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Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous: A Place for Ribs

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charles-vergos_renedezous The Vergo family knows a thing or two about feeding a hungry crowd in Memphis. Originally from Greece, Charles Vergo’s grandfather settled in Memphis in the early part of the 20th century and eventually found success with a hot dog stand located on iconic Beale Street.

By the late 1940s Charles commandeered the basement of his father’s now-famous venue and put the coal shoot to good use. Originally used to smoke the meats that stuffed his sandwiches and other causal fare of the day, Charles was inspired to give something new a try. With a case of ribs, some inspiration from a Memphis legend, and a mix of seasonings, he rubbed the meat, threw it in the charcoal pit and gave birth to a legend – the Memphis Dry Rub.

It all starts with good meat and a bit of charcoal. The Rendezvous only uses loin back ribs for their meatiness and cooks them from the inside out in their charcoal pit to keep them moist and succulent. The whole process takes about an hour and a half, allowing them to feed a hungry crowd almost every night of the week (the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays) – the restaurant literally turns out TONS of ribs to their ravenous fans each week.

Now run by the kids, the restaurant still turns out mouth-watering ribs, chicken, sausage and coleslaw with the same
passion and enthusiasm that put Charles on the map over 50 years ago. With the help of Bobby Ellis, The Rendezvous’ kitchen manager of 44 years, the restaurant has grown from a modest 80 seats to a bustling (and always busy) 700 seat restaurant that feed locals and celebrities alike. Throughout the years, legends such as the Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake and even a president or two have found their way to down the alley behind The Peabody Memphis to chow down on the city’s most famous ribs.

‘‘You have to buy good meat and cook it properly. If you don’t do steps one & two, I don’t care what sauce you use…you can’t make up for.” – John Vergos

If your next vacation doesn’t include a stop in Memphis, or you just can’t wait to go back and savor the delicious flavor of the Rendezvous’ famous seasoning, fear not! The restaurant’s signature ribs, pork shoulders, seasonings and sauces are available for purchase online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now there is no excuse for making your next rib night a Rendezvous rib night!

Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous
52 South 2nd street
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 523-2746 Phone
For reservations or to order online: www.hogsfly.com
Posted in: FeaturedFoodSummer 2013
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