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Jul 26, 2006 03:28 PM

La Reina de Michoacan, Welcome Relief from Fresno Heat

A quick reminder to all you suffering Chowhounds in Fresno, La Reina de Michoacan is a Mexican ice cream and paleta shop on Belmont street in Fresno. Hubby and I went over there this past weekend looking for relief from the scorching heat in the Central Valley.

I was absolutely desperate for shave ice, but could not locate any shave ice in Fresno. I know that the Farmer's Market at Riverpark and the Clovis Farmer's Market would have one, but this was Sunday and neither market was available. Anyway, if anyone in Fresno knows where shave ice(not snowcone) is available, please tell me!

Anyway, I arrived at the store and ordered the raspados(basically a snowcone) because I needed something. I wanted limon. My raspados had waaaaayyy too much syrup in it, turning my ice into a soup. The flavor was okay, but I would stick to the paletas and ice cream.

Hubby had the chongos zamoranos, which is kinda like a cheesecake ice cream with a cinnamon flavor. I thought it tasted like dulce de leche. It was quite good, although I think it would be great to mix the cappucino flavor with the chongos for a chocolatey cheesecake flavor. Yum!

They have a huge selection of paletas as well as at least 20 different flavors of ice cream. Most of them are fruit, but they do have walnut, cappucino, and the chongos.

The really weird thing about the store is that it is not air conditioned on the customer side of things. They have a few tables and chairs in the store, but I would recommend hopping back into your car and enjoying your ice cream in the coolness of air conditioning.

La Reina de Michoacan
720 E. Belmont (at Broadway)
Open daily from 10am-8pm

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  1. Thanks for the report. I asked about this places a few months ago.

    There is a newspaper article about the shop in the above link.

    Your report about the raspado has me worried. What do the palettas look like? Are they lurid colors looking like popsicles or are they close to the natural color of the fruit?

    If they are close to the color of the paletas in the article that would seem to be good. They look more fruit-colored than dyed.

    There is this outstanding paleta store in Encinitas that has the best paletas I have ever had in my life. The colors are natural and the flavor just shines.

    1. Yeah, the raspado seemed a bit off and different from the flavors in the rest of the store. The syrup was neon style green and fake tasting. However, the paletas looked "normal" and from what I have read, they are naturally flavored. The ice cream was great, so if the paletas are anything like the ice cream, they should be awesome.

      I was disappointed to see no avocado ice cream on Sunday, so we will have to return soon to see if we can track it down. We sampled a couple of things including mamey, which due to language barriers we didn't really understand what it was. I think it is some kind of tropical fruit.

      Interestingly, they also had an American flavor, Oreos and cream which I think is pretty funny.

      1. I've only had the strawberries and cream paleta. It was amazing, way better than anything I've ever had in Mexico. I asked a lot of questions when I was there so they started offering me tastes of the ice creams. They were all very good. I highly recommend La Reina. I also love the horchata. I have not been back because shortly after going my wife bought me a $250 ice cream maker so I'm churning out a lot of ice cream at home.

        1. This thread is three years old, but I wanted to thank glazebrookgirl and rworange for posting about this place.

          Three weeks ago, I got to tag along with "PolarBear" on his food errands around town. En route he pointed out La Reina de Michoacan as we passed by, explaining that it was a paleteria, and I asked if we might be returning this way for a stop. This was after my first lunch at Hunan and I was craving something cold and sweet to quell the fiery meal.

          We did swing back here and stepped inside to air-conditioned comfort.

          La Reina's counter -

          We got a couple of paletas to go. A little hard for Dave to eat while driving!

          Eggnog & raisin and Strawberries and cream -

          The eggnog and raisin (how Fresno!) was enjoyable and good, but the strawberries and cream (fresa con crema) was outstanding. The jammy local strawberries make this so good.

          The following week during the scorcher (the first time I've seen my car's external temperature read over a 100, let alone 113 degrees!), I made a beeline for La Reina to cool off. This time I wanted to try the nieves (Mexican-style ice cream). With a medium cup, you get to try three flavors.

