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“Herein lies the rub . . .”

Charles Vergos' Rendezvous
Ranked #22 of 1,447 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, 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. The coal chute gave Mr. Charlie a vent for his considerable talent over the grill. 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. Years ago, people started calling them "dry ribs" which is a terrible misnomer. The ribs are neither "wet" nor "dry." They are moist and juicy and come heavily basted in a vinegar solution that should be used for dipping, and they are sprinkled with our unique Rendezvous seasoning. Any use of sauce should be on the side. Most of the main dishes come with a 4 oz side of baked beans and a unique mustard/vinegar based cole slaw. Should you want additional sides, they may be purchased for only $1. 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 to grilled chicken everything is excellent and well seasoned. The newest item, the greek salad, is a recipe that comes all the way from the Vergos' village back in Greece. On your way out, pick up a bag of BBQ popcorn.The Rendezvous can handle parties as large as 300, call us for reservations. Reservations are accepted for 15 people or more during the week and 25 people or more on the weekend based on availablity. Our main dining area is in a basement. If you require elevator access please let our hostess know.
Level Contributor
344 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Herein lies the rub . . .”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Ribs are not my favorite meal—a lot of mess and effort to eat. But after going to Rendezvous, I’ve changed my mind. They use a delicious dry rub and there’s plenty of meat on the bone. We gobbled up the first order quickly so we ordered a second helping and that was finished up in good order as well. We also bought a jar of the dry rub to bring home.

Since this is a popular place, you most likely will have to wait a bit to be seated, especially if you have a large group. Once you walk through the alley entrance you’ll find that the place hums like a very efficient beehive with seating and wait staffs moving at high speed. Once we ordered, the food came very quickly and piping hot.

I’d definitely put this on the “must do” list for Memphis.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelingFan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great service”
Reviewed July 28, 2014 via mobile

The service here was impeccable but I was not too impressed with the barbecue. The ribs weren't as good as they were hyped up to be. They had good chicken. The sides weren't good at all. There was not fascinating about the sausage either.

Helpful?
Thank tsumblerellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campbell, California
Level Contributor
288 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“A wonderful BBQ experience”
Reviewed July 28, 2014

I have tried both the ribs and thr lamb riblets here and the ribs are good however the lamb is simply amazing. You have to queue outside after leaving your name downstairs however it is well worth the wait. Everything comes with coleslaw and beans and the waiters are very dry and funny. The atmosphere is busy and fun and there are lots of interesting photos on the wall. This is a must visit when in Memphis and I will be back.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Exigeken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nuthin' fancy; just good BBQ”
Reviewed July 27, 2014

We wanted a good sampling of Memphis BBQ on this trip. My wife and I grew up in Ohio, and then moved to North Carolina for several years. We now live in Florida, and have traveled throughout the country. One thing we have learned is that BBQ means many different things, and each area of the country puts it's own unique stamp on it's signiture dish.
One of the goals of our Memphis trip was to sample it's BBQ.
To that end Rendezvous came highly recommended for dry rub Memphis ribs.
It certainly didn't dissapoint. The rub was flavorfull, the ribs tender, and the bark from the smoking process was delicous. The sides were excellent, and they had a good sampling of local beers. The pulled chicken and brisket were well worth trying as well.
Just don't be suprised when it comes out on paper plates.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank fenrirsget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
240 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Great Atmosphere with Great Ribs”
Reviewed July 27, 2014

This is a high traffic and tourist kind place. The ribs are pretty good..not really world class...but pretty consistent. At a lot of places the quality of ribs is hit or miss...here you get the same results. Same for the side items..but nothing really outstanding.

With the ribs comes a unique atmosphere. The waiters are awesome..the whole place has a unique Southern style to it that is hard to find anywhere else. So if you are in Memphis you should give it a try. Wait lines are long at peak hours..so the best would be to come early or late. You have to decide for yourself if it is your cup of tea. The same is true for many other Memphis places. Not everybody likes smoke blown if their faces when waiting in a dirty ally outside..other places ( not the Rendevouz ) have filth as part of the decorum...

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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