Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo
Hector Romo barbecues tri-tips at Petrucci’s.
The staple of summer in Madera includes hot weather, baseball in the park, people in pools and, best of all, Petrucci’s tri-tip from the Old Schoolhouse.
Petrucci’s BBQ Pit at the Old School House (23527 Avenue 14) opened for the summer on May 11 and will be open for every Saturday until the end of October, selling tri tip and other comestibles made famous through the recipes of founder, the late restaurateur Dino Petrucci. The Old School House is open from 9 a.m. until about 3 p.m.
“Everything will be the same,” said Mika Flores, Petrucci’s granddaughter, who spent many of her formative years working alongside her grandfather and her mother, Dina.
“The last couple of months last year, we added whole barbecue chicken to our menu,” Mika said. “We have whole tri-tips, tri tip sandwiches, tri-tip quesadillas and whole chickens. Peach cobbler will also be available for dessert. Sides include scalloped potatoes, Italian green beans and potato salad.”
Mika married Mark Flores a month ago in the backyard of the Old Schoolhouse and will now get the barbecue pit glowing for rest of the summer.
“Our wedding was strategically scheduled before the BBQ pit opened,” she said. “We always take my dad’s car to Morro Bay in May. It was always like one more trip to the coast before we’re home for the weekends for the next six months. It’s been such a blessing that people keep supporting us with the crazy hours. It’s such a blessing because we can count on people to come out to support us. Folks seem like they kind of wait for us. They write on our Facebook that they are counting down the days. We’re excited and it make us more excited that people are waiting for us.”
The Petrucci clan began work earlier in the week in anticipation of big crowds for the first few weekends.
“For the first couple of weekends, we will start preparing on Thursdays because we anticipate it to be very busy,” Flores said. “We will have the potato salad ready on Saturday. Friday, we’ll be barbecuing the tri-tip for all of the sandwiches so they can be re-heated up and sliced. However, the whole tri tips will be fresh. Those are cooked on Saturday. The sides will be cooked earlier so we don’t get too backed up. Usually, we will prep on Friday.”
In addition, Petrucci’s BBQ Pit will be selling its sauce and seasoning.
“It’s the cheapest you will find at the schoolhouse than in the stores because we took out the middle man,” she said.
The School House will open at 9 a.m. Saturday (today), and Flores says they have people come out that early.
“Everything is ready at 9,” she said. “There will be people that will come that early. They are people waiting in line. It’s the breakfast of champions. We will be open until 3 or until the meat runs out. We usually run out of sides before we run out of tri tip.”
Flores says Petrucci’s can also accommodate big orders or call-ahead orders. Phone Dina Petrucci at 706-0987 in advance, especially if you have a big order.
“We do do large call-ahead orders, especially with graduation coming up,” Flores said.