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Smokin Gator
12-11-2006, 04:17 PM
I am surprising the wife with a trip to Memphis without the kids!!! We are going to eat Q and listen to blues music. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

1MoreFord
12-11-2006, 04:23 PM
Gator,

I Like Central BBQ. Interstate BBQ's not bad either. Don't really care for the Rendezvous.

I'm sure others will drop by with other suggestions shortly.

Arlin_MacRae
12-11-2006, 04:26 PM
Down on Beale Street there's a place called "Pig" that's really good. No really - that's its name!!

Web site: http://www.pigonbeale.com/about.htm

The_Kapn
12-11-2006, 04:27 PM
Take a gander here for a starting list :lol:

http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19353&highlight=memphis+bbq

TIM

Smokin Gator
12-12-2006, 06:04 AM
Thank you!!! I think I may have to try them all.

We are also taking a side trip down to Clarksdale MS. If you know of anything there....

SmokeInDaEye
12-12-2006, 08:44 AM
My two favorites right now are Central BBQ as 1MoreFord mentioned, and The Bar-B-Q Shop on Madison (http://www.barbqshop.com/).

Also, if you have time be sure to swing by Gus's Fried Chicken at 310 S. Front Street (runs along the Mississippi), just a couple blocks down from Beale Street. It's an offshoot of the original in Mason, TN.

I brought a bunch back after thanksgiving for a small Brethren get together and they all approved!

SmokeInDaEye
12-12-2006, 09:00 AM
One more thought. If you end up at Central BBQ, check out the dry rubbed wings. Had them last month for the first time and they were AMAZING.

According to the menu they are marinaded overnight, smoked for three hours then finished in the fryer to crisp them. They are coated in your choice of a standard wet hot wing sauce or (my choice) their dry rub coating.

Smokin Gator
12-13-2006, 05:55 AM
Thanks for the input brethren. I will let you know which ones I go to and give a report on the food. I can't wait...

Roo-B-Q'N
12-13-2006, 07:27 AM
Smokin Gator when are you going to be in Memphis. Char and I are going to be there for New Years.

And thanks for asking the question I was headed here to ask. Got some good ideas for Q now.

Smokin Gator
12-14-2006, 11:59 AM
Smokin Gator when are you going to be in Memphis. Char and I are going to be there for New Years.

And thanks for asking the question I was headed here to ask. Got some good ideas for Q now.



I'm going to be there 2 weeks later. I hope you have a great time and post some info when you get back.

Roo-B-Q'N
01-04-2007, 05:20 PM
I'm going to be there 2 weeks later. I hope you have a great time and post some info when you get back.

Had an awesome time in Memphis . . . Well part of it anyway. Liberty bowl was going on so had to stay at the airport Radisson for 2 days (I DO NOT recommend this hotel) So Q was sparse. Once we got down to the downtown area we had a much better time and Q was more accessable.

I was stationed in the Navy just North of Memphis up in Millington, so we took a trip up there on Friday and ate at Pig. The one down on Beale Street has a place up there. Had the ribs which were pretty good and after all the BBQ I ate was probably the second best overall. The place felt like a chain, so wasn't overly impressed with decor and all that but the food was ok. Had a bit of smoke
flavor and was tender. Same with my wife's pulled pork sammi.
Actually saw and smelt smoke coming from the chimney (which here in a bit will make sense.)

Friday we had dinner at Smokey Bones, don't know why, but had to try it as I had read so much on The Brethren about the place. BBQ Chicken nachos were good, but the rest left ALOT to be desired. No wood was harmed in the making of our meal I am sure.

Saturday we had lunch at Central BBQ I will tell you right now they had the best BBQ we had hands down. Started with the wings, both dry and wet and let me tell you both were good but will let you decide for yourself which is the best. I also had the ribs half dry and half wet. Also very excellent! When we were driving away saw the guy tossing logs into a large horse tank of water. Don't know why he soaks his wood but he does. That and the smokey flavor assured me they were truely smoked.