          Mamey, guayaba & mango -

          The ice creams are lovely too. For these tropical fruits, they're rich with pulp and a bit heavier than the style at Poc Chuc in San Francisco. Flavor-wise the guayaba (guava) was my favorite, but I forgot about those seeds, which were like buckshot in every bite. The mango was terrific too, and while I'm not crazy about mamey (sapote) flavor, I usually order it just because it's different. This one was a little woody in the flavor, yet had good intensity.

          I bought a selection of paletas to take back to my hosts: coconut and sandia (watermelon) ones without cream; prune/raisin, strawberry & cream, nuez (walnut), and pistachio with cream. No one tried the sandia before I left, but I heard good things about all the other flavors. I had the prune and raisin one (on theme for a visit to the Big Raisin), and while it tasted good with lots of pieces of fruit, it also had bits of cracked prune pits. One in every bite was too much for comfort, so proceed with this flavor with caution.

          Besides paletas, ice cream and raspados, a selection of aguas frescas is offered and some fresh fruits. Nice pink restroom too. I'm looking forward to returning.

          La Reina De Michoacan
          720 E Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA 93701

          6 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I've become jaded over the years when it comes to strawberry desserts, so often made with imitation flavorings, unripened or inferior berries and the like but this paleta tasted like straight from the field, vine ripened strawberry heaven. Agree the eggnog raisin was good as well, just not up to the high level of the berries y crema.

            Sad to hear about the prune raisin, I had high hopes for it. I wonder if the pit chips were a fluke? Will have to return and inquire.

            1. re: PolarBear

              My thought was that my paleta might have been from the bottom of the pot and got all the bits of pit from several pounds worth.

              Times a' wasting . . . gentlemen, start your engines . . . on to Fresno!

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              Just an update to thank you all for the posts...stopped by today. Normally I would opt for mango when it is on the paleta menu, but I'd just had a mango smoothie (more on that in another post), so tried the pistachio with cream paleta. It was delicious: chock full of whole pistachios, with a bit of a cinnamon undertone.

              The Zoo Gas Station a block or so west on same side of Belmont towards the freeway had gas for $3.99, just in case anyone needs a reason besides those paletas to pull off of 99...

              Thanks again, this place is yet one more reason to take 99 instead of 5. It really is right off the freeway. Looking forwad to my next visit (probably on my way home Friday! :-)

              1. re: susancinsf

                oh yeah, meant to mention, Lorena's is also just a block or two away, a place I really liked on a visit to Fresno several years ago, even if the albondigas (de res) weren't the stuff of dreams. I am wondering if Polar Bear (or anyone else) has ever made it back there to try the albondigas de camaron?


                1. re: susancinsf

                  Mmmm, I coulda used a paleta on this warm day. If you come home via 101, you can try the spots that toodie jane has posted about around Santa Maria, or the new paleta place in King City for comparison.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    oh, thanks for that reminder....yes, I have pretty much given up on the five (if one is going to put one's self through that misery, one might as well fly).. and I do want to get back to King City soon, and also want to explore around Greenfield a bit. Your recent posts on the area reminded me that about a year ago hubby and I stopped at a place there that is worth a report (yes should have reported then!) , but I can't for the life of me remember the name or exact want to do some more looking around....

                    and the annual road trip to Marina del Rey then Catalina is coming up soon, so if not this trip, very soon! Hubby would love to be a paleta test taster! :-)

              2. Regarding Chongos... they are Curds made from Colostrum that is then sauced in a Canela-Piloncillo syrup.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  Thanks for the info. This place is really close to Hwy 99 and an easy on-off the next time you're passing through and need a pitstop (that's why I mentioned the rest room). Would love to hear what you think of it.

                  We should have a paleteria in Sonoma County!

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I need to scout it but I think I caught a glimpse of a Neveria in the new Roseland shopping center with the Oliver's

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Thanks for the report as this is one of those places on my eternal 'to try' list. Nice to know it is an easy on and off of 99. I don't remember if you've been to the paleteria in Vallejo yet. If so, how did it compare?

                      1. re: rworange

                        I like them both! The stores have the same sunny, bright and shiny look and feel. La Reina in Fresno is slightly larger and has parking in the back. It has more flavors of ice cream and paletas in a bigger case, I think, as it offers fewer types of dessert products.

                        The strawberry that I tried in Vallejo did not have cream in it, so I can't compare it directly to the fresa con crema paleta in Fresno. The example in Fresno had the advantage of super-ripe berries.