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Memphis Restaurants

Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous

Updated 12/31/1969

Fodor's Review

They sell plenty of dry-style barbecued ribs in this downtown restaurant in an 1890 building, in an alley just north of the Peabody Hotel. A diverse group chows down in the antiques- and collectibles-filled basement dining room, and the service is among the most efficient in town. The menu also includes shoulder sandwiches, pork loin, chicken, and a shrimp skillet.

Restaurant Information

Address:

52 S. 2nd St., Memphis, Tennessee, 38103, United States

Map It

Phone:

901-523–2746

Website: www.hogsfly.com/

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Tues.–Thurs.

Updated 12/31/1969

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By BB2008

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Jul 27, 2008

The Best Ribs

The place is the real deal. Great atmosphere and great place to people watch. You never know who you will see there. The ribs are one of a kind, I love both wet and dry. This is where you go for the dry. Add the sauce after. The lamb riblets are very good too for appetizer. Head across the street to the Peabody for a drink after. Makes for a great Memphis evening.

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Dec 20, 2007

Caveat Eater: If you know DRY ribs it is outstanding. Otherwise go eat at TGI Friday's

It is obvious from the reviews that some people love this place; others hate it. Those who don't like it may include some cognoscenti, but most show they wouldn't know a dry style rib if it hit them over the head. That's OK, since not everyone should like this unique-to-Memphis style -- which, according to history books was first found here at Rendezvous. So while I understand why some may dislike the ribs, the other comments are baffling

(and wrong): - They use no MSG. The spices are pickle vinegar, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Period. - the baked beans are made on premises. Not out of a Campbell's can (frankly that would be more expensive than making them as they do). - The alleyway. Whether in Memphis or Kansas City or Texas, the best barbeque tends to be in seedy and unsafe areas. This place is actually in a fairly upscale location, an alleyway across the street from the famed Peabody Hotel On the other hand, the people who give this place 5s across the board are probably exaggerating their other ratings because they are simply smitten by the delicious spiced, and, yes, DRY, ribs. Their beer list is Bud, Bud Lite and Michelob. They could do much better (NB a block and a half away, towards Beale Street, is the Flying Saucer Pub, with one of the world's widest selection of beers). You usually expect a lunch of BBQ to cost you $10 to $15. Here, it cost me $35 (with a pitcher of "beer" and a starter of lovely BBQ lamb riblets). Not exactly cheap. But unique, historical, and good if you know what you are looking for. If you don't know what a dry BBQ is, then Rendezvous is the place to try it. Try it with an open mind. You may love it or you may hate it. But if you have no open mind, or if you think that ribs are not ribs unless slathered in a tomato-molasses sauce, then go to Neely's (eschew the more touristy Corky's).

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Nov 11, 2007

Have to go at least once

This resturant may not be for everyone but it definately is a must-go. I personally like the dry rub ribs...very Memphis...but there are sauces for those who prefer it. The staff is not know for their personality...but they get you your food fast. I find this place has a unique atmosphere...and walking down the alley gives it a "something you have to know about" feel.

By Jenn

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Oct 17, 2006

Worth Trying Once- Wouldn't Go Back.

Hated having to go down the Alley to get to it. The alley smells horrible and their were bums everywhere. The coleslaw is great- some of the best I've ever had. The ribs were horrible- no real flavor and I ended up sick from all the MSG. I didn't even bother to try the beans. The staff was ok, I'd recommend trying it once for the experience. However, I will not be back.

By cecile

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Aug 19, 2006

everything is great at the rendezvous

The waiters are very nice.It's the best BBQ in the mem.If you go to memphis you have to go to the Rendezvous!!!!!

By Jeff

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Feb 1, 2006

Now I wouldn't rib you!

WOW! Worth a trip to Memphis just to eat!

By Douglas

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Jan 22, 2006

All Depends on What you Like

This is an interesting restaurant. The ribs are quite good, but you have to like dry rub. Its crowded most of the time and that's because lots of people like them. You may or may not, hard to say until you try them. Those reviewers who gave such a negative review obviously don't, but that should not dissuade from trying the ribs. Also this is one of those places where the service is supposed to be a little edgy, but its fun. Also, they have

expanded their selection of drinks. You need to go once.

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By Amy

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Aug 23, 2005

Famous BBQ

Probably not the best BBQ in town, but most definitely the most famous. You may even have a celebrity sighting while dining. The staff is not overly friendly, especially on busy nights. They get you in and out. It is a great place for BBQ if you are in the downtown area.

By Donna

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Jul 31, 2005

Great Food

Excellent dry-rubbed ribs. Coleslaw was delicious too. The only negative was the alley that you go down to get there. It's got dumpsters, nasty water, and it stinks. But don't let it stop you. The food is worth it.