Saturday night we went to the Rondezvous (sp). Once we got there and read the menu I knew we were not going to have smoked ribs. They
touted them as "charcoal broiled". Have no clue what that means,
but were less than impressed with flavor and texture. It was about an hour wait and during that time you could stand in line for a warm pitcher of beer or a glass of wine. This is done upstairs and once you get to the counter the guy barks at you "talk to me" that is the extent of the conversation that you get or he wants.

Sunday we had lunch at the Blue City Cafe on Beale. Again no smoke, or at leat that I could see, smell or taste but they were much better than the other places I went to.

We tried to find Interstate BBQ but couldn't find it. The area where it is supposed to be (3rd street and I-55) did not look the safest place to get out of the car. So use your judgement.

On Monday at the airport I was going to try Interstate BBQ as they have a location there and then Corkey's as they also have a location at the airport. We got there early enough to do this but noticed an early flight home and jumped into standbye mod. Didn't think we had a chance, but turned out we could fly home early. I was a bit bummed but (don't tell my wife) I was ready to head home.

It was fun to ask just about anybody where to get the best BBQ. You will get so many different answers. I also had recommendations to Rum Boogie on Beale and A&R BBQ on 51 (be careful there).

SmokeInDaEye
01-04-2007, 06:26 PM
Nice! Glad you got to try out those dry wings at Central. Definitely different than anything I've had before.

Smokin Gator
01-13-2007, 12:07 PM
We made it to Memphis!!!! We are staying downtown just off Beale Street and right around the corner from the Rendevous. It is awesome to walk out of the building and smell Q.

Last night we had dinner at Central BBQ as recommended by several brethren. Let me tell you folks that is some good stuff. We had their smoked dry wings and they were unreal. We also ordered the dry rub rib dinner for 2 which turned out to be a rack of baby backs, 4 side dishes, and some rolls. The sides were decent but the ribs were awesome. They were well smoked, tender, and didn't need a drop of sauce with that rub. I could have easily eaten the whole rack.

I sampled all of the sauces and none of them were outstanding but all were good. The hot sauce was the one I thought the most of. They also have a very thin vinegar sauce that a lady we talked to said is there signature sauce. Again, it was good but not outstanding.

There was a steady stream of people coming through the door but the owner did take the time to talk some Q with me. The place is small with about 10 tables inside. The weather was nice though and we sat on the large deck out front. Very nice little Q joint indeed. Thanks for the tips.

Headed out to Clarksdale MS to go the the Delta Blues Museum. I'll post more later.

rbinms33
01-13-2007, 12:18 PM
We tried to find Interstate BBQ but couldn't find it. The area where it is supposed to be (3rd street and I-55) did not look the safest place to get out of the car. So use your judgement.

During the day it's ok but not a place I'd want to be at night. If you get off I-55 on 3rd St going north, it's about a half mile to a mile up on the left. I think it's the first red light you come to but not really sure.

One of my favorite places.....that's for sure. It's not fancy at all. It looks like a small place that's been added on to over the years. I say this because of the different levels of floor. Good Q though!

rbinms33
01-13-2007, 12:20 PM
We made it to Memphis!!!! We are staying downtown just off Beale Street and right around the corner from the Rendevous. It is awesome to walk out of the building and smell Q.

Last night we had dinner at Central BBQ as recommended by several brethren. Let me tell you folks that is some good stuff. We had their smoked dry wings and they were unreal. We also ordered the dry rub rib dinner for 2 which turned out to be a rack of baby backs, 4 side dishes, and some rolls. The sides were decent but the ribs were awesome. They were well smoked, tender, and didn't need a drop of sauce with that rub. I could have easily eaten the whole rack.

I sampled all of the sauces and none of them were outstanding but all were good. The hot sauce was the one I thought the most of. They also have a very thin vinegar sauce that a lady we talked to said is there signature sauce. Again, it was good but not outstanding.

