Yahoo Doesn’t Know Barbecue

Yahoo! don’t know ‘nuttin ’bout no barbecue.  The linked article purports to tell you what the twenty best restaurants in America are. One, number 15, is Franklin Barbeque in Austin, Texas. Barbeque in Texas? I don’ t think so.

I lived in exile in Houston, Texas for over eight years. Not once in my career as a traveling salesman in the Lone Star State did I ever find real barbecue. I found some wonderful beef brisket, but as everybody knows, barbecue is pig meat. Pork!

You can cook your beef on a grill all night long, and it will be good. It is still not the barbecue that the Deep South, and thousands of years of pig cooking has brought us.

How, do you suppose, can I pass myself off as anything like an expert in barbecue?  One word, Memphis! I was born, raised, and ate my first pork barbecue in Memphis. We almost grew up in an old-time barbecue restaurant, Leonard’s. Unfortunately Mr. Leonard didn’t live forever, and his widow had to sell-out. The restaurant is still around, but I haven’t tried the product lately.


I found an article on the 7 Best Barbeque Joints in Memphis. Whoever wrote the article did OK, but a couple of my favorites are left out. Remember, even if you have good barbecue, you may not make the grade in Memphis.

Here are a few of my favorites.

The Rendezvous : My favorite rib place. They were indescribable twenty years ago, and still are. The Rendezvous is in an alley in downtown Memphis, across the street from the famous, and original Hotel Peabody of marching ducks fame. It is also the hotel in the movie, “The Firm”. We celebrated my wife’s fiftieth birthday there by calling people in three states and telling them to meet us at the Rendezvous. They did, too.Picture of Rendezvous Logo

Corky’s : This one is on Poplar Avenue in East Memphis, and is the same as it was twenty years ago. You can’t go wrong at Corky’s, unless you go to one of their expansion restaurants in another city. They had one in Norcross, GA at one time, and it didn’t last because the stuff wasn’t as good as at the original restaurant.

Picture of Barbecue Ribs
Ribs At Top's

Top’s : Several locations, good stuff. Try it.

The Commisary in Germantown : “So good yu’ll slap ‘yo mama!”  Yep. It’s that good. Don’t miss this one. I ate so much barbecue there I was full for three days.

There are several more really good barbecue restaurants in Memphis that I don’t know about because I don’t live there anymore. If you are in doubt, just stop at any store or gas station and ask the proprietor for a good barbecue joint.

First, you will make an immediate friend. Memphians are proud of their barbecue and love to talk about it. Secondly, you will probably be turned on to a really great local joint. This is win-win barbecue.

Now, about those poor Texans who line up at ten o’clock in the morning for beef brisket. I know it is good stuff, but it ain’t barbecue. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Texans serve the very best pinto beans in the world. They know how to season the beans with generous portions of beef or pork fat, and sliced Jalopeno’s.

I miss the beans and the wonderful Jalopeno cornbread. You can see I did find something in Texas besides Lone Star Beer. We don’t need to talk about that, though.

4 thoughts on “Yahoo Doesn’t Know Barbecue”

  1. You knows what you talk about!!
    My daughter had to start BBQ her
    Own since she liked it cooked right!!

  2. I’ll bet she makes some good ‘Q, too. Remember going to Leonard’s and ordering a free bowl of skins? You could sit for hours at the counter. Leonard’s was my first drive-in.

    My wife is retiring after this school year, and I am sure we will get back to Memphis for some more good barbecue. Maybe you and Donald will be getting together sometime? You could car pool to Memphis with Tommy Bevil.

  3. Everone knows pig is the easiest meat to cook in the animal kingdom. Hell it don’t take brains to cook a pork butt, or a rack of ribs, as proven by most in KC or Memphis. And when you do screw it up, y’all cover it in thick tomato sauce, like the i-talians. Not difficult.

  4. Interesting viewpoint, Jerry. The way I see it is you have to start with good quality meat, and leave the sauce off the butt portion until it is done. It is the smoking that gives the meat its flavor. Most of the sauces are made with lots of sugar, like the KC sauces, and they cover up a multitude of culinary sins. I like the vinegar based hot sauces, and then only in the side. Why do people screw up a good piece of meat with a lot of sugar sauce?

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