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Aug 17, 2009 12:31 PM

Memphis, Friday after 9 pm?

I am hitting town between 9 and 9:30 on a Friday. Every place I wanted to eat seems not to be open that late. I am staying near Beale. I wanted Gus's. I wanted Paynes. Neither of them are open.

Loking for suggestions, I guess BBQ . Is anything open later that is worthwhile?



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  1. I see Interstate is open till 11 pm. The recent reviews online are terrible though.
    Any input?


    1. If you are looking for "casual" food like chicken or BBQ then you should probably try Blues City Cafe. They have really good ribs and really good tamales with chile. The catfish is pretty good too. Their kitchen is open late.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ross B

        Yes that is about the only one I have on my list.

        Have you been to Interstate? It is open till 11 but the recent few months of reviews are TERRIBLE.

        How about Ernistines and Hazels? Worth checking out?

        1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

          Yes on E&H for the vibe and the burger.

      2. Pretty much any restaurant downtown will seat you till 10-10:30 or so, but the only bbq restaurant downtown is the Rendezvous. It is kind of a tourist trap but still decent. If you go there, get the dry ribs and maybe the bbq nachos. Nothing else there is good.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tennreb

          I just hear so much bad about them. 99 terrible reviews to every good one. I have a car and I am not wed to downtown...

          1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

            I hear a lot of bad things about them too, but I have had the occasion to eat there twice lately, and both times they were really, really good.

            It seems to me that a lot of the "bad things" that are said about the place concern them being a tourist trap. That may be true, but people have been coming to Memphis to eat there for many, many years- I would classify the place as a tourist attraction rather than trap. There are a lot of Memphis natives that would never set foot in Graceland either, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a good place to go.

            When I first started calling on Memphis 9 years ago, I wanted to find out where the best rib joint was- almost every single person who I asked said "Corky's", so there you go...

            Anyway, having said all that, the only thing I have ever tried there was the ribs. I suppose any place can have a bad night, but my last two times there have been great. YMMV...

            1. re: Clarkafella

              Go get a burger at Dyer's - watch it float to the top of the grease.

              1. re: Clarkafella

                I appreciate the feedback. You have me thinking about it. Here are some comments recently on a St. Louis food board about it. I don't think most of these are Memphis people.

                - "Also, I was tole Rendezvous is way overrated."

                - "I have only eaten there once but I couldn't disagree more. The ribs were dried out and the service was awful when I went. I should have gone to Interstate like the bartender at Silky's said... Great rub/sauce though.

                1. Are Rendezvous ribs SUPPOSED to be like that? There was no moisture whatsoever in the meat... it was like the Griswold's Christmas turkey... and again the service was awful, we tried 3 times to get the proper bill and even though all we got was 7 full slabs, a pulled pork sandwich and a cheese/meat plate, they couldn't get that right and insisted we had 3 orders of chicken nachos?!?! And copped an attitude with us when we asked to get the bill corrected.


                - I know what a dry rub is, I am saying the MEAT in the MIDDLE was dry as all get out. Maybe they were some of the last ribs left on the grill and it was Sat night during the rush (only time we could go) so I can guess that may have had something to do with the terrible experience but still I'll go with Interstate last time. Most of the locals said they have been skating by on rep for a while now, but I had heard so much about it I had to try it. Meh...

                -We didn't like Rendezvous either. It's overly dry - and I like dry ribs. They can be done really well - they don't do that there.

                -I ate at the Rendezvous several times; I felt it was overrated for what you got-the sides are ridiculously small and the food in general was overpriced. My SO loves dry ribs; the last time he had them there they were not very good.


                1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                  All I can say is go, sit at the bar downstairs, and place your order. I don't know how things are when sitting at the tables, but when at the bar it seems like they go out of their way to make sure you are happy. To the point that if there had been anything wrong with my ribs at all, I wouldn't have hesitated to send them back- and I am *positive* that it would have been taken care of.

                  The Rendezvous is not my first choice for ribs in Memphis- they come in just behind the three way tie for first place of Cozy Corner, Central, and the BBQ Shop. But they do come in right below that, and in a city with as many good choices for eating ribs as Memphis has, that isn't a bad place to be!

                  And try as I might, I can't think of a single other place to eat in Memphis that draws people in from so many other locations as the Rendezvous. There is a reason for that, even after all these years.

                  1. re: Clarkafella

                    Cozy and BBQ shop are both on my list but looking for something after 9 pm for the first night.


                    1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                      E&H is a bar (a very cool bar), but the burger is really good.

                      I'm not a huge fan of the ribs at the Rendezvous, but I ate there last week and had the most moist and juicy ribs that I've EVER had there. They were great. That's the frustrating thing about the place. You can have a night like that and go back a week later and have some terribly dried out ribs. However, the cheese plate and beer is ALWAYS good.

                      Bardog Tavern is also a bar, but has really good bar food. It's also Downtown located on Monroe.

          2. I will be arriving in Memphis around 9:00 on Friday and only staying one night, and I have a very similar question. I was interested in Restaurant Iris or other restaurants in the same neighborhood just east of downtown Memphis?

            While Iris and the other restaurants say they are open until 10pm, I likely won't be able to sit until 9:45pm. Is the 10:00pm closing REALLY we sit you until 10pm, or the place starts empyting out around 10:30?

            And any suggestions for non-BBQ, good ambience and food places (non-touristy) where I could get a reservation at 9:30 or even 10:00 and not feel rushed out the door by the staff?

            3 Replies
            1. re: SometimesSouthern

              Bosco's is a brewery right by Iris and is a little less money and class wise than Iris but I love their food and their beer. It stays open late since it is a brewery and has a huge selection of food. It might work?

              1. re: kathryn.jasper

                Is this the same Bosco's that also has a location in Nashville? Thanks for the suggestion, but I live in Nashville and have been to that location, so I'll probably try something else. But thanks!

                1. re: SometimesSouthern

                  Oh yeah - probably don't want to visit if you're from Nashville. Yes, its the same. I think they have 3 locations - Memphis, Little Rock, and Nashville. I don't know where they started. They used to have another one in Germantown as well.