So where'd we leave off? Oh yeah, we were about to NOM on some BBQ at Central BBQ in Downtown Memphis. Next thing we know, we’ve got a giant pile of BBQ Nachos, a BBQ Pork Sandwich, and Buffalo Wings (wait, didn’t we already do the Buffalo trip?) sitting in front of us at our table. Time to dig in!
They were made with tortilla chips, pulled pork, cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, hot peppers, and shredded cheese (I could even make them with ingredients from Boloco!). I couldn’t stop eating them, even though I knew I needed to save room in my stomach for the other foods.
The BBQ Pork Sandwich was extremely messy, but as I learned in Memphis:
But as I mentioned in my posts from the PGI Buffalo trip, it’s hard for me to not like anything that’s Buffalo-flavored!
After sufficiently stuffing our faces, we sat down with JC to hear his thoughts on how Memphis BBQ came to be, in Central BBQ’s back room (aka the “patio”), which is painted with an awesome mural of Mississippi Blues.
“but if you cook 'em for a real long time, over smoke, at a low temperature,”
they end up tasting pretty good. And that’s how Memphis BBQ began.
JC even took us into the back of the kitchen and showed us the slow-cooker...
He also wanted us to pass on a message to our friends up in New England (after telling us about the one time he tried BBQ in Boston and it wasn’t good):
“Everybody up there needs to understand that BBQ-ing is actually cooking something for a long time, slow and low, with smoke involved. It’s not just goin’ out back and firing up your gas grill and throwing some burgers and brats and dogs on there. BBQ-ing is a way of life, it’s a culture.”
We also talked to Duran Rogers, a Kitchen Manager at Central BBQ, who told us that you can BBQ anything and everything...
even a human being.
That scared us away, so we left (kidding, it was just time to move on).
Oh, but did I mention,
Jake and I then took a two-hour break at the hotel to get our other work done (you mean we don’t just eat BBQ all day every day??), and to give our stomachs time to gain some room before stuffing our faces again.
I’ll admit, my stomach was still pretty full 2 hours later. But there’s no excuse to not eat BBQ when you’re in Memphis! So we headed to our next destination: The Rendezvous.
The Rendezvous is an adorable and cozy restaurant. There’s trinkets covering the walls, next to pictures of celebs (from Justin Timberlake to President Obama) and various awards. And everyone from the waitstaff to the guests enjoying their food reinforced the fact that Southern hospitality really does exist. Someone even saw me with a camera and paused from eating their ribs to shout “HI MOM!” from across the room, bouncing and waving from his chair.
When you walk into The Rendezvous, as soon as you pass the front desk, the kitchen is on your right. So that’s exactly where we headed first. I got to go behind the counter and watch as the cooks took ribs straight from the slow-cooker, slathered them up with a vinegar mop:
and then sprinkled their secret spice mix (a combo of greek & cajun spices - yum!) over the top. Memphis ribs are made in a true dry style, meaning they’re not cooked in sauce. So they might be mopped in vinegar or covered in BBQ sauce after they’re cooked, but while they’re cooked they stay nice and dry.
Then the ribs were loaded on a plate with some BBQ beans and coleslaw, and delivered to the hungry guest!
And then Jake and I became the hungry guests. Even though we still weren’t really that hungry... But when ribs as beautiful as these are staring you in the face, your stomach magically clears some room. I swear, it’s magic.
beans & slaw,
Yep. And everything they served us was extremely delicious. The ribs, when dipped in the perfectly tangy vinegar sauce, seemed to fall right off the bone, and melt in our mouths.
And to wash it down, Red served us a pitcher of Ghost River beer, made right in Memphis. And we were told that Memphis has the cleanest water in all of the US!
The combo of ribs, nachos, and beer left our stomachs thoroughly satisfied and thoroughly stuffed. So it was time to call it a night. Well, after we checked out Beale Street... I mean, when in Memphis...!
Read our next post to hear all about our trip down Beale Street!
About the author: Cassidy Quinn is Boloco’s Director of Digital Creative & Social Media. She spends her days tweeting, eating,vlogging, and traveling the globe finding the origins of Boloco’s various foods.