Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous, Memphis, TN
Tucked in a back-alley in the blues-drenched Beale Street section of Memphis, Rendezvous is the stuff of legend. Started in 1948, as the story goes, when Charlie Vergo uncovered a coal chute in his basement and started making his now decades-famous charcoal-broiled ribs. They're, of course, Memphis-style with dry rub, and a meal would not be complete without a stiff cold shoulder on the side. The grizzled waiters here have been serving barbecue in Memphis longer than most of Rendezvous's patrons have been alive, some over 50 years. The newbie server is still considered a trainee after 25 years, and the if your service doesn't come with a smile, consider it your initiation at this venerable ribs institution.