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Looking for great ribs in Fresno

And not anything from that place near Riverpark.

I have heard about this place that is in downtown Fresno, does anyone know what it is called or where it is? Unfortunetly the couple that mentioned it had already consumed a couple drinks and could not remember any details (except for the fact that it had great Texas style ribs and was downtown).

Are there any other places in Fresno, or Clovis, that have "falls-off-the-bone" ribs???

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  1. Only place I know of downtown is Allee's BBQ in the Galleria. He also has a place at Cedar just north of Herndon (on corner where John's Incredible Pizza is - but next to the bike shop and Country Kitchen.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: tavmark

      Allee's is ok in my estimation, but the best ribs I've had are actually in Selma at Cattlemen's.. they are so good they don't even need sauce..

    2. This is not in fresno, but there should be some good places there as big as Fresno
      is. I am talking about Jeb`s waffles and ribs in Kingsburg. just 20 miles south. It sure
      is worth trying if you come down this way. you can keep it in mind. I hope that
      more chowhounds comes up with something here in fresno, I sure would like to know
      about the ribs and soul food. I love both.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bigjimbray

        Was in Selma over the weekend and decided to give Jeb's a try. Thought their ribs were not particularly very good. Seemed like they were boiled and/or baked, not smoked. Pretty ordinary commercial BBQ sauce (maybe KC Masterpiece or Bullseye). BTW, Jeb's is part of the Brooks Farm/Perko's/Country Waffle empire.

        We had went out the night before to Famous Dave's in Fresno (on Blackstone across from Riverpark) and thought it was as good as the one's we've been to in Minneapolis (including the original Famous Dave's location). Not competition for an authentic BBQ place, but a pretty fair imitation in a BBQ-starved location...

      2. Down town Fresno MAMA LO'S not sure of address in C/H several months ago, good home cooked food - killer peach cobbler get there early often sold out. Then whole family works there only open for lunch 11 to 3, mon - fri. Old China Town area.


        2 Replies
        1. re: OB93727

          I am going to Fresno this afternoon and this the second or third time on here that
          this place has been recomended. I have to find this place and try it. thanks

          1. re: OB93727

            PolarBear and foodchick45 and others have done some pretty extensive reconnaissance work on Mama Lo's. Here are two previous threads about the place--including the address:


          2. A few more places to explore from Joan Obra in today's Food Section in the Bee:


            6 Replies
            1. re: PolarBear

              I've been hearing rumours for years that the ribs at the Steak n Anchor were pretty good.. any truth to this?

              1. re: foodchick45

                Thanks for the heads up, hadn't heard that and rarely get out that way. Sounds like we need a hound to step up and take one for the team. I hope to get by the Smokehouse within the next week and will report back, maybe even the little place behind the barbershop.

                1. re: PolarBear

                  Meant to report back sooner. Did get by the Smokehouse downtown (Fresno & Van Ness) a couple of weeks ago to try the ribs (only one style and one sauce). Started to order the lunch plate (8.99, iirc) and two sides, but was informed by the personable waitress that it'd be cheaper to get the dinner entree (12.99) that comes with two sides. Got 5 good size, meaty, and tender ribs, cut cross-bone, mac 'n cheese, and the collard greens. Good M&C, creamy like Mama Lo's and kicked up with a litte LA hot sauce, collard greens were tender, tasty and not sweetened, which is my preference.
                  The BBQ sauce was on the vinegary side but also with a strange spice note that I couldn't identify, or could a pal that I ran into and sat down with that day. I was doing a recon as a possible place to treat a couple of friends but quickly realized the intense smokiness of the ribs wouldn't be to their liking. Also found that it was a little too much for me as well as it lingered throughout the rest of the afternoon.

                  I neglected to ask how many ribs came with the lunch plate, but the 5 I got were well more that I needed to have for the noon meal. The sides came in two little cafeteria style fruit bowls, but if this is what they come in ala carte I'd be bent out of shape ordering that way since they are listed at 2.99 each.

                  My pal and the friend he was with were there for the Fried Chicken and Waffles, which for some reason took quite a while to reach the table, it sounds strange to me but they enjoyed them, the waffles were accompanied by 4-5 chicken wings. A couple of other promising items are the fried chicken lunch and the catfish or red snapper. Will be back to try them in the near future.

                  1. re: PolarBear

                    Thanks for the report PB, I love chicken and waffles and I do like a lot of smokiness to my meats, so maybe I'll give this a try. Perhaps the reason the chicken took so long is because real fried chicken is made to order and takes a bit of time to fry. In the best KC chicken houses, it takes 45 minutes to get your chicken. I intend to try Big Al's this week and will report back.

                    1. re: foodchick45

                      well i attempted to try Big Al's, but I dont think they are ready for the public yet. I went there, found a "Grand Opening" sign, neither of the bbq grills going.. and was told he had "chicken breasts today with organic corn on the side and maybe beans".. looking at the menu, I just about gagged at the prices.. these were sit down restaurant prices.. not drive thru prices.. there were actually 20 dollar items on there.. and i'm not talking family paks either... maybe i'll try again when he's has more items.. but the prices don't entice me.

              2. re: PolarBear

                I've posted a review of the ribs and the newly reopened Savannah's Brazilian Soul at:


              3. I've searched around for good BBQ ribs in Fresno, too. I think the best restaurant ribs in Fresno are probably at Albee's (formerly Texas BBQ, located at Cedar and Herndon). If you are looking for Texas-style beef ribs, that's where I think you should go.