By Dana

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Jul 1, 2005

BBQ needs fries like cheesesteaks need tofu

To the reviewer from MD who wanted fries with her 'Q .. that is the silliest thing I've ever heard. Been to dozens of BBQ joints in the south and spend lots of time in Memphis, and have NEVER seen fries on the menu. The spicy sweet slaw is the perfect pairing for the rendezvous ribs. If you want fries, go to McDonalds, it'll be one less person in line waiting for a table in Percy's section.

By Dee

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Jun 20, 2005

HATED IT...Ribs Rubbed Me the Wrong Way!

I agree with everyone who gave this dive a poor rating...the ribs were dry and tasteless except for the overdose of msg that I got from the dry rub sitting on top of my meat... the beans were surely nothing more than right out of the can (and not even Campbell's)... the slaw was unrecognizable...the wait staff was impersonal and arrogant...and to think, this place was actually recommended by a local police officer as the very best in town...I would

have preferred being arrested. If these are the best ribs Memphis can offer, I need to quit my day job and open my own rib joint right in Memphis. P.S. The crowds are truely a mystery, you will have to wait quite a while for your disappointing dinner.

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By Wendy

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Apr 12, 2005

Don't Believe the Hype

This place is lauded everywhere, but just doesn't live up to its hype!! The servers are notoriously gruff and very eager to see you leave. The ribs can't compete with those of the less famous ones at BBQ Shop on Madison or Interstate on South Third. The only truly great thing about this place is the aroma that it sends into the streets of downtown - and you'll need that because finding the place is impossible without following your nose. As for

me, I'll enjoy the sent and drive a bit east for better food and service that actually wants you to be there!

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By Steven

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Feb 16, 2005

Most Overrated Place in Memphis

Not that this review will matter, as every tourist goes here (or is taken here), and it gets such great press, but the Rendezvous is not at all the best in traditional dry rub Memphis Q. And it's way overpriced - I'm always amazed at fellow locals who like the ribs here. Tourist trap? - Yes; REAL Memphis Q? - NO

By Bill

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Aug 12, 2004

Memphis Best Rib Experience

Just the best. I go every chance I get. Incredible atmosphere and just a lot of fun. Cold beer, cheese plate, cold beer, combo (ribs and pork loin), cold beer and it's off to the Peabody for a night cap. Can't beat it!!!

By AK

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Feb 7, 2004

You gotta go...

When I moved here, Rendezvous was on everyone's list of places to eat. You haven't been to Memphis, if you don't go here. Dry rub ribs & pulled pork are superb! Don't expect too much, it's all about the food. Beer & wine served in plastic cups.

By Andre

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Aug 7, 2002

Only Elvis is eating better BBQ

On a recent driving vacation my family and I happened to wander into Memphis about noon on a Thursday. We had time for one meal. There was no discussion. The one meal had to be at Rendezvous, and the meal had to include ribs. We were blown away. My 14-year-old daughter who ate nothing but Caesar salads and club sandwiches for the rest of the trip wanted seconds of the pork nachos. Son ate all of his ribs and a good portion of his mother's leftovers.

Wife and I liked it so much that we rerouted our trip to come back thru Memphis on the way home for another go at The 'Vous. The pulled pork was marvelous and the Cole slaw was the best I have ever eaten. Much to our disappointment the restaurant is closed on Mondays. We left Niagara Falls early to time our arrival in Memphis for dinner and the place was closed! I guess we will be doing what Elvis has to do now to get his ribs; ordering by Fed Ex.

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By Keith

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Mar 28, 2002

If you like Ed Debevics

then you'll like the Rendezvous. If, on the other hand, you need gentility with your pork bar-b-q then go to Corky's. No reservations, plastic dinnerware, impossible to find and hard to get into must say something about the food. It's best not to go before a Redbirds game though.

By Mike

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Nov 20, 2001

I love BBQ, but I HATE the Rondevous

I was born and raised on Memphis BBQ. I have nly been to the Rondevous once, and will not go back again. What kind of southern restaurant does not even have BUTTER to serve with it's bread. The ribs are WAY overrated. If you want GOOD BBQ, try Interstate BBQ or Neeleys BBQ.

By Mickey

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Oct 22, 2000

Slaw and beans are an afterthought here.

The bbq is excellent and served by some of the most entertaining waiters around. The slaw and beans leave a lot to be desired. I highly recommend the pork loin plate if you like your bbq with a "wet"sauce. The dry "rubbed"ribs are wonderful. Lots of atmosphere in a casual setting.

By holly

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Jun 29, 2000

we'll go to rendezvous anytime to slurp up their pork bbq

we loved this place. a native reccommended the place and it was very close to our hotel. the bbq is the best. my sister thought her ribs a little dry, but i loved my bbq pork sandwich and the prices were so reasonable. our teenage daughters loved it too. one complaint - only served beer, no wine.

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