Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Off the Map: It's Not Awe-Inspiring, but Memphis Is Fine

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich -- Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, Memphis, TN
Charlie Vergos Rendezvous

Here are some things Vodka and her college roommates like to do while on vacation:

1. Look at maps.
2. Drive across state lines for fast food milkshakes, merely to add to one's state count.
3. Photograph street signs that coincide with the names of one's guinea pigs.
4. Dine at Chipotle, with the goal of hitting one in every state.
5. Sample the Best Thing I Ever Ate dishes from every single one of the town's Best Thing I Ever Ate-featured establishments.
Needless to Say, Our College Dorm Room Was "Unique"
Number five is how Vodka, Diet Coke, and Whiskey Sour wind up consuming three separate pulled pork sandwiches within the span of three hours.
We Make Such Sacrifices to in Order to Pursue Our Cause
The first pulled pork of the day arrived at 11:00am in the form of a Downtown Memphis tour we took... all by ourselves. In defense of our pork-laden itinerary, no mention of said lunch appeared in the tour description, so the sandwich we ate at Central BBQ was the "bonus" meal of the day (and, to its credit, was quite tasty).
We Liked You, but We Didn't Want You
But unfortunately, this also means that an hour later, we are seated at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, ready to consume their version of the same delicacy, as recommended by Tyler Florence on the BAR-B-QUE episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate
Ah Yes, We Like to Do All Our Finest Dining in an Alley
As if the Central BBQ surprise meal weren't enough, we had previously eaten a full breakfast, which means that we are already on our third meal of the day. 
So the Next Logical Question is What ELSE Should We Get?
And in what would later prove to be a fatal mistake, along with the sandwich, we ask for a rack of Rendezvous's famous ribs.
Scenes from Overeaters Anonymous
"You could get nine ribs for three dollars more," our disenchanted waiter informs us. When we decline his offer to supersize our meal, he retreats with a shrug, while Whiskey Sour quips, "I don't think he loves his job."
Apparently Charlie Vergos Was a Hoarder
Meanwhile, Diet Coke is staring at the poster hanging above Vodka's head, remarking to no one in particular, "What a wonderful map," as Whiskey Sour whips some of her napkin-enclosed leftover chips from Central BBQ out of her bag and begins chomping.
The Reasons Why Said Map Was Hanging in Here Remain Unclear
Our waiter breezes back over to deposit some paper plates and plastic silverware on our table (environmentally friendly, Memphis is not), along with three free bowls of a rice and sausage concoction, which is better tasting than it should be.
No Need to Employ Those Pesky Dishwashers with a No-Fail System Like This
It May Look Like a Bowl of Slop, But It Is a Delicious Bowl of Slop
In contrast, Rendezvous's version of Memphis's favorite meal is not unpleasant, but not exactly remarkable either. 
Memphis: The Town Pigs Fear the Most
On its own, it has very little flavor, and it is only after dumping some additional barbeque sauce and a dollop of the accompanying cole slaw on top that it manages to become even slightly interesting. 
So Essentially, It's a Do-It-Yourself Affair
As opposed to the one we received at Central BBQ, Rendezvous's sandwich is much messier, not only because of the smaller pieces of pork itself, but because the chosen roll does not wrap around the offerings inside with the same satisfaction.
And Despite the Evidence Within Our Dorm Room Walls, We Don't Enjoy Mess
Similarly, their famous ribs, while certainly not offensive, aren't exactly our thing either. Smothered in a dry rub ("My problem with a dry rub is that it's dry" = why we don't write food reviews professionally), the meat tastes remarkably more like a pork chop than a pork rib.
Could Someone Please Put the Sauce on Beforehand? We Didn't Come Here to Do Manual Labor
As we saunter out of the premises, onward to a bevy of future meals, Diet Coke remarks, "It's not awe-inspiring, but it's fine."
 You're Welcome for That Gushing Sentiment....
And somehow, we don't believe either Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, or Memphis itself, will be utilizing that as their next tourist slogan.

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous's BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich: 3 stars

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