Olvera’s Bar B-Q brings Texas-sized portions to the Midland Mall

Fans of Olvera’s Bar B-Q food truck can now enjoy their authentic Frontier taste, in the form of burritos, tacos, fajitas, ribs, chicken, nachos, and more at the Midland Mall, located at 6800 Eastman Ave. Located in the food court of the mall, Olvera’s has a long tradition of family business.

Olvera’s Bar B-Q started in the ‘80s by Paul and Esther Olvera, with their Mexican restaurant, Casa Del Rey, in Saginaw. Throughout the ‘80s, Paul and his son Dave traveled all over the country, participating in BBQ competitions, winning 60+ trophies. 

Olver's has been a family run business since the 1980's.
Dave Olvera, owner of Olvera’s Bar B-Q, says he grew up in the industry, working in his parents’ business since he was 12 or 13, doing dishes. Today, the brand has expanded to two food trucks, a concession stand at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, and now, a spot in the Midland Mall food court. Olvera says the community’s response to their grand opening at the end of August has been positive. 

“It’s been great,” he says. “Most restaurants, when they first open up, they’re busy because everybody wants to try them out. We are being optimistic and hoping that continues throughout the year.”
The Macho Nacho is a new menu item.
Locals can now enjoy the food truck’s signature oak and applewood-smoked BBQ outside of the traditional fair and festival atmosphere. Olvera says the menu at the food court is the same as what people are familiar with from the food truck. It includes pork sandwiches, brisket burritos, chicken fajitas, chicken sandwiches, bbq nachos, award-winning chili, french fries and onion rings. Prices are $9 for an entree with one side, and $15 dinners with two sides. 

Olvera says one of their popular menu items is new, “The Big Tex includes bread, beans, pork, brisket, mac ‘n’ cheese, cheese sauce, jalapenos, bbq sauce and a rib bone sticking out of it.”  Another new item is the Macho Nacho.  The entree includes “a foil pan filled with chips, pulled pork, cheese, bbq sauce, more chips piled on top, with brisket on one half, chicken on the other half, more cheese and bbq sauce, sauteed peppers and onions, jalapenos, and two rib bones sticking out of it to make it look like a Longhorn,” Olvera says. 

Although he admits it wasn’t his choice to work in his parents’ restaurants when he was younger, Olvera is happy to now work side-by-side with his family.
Olvera's is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-7pm.
“I’ve got my grandsons working with me now, my daughter helps out every once in a while, and my two youngest sons also help out on the food trucks at the fair. They love to work and help out as well,” he says. “They’re more enthusiastic about working than I was when I was younger. I was kind of pushed into it, at least they’re volunteering and enjoying it. I definitely enjoy it now, it’s great getting paid to barbeque everyday, you can’t beat that.”

Olvera’s is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call-in orders and catering are available at 989-293-0678, and delivery options are in the works for the future.

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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.