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May 16, 2011 11:11 AM

SLO Farmer's Market - Best beef ribs?

Who has the best beef ribs at the San Luis Obispo farmers market? My favorite used to be Old Country Deli but they have long since closed. I haven't been back to the area during the week for years so I'm not sure who even does BBQ these days. I know that McClintocks was always the busiest but the line was also ridiculously long and I always felt that it couldn't be THAT much better that would justify the wait.

Also, my GF prefer pork to beef ribs. Does anyone do Santa Maria style pork ribs at farmers market?

Old Country Deli
600 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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  1. no such thing as 'SMstyle pork ribs'. SMS BBQ is whole top block or tri tip, with just a dry garlic salt & pepper rub.

    If you mean BBQ pork ribs with a sweet tomato baste, several places do them. Mo's is pretty good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane

      I thought I had seen pork ribs on the menu at Jocko's before but it appears they don't have an online menu so I can't verify for sure. Other than that I've never seen them at any SM style BBQ before but I figured maybe someone did them even if they aren't "traditional".

      I know Mo's gets a lot of love on this board here (mostly from tourists) but as a local who grew up there I always thought Mo's was pretty mediocre. Maybe they have gotten better in the past few years.

      So nobody has any recs for best beef ribs at the farmer's market then?

      1. re: mliew

        Yes, Jocko's does pork ribs and beef ribs. SMSBBQ is always beef; and never ribs, just beef roasts. Not to say that a restaurant which is grilling over oak won't also serve pork ribs, it's just that they are never called SMSBBQ. Not confusing if you remember that SMSBBQ is always beef.

        I've never had southern style pork ribs out around here that could't be done better at home. Let's just say that time is not taken. Rancho Nipomo's true smoked ribs @166 & 101 would be the exception. Le Boefe's in Atascadero also did, (oh, the BBQ!) but they succumbed to the recession a couple of years ago.

    2. Thought I would post a follow up in case anyone found this thread looking for info.

      I ended up going to farmer's market last Thursday looking some some good beef ribs. Unfortunately the market seems to be much smaller than it used to be about 10 years ago. There is now only a single street of vendors and only two BBQ pits that I saw. Not sure if this is normal or just because the weather has been so cold lately.

      One of the BBQ pits was run by McClintocks and the other was a smaller one run by a company I had never heard of. Nobody was in line at the smaller one and the line for McClintocks was pretty long. I ended up getting ribs from McClintocks. They were decent but I didn't care for the BBQ sauce. I much prefer dry rub only on my beef ribs.

      Bottom line is that it looks like the SLO farmer's market is no longer a good place to find SM style BBQ.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mliew

        Mo's does pork ribs at their booth in Farmers Market, McClintock's does beef ribs and chicken, I believe. There is no one doing a true SM style BBQ of top sirloin, but a few places do tri-tips on sandwiches. There summer brings our more vendors as soon as the tourist arrive.
        I might go down tonight to check who is there. Lots of great strawberries.

        1. re: Bruce in SLO

          Went to FM last night.
          A couple places had Tri-tip sandwiches, only Mo-Tav had a grill going with about a couple dozen whole roasts on the grill. McClintock's had a long line for the only ribs available.
          Mo's BBQ had pork ribs. Really miss the Old Country Deli.

          Old Country Deli
          600 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

          1. re: Bruce in SLO

            Ditto on Old County Deli. Definitely my favorite.

            I guess they never did end up opening a new location. I see that they actually still sell products through their website ( but no mention of any possible restaurant front.

        2. re: mliew

          I was just down there. The smaller one was alright. Old Country Deli was my favorite, but alas.....

          Old Country Deli
          600 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

          1. re: mliew

            The Downtown Business Assn which sponsors the market decided to redesign the market last year, proposing to move many of the farm stands off Higuera to a side street, ostensibly because of sidewalk widening on Higuera between Chorro and Morro, which narrowed the street. They planned to eliminate the farm stands along the south side of the street. The farmers staged a coup and the entire community was in an uproar, public meetings, etc etc. The upshot is that now there is a Tuesday afternoon market in front of the Broad St Grange Hall and a Sunday morning market at Kennedy Fitness on Tank FArm., so some of the original Higuera vendors may be gone from Thurs Nite. Really poor economic climate now also probably limits the vendor and crowd turnout. Winter and early spring was never as busy as tourist season anyway. It costs a lot to throw an extra dinner time crew at Farmer's Market, so many restaurants probably cut this expenditure back.