There was a steady stream of people coming through the door but the owner did take the time to talk some Q with me. The place is small with about 10 tables inside. The weather was nice though and we sat on the large deck out front. Very nice little Q joint indeed. Thanks for the tips.

Headed out to Clarksdale MS to go the the Delta Blues Museum. I'll post more later.

Sounds like Central BBQ took care of ya. Were you able to make it to the BBQ Shop?

Roo-B-Q'N
01-16-2007, 07:35 AM
During the day it's ok but not a place I'd want to be at night. If you get off I-55 on 3rd St going north, it's about a half mile to a mile up on the left. I think it's the first red light you come to but not really sure.

One of my favorite places.....that's for sure. It's not fancy at all. It looks like a small place that's been added on to over the years. I say this because of the different levels of floor. Good Q though!

We drove up and down 3rd Street but couldn't find it. Saw Rachel Ray did a piece on BBQ last week and Interstate was the one she went to in Memphis. Wished I would have found it now.

OK Gator, I know you went to more than one Q joint. Let's here some more.

Smokin Gator
01-16-2007, 01:34 PM
Alright Brethren... here is my rundown on the eats and blues in Memphis and Clarksdale MS...

As I posted before we ate at Central BBQ on Friday night. I won't rewrite that review.

Friday night we went out and did the Beale Steet thing. Went to 4 clubs: The Pig, Rum Boogie Cafe, The Blues Hall, and BB Kings Blues Club. Had a great time at all of them. All four had a good band and the crowds were dang sure there for fun. It is certainly the tourist district but what the heck... we were tourists. Of the four I would recommend BB Kings and Rum Boogie. I did taste all of the sauces at the Pig and they all were pretty good.

Saturday we went to the BBQ Shop on Monroe on our way out of town to Clarksdale. We both got a pork sammich and it was very, very good. The meat had great smoke flavor and was super moist without being mushy. They use all hickory and the smell outside was heavenly. I had the hot sauce and it was by far my favorite sauce of the trip. It was a bit tangy with a nice little afterbite of heat. My wife had the mild sauce and she said that was her favorite sauce as well. I did try a little of it but couldn't really give it a review as I had a good bit of the hot already!!!

Saturday night we were in Clarksdale MS. We went there to go to the Delta Blues Museum and to go to a club called the Ground Zero Blues Club. We didn't eat any Q there but heard that Hick's on State Street is a local favorite. We did see it though... it is a little drive through joint and it smelled great. We had a wonderful night at the blues club. It is an old cotton warehouse that was closed for about 30 years. The actor Morgan Freeman and a local business man bought it and opened it as a blues club about 6 years ago. The bar is made out of the plywood that was covering the windows while it was closed up. They basically added the coolers, AC and heat, a small kitchen, and bathrooms. The floors are bare wood, hardly any of the tables and chairs match and the only decorations are playbills from acts that have been there. We did have some food there and it was really good... fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, and some fried tamales!!! MMMMmmm!!! The band and crowd were awesome as well. If you are in that area it is a must do in my opinion.

Sunday we did the obligatory visit to Graceland. I had been there once before but the wife hadn't been. I enjoyed it again... forgive me!!! On the way back we went to Interstate BBQ. I was really looking forward to Interstate... When we got there their were a couple of families that looked like they had been to church but that was about it. I ordered what was called "rib tips" and thought I was getting the small end tasters from spares. What I got was actually the thick tops that had been trimmed to make St Louis ribs. They were very well smoked but still seemed like they needed to be cooked a little more... a bit fatty for my tastes. They were served swimming in sauce. I wish they hadn't been so I could have tried some other sauces. My wife got the large chopped pork sandwich. It was HUGE!!! The pork was pretty good... good taste but a bit mushy - no bark in sight. Again, the sandwich had a good bit of sauce on it. I would order again with the sauce on the side. All in all it was good Q but certainly a step below Central and the BBQ Shop. As I was leaving I went around the side and they have two huge brick pits and some huge piles of hickory. There was no smoke coming from the pits but you could tell from the buildup they are well used.

