place as being very small. All of the dim sum restaurants I visited in Seattle were at least five or six times as large as this one, and the ones in Oklahoma City are at least double the size. It seemed to me, though, that Super Star had the staff to prepare the amount of food they actually serve rather than what you typically find in a restaurant this small. Between the people they can fit in to eat and the delivery and take-out orders they serve, I believe that the number of people who eat the food from here every day is quite substantial.

Clay Pot

Special order of a pork and tofu hot pot which is not on the menu

Pork and tofu hot pot

I requested a hot pot because they usually have a very good sauce as well as good quality ingredients. In fact, it seems that only the best Cantonese restaurants even have hot pot on the menu (Super Star serves clay pot dishes but this and hot pot are mostly interchangeable terms). I have had good luck at other restaurants ordering a Pork and Tofu Hot Pot but I did not see it on the menu here. It seems that ordering tofu automatically gets you a good selection of vegetables as well, while the other major style of hot pot is something that is just meat.

It turned out that when I asked for pork and tofu they said this could be prepared very quickly and that I would have exactly what I wanted. Since it was not on the menu I did not have a description of the ingredients that would be in it, but it actually exceeded my expectation of what this dish should be. The pork had a very good flavor without fat and gristle (a step up from the versions which have the fat and skin which is the traditional one I have found in many restaurants). I am not saying that the best pork is the one that is just meat with no fat, but I am saying the way Super Star does it made it turn out much better than I expected.

The tofu was cooked to perfection, and Super Star took what is usually my favorite part of the hot pot and made it what I thought was also the best part in terms of texture, quality, and the way it was cooked.

The sauce, though, was the most surprising part of the dish in being better than expected. It was a thin sauce but very flavorful. It was brown colored and had the right balance of sweetness with other flavors. I would really commend this sauce to readers as an example of authentic Chinese sauces that are not only different but also much better than the ones with which many are familiar. I do not know what the sauce is called, but only that it was in this particular hot pot dish.

The vegetables were very fresh and flavorful. I actually knew from experiences at other Chinese restaurants that they would be this way, but I was not sure how many they would include. It turned out that there was a greater quantity and variety of vegetables than I normally get in hot pot dishes.

Going to Super Star for the first time, the restaurant made sure to explain to me that I did not actually get the hot pot itself as part of a to-go dish. The hot pot is mainly to keep the dish warm for a long time, but since I intended to eat it right away the take-home container was fine. Normally, though, the food would be served in a metal hot pot (here it may actually be made out of clay or ceramic but I did not see which type of pot they use).

Roast Duck

A portion of the roast duck serving

Roast duck

I believe Super Star is as well known for its Roast Duck in the Chinese community as the dim sum, although the duck is saved for special occasions because you have to buy either a whole or a half duck. Some friends of mine had a “special delivery” from one of their family members who brought a duck to El Paso for them to enjoy (and they very graciously allowed me to share in it).

I have had good roast duck in Oklahoma which I shared with my friends under similar circumstances, but the one from Denver was the best I have tried. Super Star’s duck was especially impressive because of the moistness and flavor of the meat. My friends reheated it on a very low heat so that it retained its moisture, and I feel that I got the actual taste that someone would get in the restaurant (the flavor of mine was wonderful, and it may be possible that in the restaurant it would be even better).

Super Star has a special sauce for the duck which was very good, but I am at somewhat of a loss here because I have little with which to compare it and I do not remember some of the sauces I have had in the past. The one here, though, was clearly part of the overall excellent presentation of the dish.

Other Observations
This restaurant serves only traditional Cantonese style food, and apparently is in a large enough city that it does not need to supplement its customer base by including Americanized items (there are some American sounding dishes such as moo goo gai pan, cashew chicken, etc., but I have found that it is possible to prepare these dishes Chinese style). What I have tried has been authentic and prepared correctly, based on my experience in other cities such as Seattle. What I can say, though, is that the food here was better than at any Cantonese restaurant I tried in Seattle.

I do not know if the food here contains MSG. I asked them not to use MSG in my order just to cover the bases. I am sure the order did not have MSG because past experience has shown that Denver’s altitude exaggerates the effect of the chemical, and having it in my food would give me a very noticeable headache.

The jasmine tea made with loose leaves was almost as special of an experience as the food. For some reason, though, they did not have any containers to give me the tea for take out, and I was only able to get it because I had my own thermos mug.


Super Star Asian Cuisine Web Site


RATING: 27

Cuisine: Chinese
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily 10 am to 10 pm
Accessible: Yes
Alcohol: N/A
Smoking: No smoking
Special Features: Dim Sum (carts at lunch, order from menu at dinner)

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 8, 2019
Number of Visits: 2
Best Items: Hot Pot, Roast Duck

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Jasmine (loose leaves)
MSG: N/A
Buffet: No

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Pork & Tofu Hot Pot
star 5 Roast Duck

 

Menu (Aug. 2019):