BBQ Adventure Day 14: Tuesday 13th May (Memphis TN)

The plan today was to visit Abe’s BBQ, in Clarksdale MS, about a four hour round trip.


As I have learnt on this trip, plans can be changed at the last minute! I slept like a log last night and it wasn’t until around 0930, before I got out of bed!


I had stayed up quite late after returning from dinner with Miss Patty, my host. We sat out on the porch, waiting for another guest to arrive, after her flight was cancelled. She had stayed the night before, and Miss Patty just told her to return here.


This is a great house and it has been owned my Miss Patty and her family for years. It was great listening to her stories, the one that stood out for me, involved Elvis and her Dad!


When Elvis was doing well, his ‘people’ contacted Miss Patty’s father, who was the headmaster of the high school Elvis went to, to see if he could make a visit.
It turned out, much to Miss Patty’s amazement that her father declined the offer, saying that it probably wasn’t in the best interest of the school!


I struggled to get the coffee machine to work, even with the help of the couple staying in the private cottage!
I did finally manage to work it out, and sat out on the front porch with a nice cup of hot breakfast!


The modified plan now is to head into downtown Memphis, and visit Beale street, before checking out some BBQ places.


I drove into downtown Memphis, and walked along the Mississippi River, in awe of how graceful and majestic it looked.



I took a look at the setting up of the Memphis in May site, and the first thing that impressed me was the size of the event. For as far as the eye could see along the waterfront, hundreds of booths were being set up.




The walk up Beale Street was an interesting mix of seedy looking bars, mixed with neon signed clubs!
The street was blocked off, with a strong police presence, and you see that it was designed for ‘night life’!



(Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous

I had been told that Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous , was one of the best BBQ places to see
in Memphis. Lucky for me it was just around the corner, and open.


I entered the lane that it’s located in, and the walked down the stairs to the restaurant.


The walls were lined with all sorts of memorabilia and artefacts that had been collected over the years. Despite being dark, it certainly was not dingy!



The full menu was not available, as they were technically closed! They did however, have ribs on the menu. I ordered a small serve with sides.


The ribs at Rendezvous, are the ‘dry rub’ style, traditional for these parts. They arrived at the table with a side of BBQ beans and slaw.
They were dry in appearance, and there was some liquid on the bottom of the plate. I’m assuming that this was to dip the ribs into?


The ribs were not as tender as most ribs I’ve tasted. They did have a great flavour, with a great bark. I would say the dominant taste was paprika! The meat did not fall off the bone, and although delicious, the texture reminded me of the ribs I cook at home.



Despite being different to the ribs I have tasted on my journey, I enjoyed eating them.
The sides were fantastic as well, I enjoyed the sweet BBQ flavour of the beans, and the freshness and flavour of the vinegar based slaw, was a great accompaniment to to ribs.



I left Rendezvous happy that I had visited, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Memphis!


(Cozy Corner)


I had also been told that if I had never had a bologna sandwich, then I should head to Cosy Corner Restaurant .


Don’t be put off by the exterior, even though it appears to be a bit dodgy, once you enter you feel at home!



I ordered the bologna (polony) sandwich, along with a Doctor Peppers drink.
I tried the drink, and I’m happy to say that I will never have to try it again!



The sandwich arrived, and I was impressed by what I saw!



From the first bite to the last, I enjoyed each bite! The large bologna slice had been lightly smoked, and was smothered in a sweet tangy sauce.
Mixed with the soft bun, the sandwich was delicious!


I just had to try the banana pudding and sweet potato pie, recommended by a lovely lady, who everyone referred to as ‘grandma’.


By now I had a belly full of BBQ magic, and as I had to meet Neil from Too Sauced Too Pork at 1800 for my tickets, I headed home for a rest.

I drove back into downtown, and met up the boys from TSTP who were busy setting up for the Memphis in May.




I hung around and after getting the wristband and ticket for tomorrow night I headed to Gus’s Fried Chicken, another suggested must do places to eat in Memphis.

(Gus’s Fried Chicken)


There was a small line out the front, which if I’ve learnt anything on this adventure, means that the food is good!


I didn’t have to wait long, and I had a table. The restaurant was full, and the atmosphere was fantastic.



I ordered an entree of Fried Green Tomatoes and a two piece white and dark meat, chicken with sides.



It was my first try of the fried green tomatoes, and they reminded me of toasted tomato sandwiches! The cornmeal coating had a great taste, and surprisingly the green tomato, tasted like tomato! The addition of the white peppery sauce enhanced the taste!



The chicken tasted fantastic and the breast was moist and the crunchy coating had a great flavour?
I preferred the ‘dark meat’ leg, and it was also juicy and tender.

I had a great time eating at Gus’s and when in Memphis, make sure you visit!


It was the end of a long day, and depending on the weather tomorrow, I plan to get to Clarksdale MS.
If the weather is as bad as forecast, I will probably stay in Memphis!


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