Eat: Ruben’s Rib Shack

23 Feb

So for months I’ve been wanting to try a rib place I continuously pass, and finally, this week, it happened.

Initially I was going to make fun of Ruben’s Rib Shack for sporting a sign on its barbecue demanding “Eat Ribs Daily,” even while the place is closed Sundays. But after trying their ribs, there will be no mocking in this post. The ribs are good. Like, really good.

Eat ribs daily ... despite what Rush Limbaugh says

Ruben's Clinton-facing window

Ruben’s is located at 2421 East Clinton Avenue, at Fresno Avenue, and is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can eat in-house or take it to go.

The wings menu


Ruben's specials

Ruben's sides

I wonder which Fresno bloggers are up to the hot wing challenge? Mike Oz? Ed Stewart? James Collier? Alisa Manjarrez? I’m looking at you.

The challenge

The ribs

The ribs were so tender — they literally fell off the bone. They were so smokey and delicious.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the brisket, but as someone who has never eaten brisket before, I didn’t know what to expect. It tasted okay, but following the ribs, it just wasn’t going to compete. And the chicken was good, though not as amazing as the ribs, because, you know … it was chicken.

The ribs are seriously the star here, but the sides I tried were pretty good. The mashed potatoes were so smooth and buttery, I really could have eaten twice the amount provided (though my pants would not have fit afterward and I would have hated myself). I also had the green beans, which were very nice. It’s kind of hard to make green beans more than they are (unless you make them fresh yourself), so saying they were adequate is a compliment. I liked that they were flavored with tomato and onion, and not bacon as is the trend these days, because it made me feel I was undermining all that meat with green goodness. Delusion is where I live when it comes to rib-eating vs. dieting.

I would eat Ruben’s ribs again in a heartbeat. No doubt. If you’re looking for a local place to get your feed on, I encourage trying out Ruben’s Rib Shack. It’s local, it’s good, and Ruben, who serves up the food, seems like a really nice guy.

You won’t be sorry.


6 Responses to “Eat: Ruben’s Rib Shack”

  1. Enrique Meza February 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    I pass by that place on a regular basis I’ve always wanted to stop too. Thanks for being the guinea pig. I shall go.

    • heatherinfresno February 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Come back and let me know what you think.

  2. ed February 24, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    hey, if you can get a blogger wing challenge together, i’m in. after all, i am already undefeated on such. i broke the spirits of lola the chola and the fresnan @ milano. famous whitewater tried to hang, but still was match. so bring on oz, collier and manjarrez. the wings will be be fly away, the fries will go down like greased lightning, and I’ll still be cham-p-on. when all is said and done, i’ll be the satiated champ, & ruben’s can get some good pub in the fresno

  3. brodiemash February 24, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I’ve always heard the term “falling off the bone” but it wasn’t until I came here that I actually experienced it. They were damn yummy, those ribs. The chicken… it was cool but the ribs, top notch!

  4. Fresnobites March 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Nice review Heather. Def a good joint. Try their mac-n-cheese next time it was great. Great recon work finding the smoker out back too.

    • heatherinfresno March 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      Thanks. I’ll give the mac and cheese a try next time.

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