Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rendezvous - Memphis, TN


This past year, I've had the pleasure of taking a number of business trips throughout the United States. One of my stops this past year was to Memphis. Memphis is known for 3 things: Elvis, country music, and barbecue. Even before I got down there, so many people told me that I had to try Charlie Vergos Rendezvous. So, I knew that I had to check this place out.

One thing I quickly learned is that Rendezvous is difficult to find. It's located in an alley called General Washburn's alley in downtown Memphis. After 2 unsucessful attempts, I finally found the restaurant. My colleague and I parked at a nearby hotel, and as soon as I got out of the car, I could smell the charcoal and I could feel my mouth beginning to water. At this point, nobody needed to give me directions because my nose knew where to go.

You enter this restaurant by walking down a flight of stairs. The restaurant is packed with numerous tables and was very crowded. After waiting a few minutes, we were seated and were greeted by a very nice waiter. My colleague and I ordered a full slab of the charcoal broiled pork ribs.

Before I go into the details of the meal, I must explain that Memphis barbecue is very unique. Typical barbecue is drenched in barbecue sauce and slow cooked for hours in the pit. Memphis is unique because instead of drenching the ribs in the barbecue sauce, they coat the meat with a spice rub.

The waiter came back with our ribs and it smelled incredible. One would think that meat would be dry and tough without using barbecue sauce, but that was not the case. The ribs were juicy and so tender that the meat effortlessly fell off the bone. And for those of you who need barbecue sauce with your barbecue, there is a bottle of sauce you can pour onto your meat, but I wouldn't use too much because it'll mask the true flavor of your food. The ribs also were served with small containers of beans and slaw.

So, if you're ever in the Memphis area, this is a place that you must try. I already want to go back.

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