Honestly folks, there isn't much here beyond name recognition. Waits are long, but aren't much worth it. The ribs aren't BBQ in the strictest sense: they aren't smoked; they're grilled, so they are often tough and chewy rather than tender. The dry rub is good, though. The place itself is cool - back alley entrance, underground and vast almost maze-like seating areas. But the little details here are lacking. For God's sake, they don't even brew tea: it comes from a fountain. And no self-respecting Southern restaurant would fail to brew tea.
Save yourself some money and some hassle: avoid downtown Memphis altogether (unless you visit Cozy Corner for lunch). Vie instead for midtown or Germantown. The BBQ Shop on Madison Ave, Central BBQ on Central Ave, or the Germantown Commissary are all far superior for ribs and sandwiches. Central also has some great chicken and a BBQ portabella if you've got a veggie in your crew who scoffs at the BBQ joint. The Commissary is well the wait you'll have, and in addition to their fantastic meats, they've got tamales & pies that you won't believe.
Do yourself a favor: if you eat downtown, hit the South Main arts district instead. Leave the Rendezvous for the other tourists.
"Intensely flavorful under their blanket of spice, Charlie Vergos' dry-rub charcoal ribs have become a Memphis signature dish. The beans and slaw are inconsequential. What's needed here are flagons of beer!"
"Pork loin is a boneless alternative to ribs. These chunks of meat are so tender that they virtually fall apart when you look hard at them. They come pre-dressed with excellent Rendezvous sauce."
"Long before suppertime, when the Rendezvous opens its doors in General Washburn Alley, the smoky aroma of charcoal-cooking meat wafts through the streets of downtown Memphis, even into the Peabody Hotel across the street. "