September 28, 2022

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Best BBQ Restaurants in Memphis: Local Barbecue Joints to Try Right Now

Family. Tradition. Soul. This is what sets Memphis barbecue apart. Ronald Payne, of Payne’s Bar-B-Q, claims that most of the barbecue restaurants in Memphis are loved ones-owned, and that the barbecue below just has a specific “soulfulness” to it. The restaurant he operates now was started out by his father, and their signature mustard slaw—which they make contemporary just about every day—has been in his dad’s family members for four or five generations. “My dad’s family was a major barbecue family members,” he says, joking that his mother “never planned on remaining in Payne’s just about every working day like she was.”

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, a further loved ones-owned, iconic barbeque cafe in Memphis, is a single of the only other establishments touting a mustard slaw. “Our mustard-vinegar centered coleslaw is a 100 calendar year outdated household recipe,” states his granddaughter, Anna Vergos-Blair. “Charlie’s father experienced a very hot canine stand on Beale Avenue around 1910. He set this coleslaw on major of the sizzling canine. It is the same recipe we use today (and is continue to truly superior on very hot canine).”

Individually, Ronald prefers a mayonnaise slaw, but suggests that their mustard slaw pairs superior with their tangy sauce. “The blend just functions,” he suggests.

Anna asked her dad, John Vergos, why Memphians put slaw on their barbecue and he said, “It is the fantastic mix of flavors, textures, and temperatures.” The to start with area John remembers putting slaw on a barbecue sandwich was at Leonard’s, which dates back to 1922.

Ronald doesn’t try to eat a lot barbecue, aside from a bologna sandwich now and then, but he however enjoys a yard barbecue since of the individual touches and distinct tastes. It is these traditions that continue to keep the barbecue scene in Memphis alive—and retains it as one particular of the very best in the state. “People are striving distinct factors. Sooner or later, some way, any individual may even make it healthier,” he states, laughing. “There may well be a ton of tofu barbecue going about.”

Right up until then, use this record to sample the huge puppies (hogs?) in city: the long standing, off-the-crushed-path places and the locals’ favorites—all are crucial places to eat in Memphis.