Thursday, 10 May 2012

Memphis BBQ and more...

Not a lot of the Memphis BBQ places are near downtown, and we didn't really feel like too much exploring. We got to:

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous: The Rendezvous is hard to find, being in the alley behind the actual address with only a small sign to tell you the way.
Kind of a dark back alley, too
Mr. Charlie serves his ribs dead dry. No sauce. Dry rubbed only (and his rub is heavy on the cumin). Now, he does offer sauce on the table (regular and hot), but it is not cooked in or glazed on at all. And you put it cold on your hot ribs. Properly cooked ribs (like the ones I had the other night in Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City) pass what is called in the BBQ world as "the pull test". In this test, you pull a bone, and the meat is supposed to fall off the bone. Proper BBQ sustains a temperature for long enough and low enough to cause the connective tissues that hold the meat to the bone to collapse into gelatin. This makes the meat fall off, and tenderizes and moistens the meat. Mr. Charlie's did not pass the pull test at all, nor were they tender at all, nor did it have any evidence of any smoke ring. In fact, the meat seemed like it had not been slow cooked, just (possibly) cooked straight after dry rubbing. His slaw was weird; it was yellow like a corn colour and heavily with cumin, too. His beans were nice and sweet (though I don't really like beans). The restaurant is in fact huge and really neat on the inside. But as BBQ, it was a fail. 1 star out of 5.

We ate BBQ at a food truck in the centre of town today. The guy in it and his truck were named Scooter. His pulled pork was nothing special. But his very messy rib tip sandwich was absolutely killer. Nice & chewy in spots, great sauce, easy pass to the pull test, nice smoke ring. 4 stars out of 5.

We were deciding on BBQ places for dinner but one of my other food passions stole me away. We went to The Flying Fish for crawfish.
Not in a back alley
Dirt cheap crawfish, fresh from Louisiana, at $7/lb, with corn on the cob and potatoes. Okay, "potato", as in singular. But great spiciness just like in N'awlins, and like nothin' you can get where I live. Great key lime pie, too. Took me right back to my days living in Houston. 4 starts out of 5.

Next BBQ stop: The Carolinas, for pigs & mustard.

1 comment:

Edwin said...

It's 2 in the afternoon and I'm drooling....... Should not read your foodposts 'till sometime late in the afternoon / beginning of the evening!