Sunday night we went back over to Beale Street to take some pictures. On the way back to the hotel we stopped into the Blues City Cafe which is just off Beale. I told them I had to try their Q for a report to the Brethren but that I was too full to order a meal. The gave me a couple of ribs and I left a few dollars. They were dry rubbed BBs and were very tasty with just a hint of smoke flavor. Again, not the best but certainly the best in the touristy Beale Street area.

On Monday we were leaving pretty early so we didn't get a chance to go anywhere else. We wanted to go to Gus's Fried Chicken... really disappointed as everyone says it is the stuff.

A couple of interesting notes... I was talking to the bartender at the hotel and she had moved to Memphis from Wisconsin a couple of years ago to go to school. After she was there for a while and had eaten at Central BBQ a bunch (she lives very close to it) she got the job a the hotel. Of course she said people ask her where to go and she said she only told people about Central as that was all she knew about. She said that people were always asking about Corky's and Rendevous so she wanted to go check them out. She tried to get some of her Memphis friends to go and she said not one of them would dare step foot in either one!!! They all consider them sell outs and again heard that Rendevous uses no wood at all.

OK... got kinda long winded... here was my impressions condensed...

Best ribs - Central BBQ by far
Best sammich - BBQ Shop
Food I will dream of the most - the smoked dry wings from Central
Best sauce - Hot sauce from BBQ Shop
Best rub - the Hot rub from Central (it is what they use on the wings)

Thank you to everyone who gave me input on the trip and where to go. We had an absolute (pun intended) great time. It wouldn't have been half as much fun without input from so many of you.

A special thank you to Tom and Richie for the time they spent to help. You guys are HUGE!!!

rbinms33
01-16-2007, 04:42 PM
As I posted before we ate at Central BBQ on Friday night. I won't rewrite that review.

I'm gonna have to put this on my list of places to try.

Saturday we went to the BBQ Shop on Monroe on our way out of town to Clarksdale. We both got a pork sammich and it was very, very good. The meat had great smoke flavor and was super moist without being mushy. They use all hickory and the smell outside was heavenly. I had the hot sauce and it was by far my favorite sauce of the trip. It was a bit tangy with a nice little afterbite of heat. My wife had the mild sauce and she said that was her favorite sauce as well. I did try a little of it but couldn't really give it a review as I had a good bit of the hot already!!!

I knew you'd like it!!! They do it right. And they do it right day after day after day. That's part of the problem with the other places......they've lost their consistency.

We did have some food there and it was really good... fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, and some fried tamales!!!

Ya'll ever make it back down, lemme know. I've got some awesome catfish places.

Sunday we did the obligatory visit to Graceland. I had been there once before but the wife hadn't been. I enjoyed it again... forgive me!!!

I've lived here most all of my life and I just went there for the first time last summer. Yeah, it's a bit cheesy....but I came out of that tour thinking Elvis could've been a brethren. He sure knew how to have fun, that's for sure.

On the way back we went to Interstate BBQ. I was really looking forward to Interstate... When we got there their were a couple of families that looked like they had been to church but that was about it. I ordered what was called "rib tips" and thought I was getting the small end tasters from spares. What I got was actually the thick tops that had been trimmed to make St Louis ribs. They were very well smoked but still seemed like they needed to be cooked a little more... a bit fatty for my tastes. They were served swimming in sauce. I wish they hadn't been so I could have tried some other sauces. My wife got the large chopped pork sandwich. It was HUGE!!! The pork was pretty good... good taste but a bit mushy - no bark in sight. Again, the sandwich had a good bit of sauce on it. I would order again with the sauce on the side. All in all it was good Q but certainly a step below Central and the BBQ Shop. As I was leaving I went around the side and they have two huge brick pits and some huge piles of hickory. There was no smoke coming from the pits but you could tell from the buildup they are well used.

