Pasadena >Food & Dining > Big Mama's Rib Shack
1453 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110434.171034 -118.132254
Tuesday 12:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday 12:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Thursday 12:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Friday 12:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Saturday 12:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Neighborhoods: North Central
Example: great place for good bread – Big Mama's rib shack...I must say...going into this, the name had me SOLD! visions of cornbread, fried okra, greens and slow cooked pork clouded my mind on the drive into Pasadena. The location is unassuming from the outside and, quite surprisingly, adorned in a modern color palate complete with sharp furniture, dark woods and crisp lines. It looked much more like a Pasadena lounge than a Southern rib joint inside...Not bad at all, just unexpected.
We were with a large party, so I had the fortune of trying a little of this and a little of that...My plate was blessed with everything from jambalaya to catfish and cornbread to ox tails. I opted for the pork ribs with fried okra and red beans and rice. I finished that with a fried chicken thigh...Big Mama is quoted saying "baby, if the colonel made fried chicken like me, he'd a been a general" Cute. But not sure that was on the spot...Coulda been closer to "Honey, had the Colonel made fried chicken like me, he'd a been medically dishcharged for his blood-pressure" SALT CITY! The ribs were succulent...meaty, moist and falling off the bone. The sauce was a little sweet for my liking...but definitely did the job. The fried okra receives a passing grade...had I closed my eyes and been served it, I may have mistaken it for Carl's Jr's fried zucchini...Not a big winner, much like the chicken dinner. The red beans and rice were nice! Smoky and rich with just the right amount of chili powder and paprika to spice up the night. The service was moderate at best...I would have imagined the waitress would have paid more attention to the biggest table in her room...Finally, Big Mama was OUT OF DESSERT when dinner was over. Dessert was gone? wow. Interesting.
So I had a bite of everything and can rate on a 1-5, 5 being best
5-sorry Big Mama...hey the Coronas were COLD!
4-red beans and rice, cajun fries
3-ribs, fried catfish, fried chicken, bbq chicken
2-fried okra, blackened catfish, jambalaya, gumbo
1-mac n cheese, greens
Fantastic Soul Food! – mmmmm great soul food!!! I got the cajun combo which came with TONS of food!!! Although I don't think they are as known for cajun it was still pretty good, great hush puppies and fried ocra. Although I think next time I will come for some BBQ or Fried chicken, yum! Good service, selection and reasonable prices.
This Pasadena "shack" is where folks go for Southern fare in a cool, contemporary setting. – In Short
Named after a real person, Big Mama's originally opened in Las Vegas before planting more roots in Pasadena in 2002. Since then, this family-run location--decked out in cherry wood chairs, white linen tablecloths and splashes of red, purple and yellow on the walls--has been serving folks a bevy of Southern dishes like spicy jambalaya, fried catfish, chicken and shrimp creole, candied yams and barbecue ribs.
GOOD SOUL FOOD – THIS PLACE IS SIMPLY THE BEST .. NOTHING ELSE SAID .. PRICES , FOOD , PARKING , RESPECT, LOVE IT ... I TRAVEL INTO TOWN BORN AND RAISED IN AZUSA BUT FOR THE LAST THREE YRS IN LAKE HAVASU, AZ.. AND LORD KNOW I CANT FIND ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN HAVASU .. JUST TRY IT U WONT BE MAD
Great place to get our soul food fix. – Although we've lived in the Pasadena area for years, we only recently found Big Mama's. In the last week, we've been there twice. I'm not a big BBQ fan...so the appeal of this restaurant for me is based on the classic southern/soul food options...items like oxtail, fried okra, red beans & rice (all of which were right on and definitely satisfied the need for southern food). Last night I tried the fried snapper and it was in a crisp cornmeal batter (like my now favorite fried okra) with a hint of peppery spice. My husband has tried the smothered pork chops and the smothered chicken...both of which he enjoyed...although prefers the pork chops.
The waitstaff has been extremely friendly and accommodating. The location is easy to find and in the evenings there is lots of parking available even if the parking lot is full. The best thing about this restaurant is that the prices are reasonable. Dining out in LA these days can be prohibitive sometimes. But you can easily get away with having a filling dinner for under $12 (less that what I sometimes pay for lunch in West Hollywood).
I definitely recommend Big Mama's if you're in the Pasadena area and are hankerin' for a touch of the South.
It's about the cobbler! – Like the previous review - the BBQ was OK. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. It was OK. The catfish was better than ok - ditto the sausage. With that said, the cobbler was a show-stopper! The best I've ever eaten, period. (If it helps, I'm well over 50 and have eaten a lot of cobbler over the years!)
I also liked the friendly, informal but attentive service. Lastly, you can't beat the price.
Big Mama should get a kiss! – Big Mama's Rib Shack serves up some pretty good BBQ. I tried a pretty much a little bit of everything off of the menu. The fried chicken is great. The chicken is moist and the skin is crisp and flavorful. You can taste the spices they use. My favorite is the BBQ stuff. We got the BBQ combination and it was yummy! Ribs, chicken, and the sausage tasted nicely cooked and the BBQ sauce was delicious. Not too sweet with a little spicy kick. I also tried the gumbo and jambalaya which was OK. Not something I would order again though. The sides that come with the dinners are really good too. I recommend trying the fried okra. Make sure you come ready to eat well, because Big Mama feeds you well. There is a lot of food and you go home stuffed. Despite what other reviewers said, I thought the service was very cordial. We went when it wasn't busy at all so maybe that is why they were able to have the time to be a bit warmer to us. Go try it out!
Great fried chicken & corn bread! – Don't even get me started on Big Mama's. Just thinking about it makes me want to have their candied yams, fried chicken, and corn bread. The service is mixed and the ambience is okay. I would recommend it!
yummy bbq!! – this place has the yummiest bbq pork ribs i've had in a long time the meat is cooked just right and the sauce is a little spicy, which is nice, other places that we've been to their sauces are more sweet, this sauce is good their bbq chicken was pretty good but not the best i've had, their links are also okay but i've also had better, try their cajun fries they are really yummy and a bit spicy, their cajun battered slices of potatoe wedges fried , really good. my husband has had their smothered pork chops and regular fried pork chops, the catfish and oyster sandwhiches, all of it very tasty according to him. we usually order take out and the service has always been friendly and attentive, we'll defenitly keep coming here for some very tasty, spicy, and smokey bbq ribs.
NOT FOR BBQ – This place has some pretty good soul food. The greens are fresh, the fried chicken & fish is good. The BBQ is not very good. Nothing exciting & rather disappointing. Ribs & hot links were weak, the sauce was like it was out of a jar. Will go for the soul food, not the ribs. Should change the name to Big Mamas Soul Food Shack.
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