A log cabin barbecue story

Tricia and Joel Anderson, with their sons Colby and Canyon, inside the rustic Maverick Barbecue.

Maverick Barbecue has come a long way in a short time
– from a trailer to a restaurant in four months.
Maverick Barbecue has come a long way in a short time – from a trailer to a restaurant in four months.

Tricia Anderson, who with her husband Joel owns and operates Maverick Barbecue, said their friends Pat and Sharon Patton, who’ve spent 50 years honing barbecue skills, got the Andersons started in the business.

“They taught us all we know,” Tricia said. “Since we live in Hollister, we wanted to bring it to Hollister.”

The Andersons make everything themselves – barbecue sauce, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans – slow-smoking it for several hours.

“What we do is try to project what we think will sell for that day,” Tricia said. “Sometimes we sell out when we underestimate. This makes some people upset. What they don’t realize is that our food cooks for so many hours, we’re not able to simply slap something on the grill and have it ready in a couple of minutes.”

Good food has been the priority since the Andersons opened.

“The big thing is we smoke our meat. We use indirect heat and smoke it from four to eight hours,” Joel said. “That’s really the main difference. This makes the flavor more tender. The indirect heat tends to dry out the fat. Being in the pit for four to eight hours gives the meat a special flavor you can’t get by grilling for 10 minutes.”

The Andersons started Maverick Barbecue with a log cabin trailer. Then the former Nino’s Restaurant at Fifth and Sally streets became available, and, as Joel put it, “We jumped on the opportunity.”

Being new means learning customer favorites.

“We’re still experimenting with the lunch menu,” Tricia said. “We make our own soups too. We have weekly specials. We’ve had a Philly cheese sandwich and chicken salad. We even have a vegetarian sandwich and portabella mushrooms. We try to have something for everyone. We have some customers that come in three or four times a week for both lunch and dinner. Our take-out is proving very popular.”

The Andersons also do catering. Their catering menu includes choices of ribs, chicken, tri-tip, potato salad, coleslaw, beans and garlic bread.

“We’ll bring it out, set it up, and have everything ready for you,” Joel said.

It’s a good idea to watch for the constantly changing specialty menu at Maverick Barbecue.

“We always have barbecue on Bistro Nights and we also have specials,” Joel said. “Some of the specials we’ve had include fresh halibut from Alaska, calamari and bacon round fillet. We don’t have an extensive menu. What we have, we do well.”

Customer favorites include ribs, tri-tip and chicken.

“We had one motel owner who sent his customers here for dinner,” Tricia said. “They called him the next day asking if he’d come over, buy our chicken and get it down to them in Southern California. We have a good beer and wine list. All of it is hand-picked. We try to feature local vineyards.”

Maverick Barbecue is located in the old railroad depot. Using the theme of the train station, the inside walls and ceiling have been filled with delightful murals. The ceiling is painted a dark blue like the night sky, decorated with small lights resembling stars.

“We have a biker wall, a patriotic wall, a fireman wall and a big train – the Maverick express,” Tricia said.

Maverick Barbecue is located in the old railroad station at 35-A Fifth Street, near the Hollister Fire Department. Lunch is available Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 4-9 p.m. or until sold out. Closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, call 635-8000.

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