                Sadly, second place for me is Famous Dave's, the chain near Riverpark, which is just good BBQ for a chain. Maybe I just don't like soul food style ribs as much, a la Sam's BBQ, though I like other things there. I will admit that I haven't tried the new soul food places recently, so maybe they have ribs more my style (and yours!).

                2 Replies
                1. re: jvgordon

                  I have eaten at Sam's both several years ago and recently, and both times found the ribs rather un-amazing... .. I have heard good and bad about Famous Dave's.. I've also heard very good things about Sumtin To Eat, down the street from Mama Lo's.

                  1. re: jvgordon

                    There's some potential confusion here, so could we get some clarification on this?

                    jvgordon, I assume you mean Allee's Brand BBQ on the northwest corner of Herndon & Cedar (actually about 1/2 block north of Herndon on Cedar). Last I heard, Allee's is the same place as the location in downtown Fresno (mentioned in an earlier post by tavmark).

                    Or did you mean Big Al's BBQ, a little "shack" in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Cedar & Herndon (actually about 1/2 block south of Herndon on Cedar)? BTW: haven't tried Big Al's, so don't know if they even have ribs.

                    Both have similar names and are located near the same intersection in Fresno.

                  2. I had 2 great samples of ribs tonite at Cool Hand Luke's in Clovis... chipotle raspberry ribs (which used to be on the appetizer menu but now can only be had as an entree or part of a combo), and the baby back ribs.. strangely enough, the regular baby backs are spicier than the chipotle raspberry, which are sweet and tasty but not spicy at all. The baby backs are also meatier than the chipotle raspberry ones.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: foodchick45

                      Okay...fiance ordered to go from Mama Lo's in downtown Fresno. He got the beef ribs (which apparently are the only type served, pork not an option) plus sides of green beans and corn bread. I had already eaten my lunch, but took some samples of his just so I would know for future reference. I am sorry to say that I was really not impressed. Perhaps it is because I prefer pork ribs to beef, but the taste and tenderness was just not there. Sauce was okay, not impressive. I was hoping for something really great...are ribs not their speciality (I know everyone raves about their fried chicken, is this what we should really go there for instead?)?

                      1. re: cocktailqueen77

                        The first thing to go for is the service.. the second thing is the best peach cobbler, anywhere, period. The third thing is the mac n cheese.. if you want great fried chicken, go to Chicken Man on Weber ...out of the way but memorable and different. If you want good beef ribs..go to Cattlemen's in Selma... I don't really care for beef ribs ...and theirs make me wanna order seconds.. ( if you can't get to Selma.. do something really sacriligeous and get beef ribs from..... gasp....ready? Hometown Buffet....kid you not.. ok you guys can lynch me now.

                        1. re: foodchick45

                          I may get lynched also for this one but the ribs at Yosemite Ranch are very good. SO and I headed over there on a Sunday night (around 9pm, not much else open at that time on Sun.) and the bar still served us. SO had the rib salad (crazy idea, but turned out really good) which came with seven ribs over greens with their "apple blue" dressing. The ribs are apparently slow cooked and you can tell!! They are really tender and fall off the bone without pressure. The sauce is tasty, but could be a generic brand, not housemade (not sure). The ribs would be the only reason I go back, though. Not impressed with my choice, but had to try Yosemite Ranch out anyways.

                          1. re: cocktailqueen77

                            Yosemite Ranch is probably more culinarily acceptable than Hometown, lol...but I'm willing to give credit where credit is due.. I need to correct my earlier post.. Chicken Man is on Hughes rather than Weber... still just as scary a neighborhood but at least the food is good.

                    2. Check out Ruben's Rib Shack at 2421 E. Clinton, not downtown, but across from Veteran's Hospital at the corner of Fresno and Clinton. You park behind the restaurant, which is in a run-down 50's style strip mall facing Clinton. Very divey. There's no dining in, only take out, but the place is clean and open, and there are chairs to wait in. I was lured in when I smelled the smoke from the two huge kettles out in the lot. There was a couple munching ribs right off the bone in front of the register when I walked in. I asked how it was and the woman said, "You've GOT to try this!." I ordered a sampler plate, the most expensive thing on the menu at $14, which served me and my husband ribs, tri-tip, chicken breasts and hot links, plus sides and garlic bread, for two days. Very economical. The meat is very juicy and smoky with a strong hit of heat, maybe chipotle. We had excellent chili beans, pilav, and uninspiring but healthful corn niblets as our sides. The star of the show is definitely the ribs, which are huge, lots of meat, and definitely falling off the bone. Check it out!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: andreamcd

                        Thanks andreamcd!! I will def put this on my chow "to do" list, since I am always on the search for great ribs.

                        1. re: andreamcd

                          Just posted about Ruben's to a more recent thread on BBQ in Fresno:


                          Ruben's Ribs
                          2421 E. Clinton Ave (NW at Fresno St.
                          )(559) 222-7422 (note, this no. wasn't answered when I called, had to dial their other line)
                          (559) 375-6427

                        2. Okay you need to head to Ribs and Tips at Divisadero near H street. They have an excellent, tender tri-tip sandwich and the ribs are great, too!
                          I am headed to Ruben's BBQ today at Clinton & Fresno and I will post my response as well.