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Mar 22, 2010 05:31 AM

Memphis question

I will be attending a trade show from Wednesday-Saturday, and hope to eat two meals away from the show. One will be ribs (I prefer dry) and one will be fried chicken (I prefer traditional).

Suggestions appreciated.

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    1. re: jamiecarroll

      I LOVE Gus's fried chicken. It's my favorite fried chicken on the planet. That being said, I'm not sure I would consider it "traditional" fried chicken. It''s much spicier than "traditional" fried chicken.

      I'm posting this only so that Mister Big isn't surprised if he goes there.

      1. re: Ross B

        Spicy might be okay, but if I want non-spicy, would I do better at Uncle Lou's?

        1. re: Mister Big

          Trust me, Mister Big, you want to go to Gus's. It's not that spicy.

          1. re: jamiecarroll

            I never found Gus's spicy at all. Good though. Uncle Lou's is fantastic, but different than traditional fried chicken, more like a fried chicken/chicken wing mix. Their sweet spicy love sauce is one of the best things I have ever had on chicken.

    2. For dry ribs, you'd be crazy not to go to Rendevouz. It's a Memphis institution - in business in this weird little alley since like the 40's. The waiters have been there for donkey years and it's just a neat place. I've never had a bad meal there and their ribs are the ones that others try to emulate. This is the Memphis meal you'll remember.

      Uncle Lou's is on par with Gus' imho and they do have a mild option. I like the honey dipped but that might be too spicy for you. Not a great neighborhood but I've been probably 8 times and have found the people there unusually nice (at least for Memphis LOL).

      Gus' sides are just awful and Uncle Lou's aren't that much better but Lou's does have this strawberry banana pudding that I like a lot. Grab one out of the cooler to take back to your hotel for later. Their burger is good too if you have someone with you who doesn' t want chicken.

      Everything is starting to bloom here and the weather is beautiful. Hope you enjoy your visit!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bliss149

        Yes, Rendezvous is a unique experience and has been around for ages (translation- tourist trap where you can expect a long wait), but the bottom line is that the ribs are just not as good as those at BBQ Shop or Central. In fact, they're not even really barbecue - Rendezvous ribs are cooked over direct heat, not slow and low. They do have a nice dry rub, but in my opinion the overall product does not stand up to the best that Memphis has to offer.

        1. re: jamiecarroll

          jamiecarrol, while I agree with some of what you say, you might be a little harsh. Some folks LOVE the Rendezvous, some hate it, and some are lukewarm on it.

          I think everyone should try it at least once and decide for themselves.

          I don't consider it a tourist trap. Why? Because while it does attract plenty of tourists it still has a very loyal local following.

          In my opinion the ribs are very inconsistent. I've had some bad racks there. However, I've also had some great racks there.

          You really can't compare the ribs at the Rendezvous with Central or BBQ Shop. Totally different products. As you know, the Rendezvous cooks over direct heat and the ribs cook in about an hour and a half. Most Memphis joints smoke for 4-6 hours. It's not the same, but it's definitely still BBQ in my book.

          On a related note, there was sad news in Memphis today. Charlie Vergos, the founder of the Rendezvous, passed away today.

      2. Thanks for all of the great replies. Sadly, many of my plans went awry, and the only restaurant meal I ate was a late lunch at Corky's. While Corky's might be considered ho-hum in Memphis, I live in the Washington, DC burbs, where there is a dearth of authentic Q of any kind, so Corky's was fine.