A trip to Memphis has to be about the barbecue.
The barbecue here is world-renowned, but those less experienced barbecue enthusiasts will need a short lesson in ‘Memphis Style’ barbecue. Memphis Style refers to traditionally smoking the meat with a dry rub instead of a sauce. Typically, the sauce is served on the side of the finished product, which places the emphasis on the quality of the meat rather than the sauce. The sauces are usually a blend of tomato, mustard and vinegar, which creates a taste not too sweet or hot. In Memphis, you may also find coleslaw on your pulled pork sandwich, so be sure to check the menu if you’re not a fan.
Some of the most legendary barbecue restaurants have to be Rendevous and Corkies. These restaurants are often voted the Best Barbecue in Memphis and are so popular both offer food available to be shipped where ever you live via Fed-Ex. Another favorite, especially by the locals, is Cozy Corner. It is definitely off the beaten path and you may have to fight for a table due to its small dining room. The traditional pork sandwich or ribs are always a great choice, but if you want to try something a little different, the Cornish game hens are the house specialty and have a little barbecue spaghetti on the side. Each of these restaurants is family-friendly and sure to be a hit with everyone.
Looking for a little blues with your barbecue? Beale Street is truly the center of entertainment in Memphis, and with over 25 shops, restaurants and bars it offers plenty of options. This area of downtown can be heard from blocks away as the blues comes pouring out of the clubs all along the street. Places like Blues City Café and Rum Boogie offer great food and music, plus they have great locations along Beale Street for people watching. However, once the sun goes down, Beale Street may not be appropriate for the kids.
If you decide to venture down to Beale Street but crave something a little different, a new club has recently opened and is said to be family-friendly. Superior Bar features a wide variety of food with a Creole flare and is housed at the end of Beale Street, where the old police museum had been. John Whittington, a manager at Superior, touts the menu where special attention was made to offer more than the typical barbecue sandwich found on Beale. According to Whittington, memorabilia of Memphis was obtained to decorate the club, and vintage prints of the city cover the walls. There’s also a large dance floor as well as a karaoke stage. The kids will love belting out ‘Love Me Tender’ wearing an Elvis wig and playing a (pretend) guitar on stage, while mom and dad sample some of the grits and crawfish.
Whether it’s an unknown restaurant or world-famous, Memphis will definitely live up to the hype when it comes to the food. Just be sure to arrive hungrily.