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“Dry rub bar-b-que”

Charles Vergos' Rendezvous
Ranked #22 of 1,494 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $23
Cuisines: Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: The Rendezvous, founded by Charlie Vergos in 1948, started out as an 80 seat tavern serving ham and cheese sandwiches. When Charlie cleaned out the basement beneath his diner, he discovered a coal chute and started a barbecue legend. He developed a unique seasoning fusing his Greek heritage with spices he enjoyed from New Orleans. Mr. Charlie was a collector and hung antiques, memorabilia, and artwork on the walls. This, along with a soulful jukebox, lively waiters, and aromas from the kitchen helped him to create an atmosphere unequalled in the city of Memphis. Today, the restaurant is still in the Vergos family and run by Mr. Charlie's three kids. The ribs still taste the same as they did in the beginning. Ribs are the Rendezvous' specialty. While Rendezvous is famous for its ribs, don't overlook the other items on the menu. From the beef brisket to the pulled pork shoulder sandwich everything is excellent and well seasoned. We take reservations for parties of 8 or more.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Went on a Saturday night with a group of 10-our waiter was AWESOME! Several of us in the group didn't know what to order and he asked us what type of food we liked and he immediately knew what to get for each of us! He was SPOT ON!! Excellent service and a great place to begin your saturday night in Memphis! So much to look at in the place, you just can't see it all!!

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Thank TreasureTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,059 - 3,063 of 4,059 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

And on a Saturday night. Huge amounts of people in the alley and in the entrance but we went right up to the lady and told her party of 8, and we were seating immediately. Basement restaurant, great ambience, nice decor. Service was friendly. Menu limited, but all of us ordered something different. I had the pulled pork sandwich and it comes with a small side of beans and slaw. Slaw was brown and tasted fine but different from any slaw I've had. The bun was just the cheap kind you buy at the grocers. The meat was good, but overall it was just okay. I had a piece of my friend's BBQ chicken, and that tasted better.

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Thank DaytonJG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

The Rendevous is a Memphis tradition. The dry rub ribs are very good. The building has much charm. Be prepared for a long wait if there is a conference in town. I suggest getting there early. Staff is friendly too.

Thank Deborah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Do not go on dressed up. Sorry this is not a place you want to be in a coat and tie (learned by experience). If you do go in like that, get rid of the coat and roll up your sleeves.

I sat at the bar and if you order anything but the ribs, shame on you. You're gonna get messy dirty - but so is everyone else!

AWESOME!

Thank RoamingRadioGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

I'm a KCBS certified barbeque judge. Went here just short of five years ago and had a fantastic experience. Last week was quite different. Poor to mediocre ribs. Membrane was left on! Waiter said they'd been leaving it on for quite awhile. This keeps smoke flavor from permeating from the bottom, and is just plain lazy of the cooks to not remove it. In BBQ competitions, a cook would be laughed at if he left it on. Anyway, I think the Rendezvous is just living on its laurels, and charging a pretty penny for it too. They're going down hill, and eventually the public will learn. It'll take a while, but when the quality goes, the customers eventually learn they're being hosed.

Thank tim w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hogsfly, Owner at Charles Vergos' Rendezvous, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Tim W,

I’m sorry you did not enjoy your ribs. Anytime anyone has any problem at The Rendezvous, whether it is food or service, please let one of the owners know. There is almost always a Vergos family member on the premises. With that being said, I would like to take the opportunity to respond to some of your complaints.

We still cook our ribs using the same method my father developed nearly fifty years ago-before anyone else in the country even served ribs in restaurants. When he first started cooking loin back ribs they cost $0.10 per pound and were considered scrap meat and thrown into silage. Now virtually everyone in our business uses this cut of meat. We have never taken the membrane off of the ribs. We think it allows the juices to soak in as well as capture the smoke flavor. Our ribs are hand cooked over charcoal; we don’t use a rotisserie oven. Most of our cooks have been with us for more than 30 years.

Our prices are comparable to most other full sit down barbecue restaurants. Our entrée prices start at just $6.50 and go up to $19.75 for a rib/brisket combination plate that includes sides. I’m proud that we maintain competitive prices while paying for our employees to have health insurance, paid maternity leave, one month’s paid vacation as well as paid sick days. There aren’t many family owned restaurants that can make those claims.

I can assure you that the Rendezvous does not rest on its laurels. Memphis has hundreds of barbecue restaurants so there is no way we could have survived in business for 65 years if we just rested on our laurels. Our family and our loyal staff work really hard every day to uphold the legacy my father created. We are consistently striving to make our restaurant better by adding new menu items like beef brisket, Greek salads, and vegetarian red beans & rice. We have recently become Project Green Fork certified because we recycle all of our bottles, plastic-ware, cardboard, and compost food waste, which is not easy for a restaurant that seats 700 people at one time.

The Rendezvous is a great restaurant. Of course we can make mistakes just like any restaurant can. All we ask is to let us know when we do so that those mistakes can be corrected on the spot.

John C. Vergos, co-owner

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