Saturday, September 19, 2009

Charles Vergo's Rendezvous (8/10) - 52 S 2nd St., Memphis, TN 38103

After a quick nap at the Downtown Memphis Marriott, which we locked down for $90 using Priceline's "Name Your Price" feature for my first time, Matt and I were ready for a wild night of barbecue and booze on Beale Street.  Charles Vergo's Rendezvous is a staple in Memphis culinary community, and is located in an alley within a stones throw of all the excitement and debauchery.

There is a lot of pride and history at Rendezvous.  For those interested, have at it by reading here, here, here, and here.  For me, Rendezvous has always been a must stop whenever I've visited Memphis.  So when Matt starting throwing around the names of restaurants that we should consider eating at for dinner there really wasn't much of conversation.  After entering the restaurant and walking downstairs to check-in with the hostess, I returned to the upper landing to weigh myself on Rendezvous' commercial sized scale.  In all the few times that I've eaten at the restaurant, I had never noticed the large dining hall upstairs.  With a 45 minute wait, Matt and I decided to take a seat at a large picnic table upstairs and order the sausage and cheese plate and a pitcher of Michelob, the only draft beer served.  The plate was delicious.  The combination  of meat and cheese on top of a saltine cracker definitely hit the spot.  I don't think Matt was paying too much attention, because I wouldn't be surprised if I ate approximately 70% of the food on our plate.

Finally our table was called and we made our way downstairs to our table.  Without question, one has to order the ribs.  They are charcoal grilled (not smoked), but nonetheless taste great, and arrive at the table completely dry and covered with seasoning.  We ate our half slab and then decided to order a pork sandwich as a frame of reference to compare to the other barbecue establishments we had tried over the previous 2 days.

The ribs are Rendezvous have great non-smoky flavor but aren't very thick or meaty.  If you arrive with an aggressive appetite, definitely order the full slab. I was also indifferent to eating the ribs dry or with the sauce that was provided on the table.  The pork in the sandwich was pulled, a definitely preference for me, and was moist with a lot of flavor.  I remember being significantly impressed with the sandwich.  We forgot to take a picture, paid our check, and headed out to party with the Ole Miss fans on Beale Street who were out celebrating their first game and victory of the season against The University of Memphis.  The only downside to the night was that I didn't see any Memphis fans wearing their school's official game day shirts.  A dance in the fountains made me forget all that.

Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous on Urbanspoon

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Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.