Pin It
Favorite

Stein's seasoned tri-tip comes to downtown Paso Robles 

Some might marinate a nice piece of tri-tip for a few hours or overnight. Firing up the old family barbecue is a little different for the Stein family. They've been marinating—so to speak—for the past 30 years.

Brian and Nancy Stein only recently opened the new restaurant Stein'sBBQCo. in Paso Robles, but word of their grilling prowess has been out for quite a while. Call it living in a small town or call it the right seasoning, but the Steins have become pretty much synonymous with "barbecue."

click to enlarge THANK YOU FOR SMOKING Stein's BBQ Co. has opened in downtown Paso Robles to the joy of tri-tip obsessed locals and travelers alike. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STEIN'S BBQ CO.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Stein's Bbq Co.
  • THANK YOU FOR SMOKING Stein's BBQ Co. has opened in downtown Paso Robles to the joy of tri-tip obsessed locals and travelers alike.

Thanks to the owners' previous North County eatery—Stein's Deli—not to mention their current barbecue catering company, Stein's BBQ and Catering, the word of the new barbecue joint has spread quickly. No one is shocked, but everyone is hungry. Real hungry.

"Everyone loved Stein's Deli in Atascadero, and we know people still talk about it. In the past, we would throw around the idea of a restaurant, but the timing didn't quite make sense," said the Steins' son, Kris Gerkins. "I came across the downtown Paso location and knew right away this was the opportunity we'd been waiting for."

The new restaurant swung open its doors at 1240 Park St. earlier this month with a mission to bring meaty mouthfuls to the masses without the premium price tag. It was important to the family to create a low-key space for the locals, not just traveling wine tourists (although hey, they're welcome too).

"We also want to show off wineries and regional beer that normally wouldn't get a chance to have a downtown presence," Gerkins said. "We are physically targeting lesser known wineries and breweries that are also making a fantastic product. It's our pleasure to bring other members of the community into our family."

Expect a lot of red-oak-grilled Santa Maria-style tri-tip on the menu, alongside pastrami sandwiches, ale-basted chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and an array of house-made sides. Fans of the deli will also be giddy to know that some of their old faves will live on as daily specials.

click to enlarge Stein's BBQ Co. owners Brian and Nancy Stein are known locally for their longstanding barbecue offerings. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STEIN'S BBQ CO.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Stein's Bbq Co.
  • Stein's BBQ Co. owners Brian and Nancy Stein are known locally for their longstanding barbecue offerings.

"I'm a firm believer of not leaving a ton of fat on the tri-tip because there's plenty of fat in the marbleization already; it should be well aged, seasoned properly, and left on the tri-tip for at least 30 to 40 minutes," Brian said of his tri-tip grilling process. "Then, you need to use red oak, our indigenous Santa Maria oak, which has a sweetness to its smoke. That gives the meat that unique flavor we know and love on the Central Coast."

Although Brian is known as a pitmaster, his career really started with big vats of bubbling bagels. In 1981, the chef opened a bagel shop in Atascadero. Over the next five years, the restaurant became a full-fledged dining establishment serving breakfast lunch and dinner. Brian's wholesale bagel company, Big Apple Bagels, was eventually bought out by a Bay Area company, which took the product nationwide.

You could call it Brian's "big bagel break."

You might also know Brian as former owner of Creekside Lanes bowling alley in Atascadero or from his other area restaurants, of which there have been a few. Stein's Deli opened in the early 2000s and closed a few years later, but it made an impact on the Atascadero community.

What some might not know is that Brian actually boasts a classical cooking education, even though his focus is always on accessible food for everyone.

"I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in the late '70s and did formal training in Italy. When I came out to California in 1980, I saw that everyone barbecued; everyone was doing this Santa Maria-style barbecue," he said. "I was like, 'Wow. What is this?' That's what really started it all for me."

click to enlarge The new Paso Robles restaurant will encourage all walks of life to enjoy a meaty mouthful laced with that distinct Central Coast smokiness. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STEIN'S BBQ CO.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Stein's Bbq Co.
  • The new Paso Robles restaurant will encourage all walks of life to enjoy a meaty mouthful laced with that distinct Central Coast smokiness.

Brian worked as the manager of several Central Coast steak houses, where he learned the ropes from seasoning to slicing (yes, there is a special way he slices his tri-tips). Aside from having his own restaurants and barbecue catering company, he also worked as a corporate chef for a larger seasoning company, sells his own seasonings, and has basically spent a good 30 years bleary-eyed from the coals.

Yep, you could say that over his illustrious lifetime of grilling, Brian's learned quite a few tricks of the trade about that magical tip of the tri.

"Tri-tip is a cut of meat that that can be the worst or the best, depending on how you do it," the chef said. "It can go zero to 60. When prepared properly, with proper seasoning, and proper preparation—over red oak coals—there is no flavor, no texture, nothing like it anywhere in the world." Δ

Hayley Thomas Cain is licking barbecue sauce off her fingers, Wet-Naps be damned. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

More by Hayley Thomas Cain

Trending Now

© 2018 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation