May 17, 2024

In 1948 Charlie Vergos cleaned out a basement below his Greek diner, discovered a coal chute, and started a Memphis legend, Rendezvous. The coal chute gave him a vent for his considerable talents over a charcoal grill, allowing him to expand from ham and cheese sandwiches to ribs. Today, several thousand people on an average night pour through Charlie’s basement and sink their teeth into a slab of what makes Memphis, well, Memphis. It started and stays about the local-style dry-rub ribs, but the menu is as eclectic as the kitchen sink decor: vegetarian red beans and rice, lamb riblets, barbecue nachos – all served with beans and slaw, pickles and peppers optional. I hear they still make a mean ham and cheese sandwich, too, but like most people I came for one thing only: ribs, perfected.

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