I keep getting mixed reviews when I send people over there. I don't know what's going on with them. It's kinda hit and miss on what you get. I guess you didn't try the BBQ skettie, huh?

She said that people were always asking about Corky's and Rendevous so she wanted to go check them out. She tried to get some of her Memphis friends to go and she said not one of them would dare step foot in either one!!! They all consider them sell outs and again heard that Rendevous uses no wood at all.

I've been to both of them a couple of times. It's always good but not top of the line. Personal opinion, they don't do it as good as they could (or used to). Commercialization tends to do that. I'm wondering if that's what's going to happen to Interstate. But to your normal out-of-towner that's eating BBQ for the first time, combine their food with the atmosphere and they'll say it's the best they ever had.


A special thank you to Tom and Richie for the time they spent to help. You guys are HUGE!!!

You are most certainly welcome, bro. I just wish I would've checked my email sooner so we could have set something up for lunch or dinner one day. I'm glad ya'll had a good time though and that it didn't rain on you Saturday like they forecasted. It sure made moving a whole lot more pleasant. :wink:

SmokeInDaEye
01-16-2007, 05:38 PM
Glad you had time to see and eat so much, Smokin Gator. Perhaps you can convince the wife of a return trip when I'm back that way mid-May and we can plan a mini bash Memphis style! I'll personally get you some chicken from Gus's.

Smokin Gator
01-17-2007, 07:03 AM
I'm gonna have to put this on my list of places to try.

You have to try those wings... As a side note... I was coming out of the hotel on Saturday morning and saw a guy pushing a bell cart. I said something about him just checking in. He said that he lives in Memphis and was just dropping something off. Anyway, we got to talking, as I've been known to do once or twice, and it turns out he has been on a Comp team for something like 12 years. His team is named South Pork and have gotten as high as 3rd in ribs at Memphis in May.

He told me the guy from Central was on a very successful Comp team and a guy approached him about starting a Q joint. They found the building, cut a whole in the wall, mounted his comp cooker to the wall, and away they went. I don't know if it is true but I thought it was a funny story. He also said the guys that own the BBQ Shop used to be a very successful comp team.

Ya'll ever make it back down, lemme know. I've got some awesome catfish places.

I will definitely do that... I love some fried catfish!!! If you ever get down there you will have to try it at the Ground Zero Blues Club and let me know what you think. They are open for lunch everyday except Sunday and serve late on Friday and Saturday.


I keep getting mixed reviews when I send people over there. I don't know what's going on with them. It's kinda hit and miss on what you get. I guess you didn't try the BBQ skettie, huh?

It really wasn't bad... just not as good as the others. We did enjoy the atmosphere and got to watch the end of the NFL game so all was good.

You are most certainly welcome, bro. I just wish I would've checked my email sooner so we could have set something up for lunch or dinner one day. I'm glad ya'll had a good time though and that it didn't rain on you Saturday like they forecasted. It sure made moving a whole lot more pleasant. :wink:

Well, that was my fault for waiting until a couple of days before I was leaving to write you. Again, thanks and next time I will let you know well in advance. Would love to buy you a cold one and some fried catfish!!!

Smokin Gator
01-17-2007, 07:04 AM
Glad you had time to see and eat so much, Smokin Gator. Perhaps you can convince the wife of a return trip when I'm back that way mid-May and we can plan a mini bash Memphis style! I'll personally get you some chicken from Gus's.


I will work on that one and let you know... I know I would love to go back about then!!!

Roo-B-Q'N
01-17-2007, 08:26 AM
A special thank you to Tom and Richie for the time they spent to help. You guys are HUGE!!!

You are welcome brother! I am glad to have helped. I am glad you had such a good time. And yes, those wings from Central are what dreams are made of!

A Memphis Bash?????? What fun that would be.