Since visiting New Orleans last year, I’ve been craving Southern cooking and going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles just tickled my taste buds enough to seek out other Southern cooking restaurants. In speaking with Ellie Viray, I was reminded about Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena.
We arrived at Big Mama’s fairly early around 6 pm and the place was pretty empty, only 2 tables taken. The interior looked a little tired, but the friendly smiles on the wait staff made us feel welcome.
I wanted to try a selection of items so we ordered more food than we probably needed for the four of us. Before our order came out, the waiter brought out corn bread – 2 muffin style cakes with honey. A nice surprise!
We started with a cup of spicy gumbo and it was delish. Gumbo was followed by a full rack of baby back ribs with greens and cabbage. The kids ordered barbecue beef with macaroni & cheese. All dinner entrees come with two sides. And, we also added a side of fried okra.
Barbecue beef was sliced and smothered with bbq sauce and flew off the plate. Mac & cheese, I’m told was good in a different way. The cheese was not smooth, but as described to me a bit “grainy” – still enjoyed!
The star of the meal was the rack of baby backs. The sauce was spicy and the meat was falling off the bones.
As far as the other sides go, fried okra was definitely a hit and I really enjoyed the greens. I don’t know that I would order the cabbage again. It was ok, but not something I’d come back for.
For dessert, we ordered a Red Velvet Cake. Honestly, that was the only disappointment. Even though it was served warm, the cake was very dry and a bit of a disappointment.
However, the barbecue was fantastic and I definitely plan on coming back! Overall, do not come to Mama’s Rib Shack when you are in a hurry. The wait to order is fairly long. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely dinner or take out (call ahead for pick up.) It is reasonably priced and there are nightly specials, as well.
Go check it out and let us know what our favorite dishes are!!
Big Mama’s Rib Shack
1453 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104
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