When last we met I had held forth on Morris’ BBQ in Eads, Tennessee. I proclaimed it the best in the galaxy, and so it is. I left you with the promise to discuss BBQ Ribs at our next session. Well, here we go. Ribs are a little more complicated than shoulder. There are two preparations of BBQ ribs that merit mention. The “Memphis Dry Rub Rib” and the regular deep smoked rib. Both are best enjoyed “dry”, that is without slopped on BBQ sauce. Ya’ll know how I feel about BBQ sauce, so there is no need for me to rant on about it.
The Rendezvous in Memphis is the home office of the “Memphis Dry Rub Rib”. You can reach the Rendezvous by walking out of the door of the Peabody Hotel onto Union Street and follow your nose across Union and down the little alley opposite the Peabody. Nestled among the garbage cans and empty rib boxes littering the alley, the Rendezvous will be on your left midway down the alley. It looks a little scary, but you are in for a real treat.
I happen to agree with the adage “white men can’t jump”. I also am confident that “white men can’t cook BBQ”. Charlie Vergos, the founder of The Rendezvous, was smart enough to handle the business and promotion end of his enterprise and leave the cooking to a staff of black folks who consistently produce the very best dry rub ribs you will ever sink your teeth into. Over the years they invented their own dry rub and each juicy slab is generously coated with it prior to cooking. The ribs are then slow cooked until the meat is all but falling off the bone. The ribs are served in their own cooking juice and provide a level of flavor and tenderness that is unsurpassed.
There is a bunch of other stuff on the menu, but with the exception of the grilled lamb riblets there is nothing of note. The slaw is worse than ordinary and the beans are just beans. Sliced Wonder Bread is hardly a treat. Stick with the pork ribs and you will experience the best dry rub I have ever found. Be sure and wash up carefully, you should be covered with dry rub and juice when you finish.