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Memphis: They're not kidding about the bbq!

DH and I are in Memphis for a few days right now. This is the chronology of our bbq experience:

My BIL and his girlfriend went to Rendezvous the night before we got here. They were disappointed with the food and the service. So last night we all went to Blues City Cafe, which was v.v. good! We all started with the garlic house salads - OMG, so good! DH and I shared the catfish and chicken finger platters (w/bbq sauce). The chicken was typical good chicken fingers, and the catfish was definitely above average good. BIL's girlfriend got ribs and liked them, and BIL had crab au gratin. The crab was the only thing that was just so-so. Everything else was really good.

Today, DH and I went to the original Corky's for lunch. We weren't sure whether we would like the dry rub bbq, but we were pleasantly surprised! We both loved it! In fact, our meal at Corky's was probably the best bbq we have ever had, even better than Fat Matt's in Atlanta. We shared a rack of dry rub ribs and the Beale Street Burger, which turned out to be the best burger we've ever had. I loved the apple bbq sauce on everything! DH thought it tasted a little too much like apple butter and preferred the original sauce; but being accustomed to sweet bbq in Florida, I thought the apple one was divine! The homemade chips were also outstanding. We were too full for dessert, but they all looked good, and we are planning to go back tomorrow . . .

I'll reply to this thread later with more reviews!

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  1. Don't go back to the same place! Memphis has *lots* more to offer in the way of BBQ- try the BBQ Shop, or Central BBQ, or Cozy Corner or any of the others that can be found by doing a quick search of this site- you won't be disappointed!

    11 Replies
    1. re: Clarkafella

      I totally forgot to update my review after we got back from our trip. We did end up going back to Corky's - twice! It's that good. I have also ordered a half case of their apple bbq sauce online - it's so good on chicken fingers at home.

      We also had dinner at El Porton, which is one of the best casual Mexican restaurants I've ever eaten at. It was great.

      1. re: starbucksbrew

        We love Corky's. My husband grew up in Memphis and I grew up an hour from there. We would always get Corky's takeout when we went home to visit his family. Now they've all moved here to Wilmington, NC, and we still get Corky's shipped in on occasion. It's not as good as being there, but it's close. And being able to get their bottled sauces and dry rub totally rocks!

        1. re: Andiereid

          Corkys??? Fat Matts??? WOW!! you really need to get introduced to some good 'Q!

          1. re: Spreadhead

            I'm thinking BBQ Shop, Interstate, Payne's, Neely's, Central, and my current love - Tom's.

            1. re: Its Still Mooing

              More about Tom's, please!! You listed all my favs - with the exception of Marlowe's - but have never been to Tom's. Where is it?

              1. re: Miz Mary

                Tom's is located at the corner of Raines & Getwell. Pretty unique set up; everyone lines up under the menu, orders, then proceeds to file towards the cash register. Total time from order to paying and walking away with fresh Q - about 3 minutes, max.

                I order the hot jumbo combo. It's great, please try and give me an update! BTW, at Lamar & Getwell there is a GREAT mexican restaurant called El Gallo Giro - tripe tacos and goat burritos are my fave - also the shrimp quesadilla. Always wash it down with horchata.

            2. re: Spreadhead

              Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I used to work at Corky's (many years ago); it's fine, but is not in the same league as Payne's and others mentioned.

              In Atlanta, give Fox Brothers a try.

              1. re: Spreadhead

                How about lay off unless you can be more constructive?

                1. re: starbucksbrew

                  I am glad you enjoyed the trip to our city, and please come back soon! I enjoy the fact that Memphis has several things that we can call "our own".

                2. re: Spreadhead

                  To clarify, that last one was for Spreadhead, not biskuit.

                  1. re: starbucksbrew

                    I wish Rendezvous wasn't so hit-or-miss. I've eaten there probably a dozen times and always seem to have a great experience, but many don't, and I can understand why. And man, If you like some Corky's ribs, I'd be willing to bet you'll love Central bbq the next time you're in Memphis. I have a huge 'que report on these boards from this past summer that runs down 8 or 9 of the places historically considered "the best". I'd encourage you to refer to that as well if you head back anytime soon. Of course, any 'que is better than none at all.