Looks like a trip to Marianna is in order

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2019/01/1 … nJDWji28Ms

I’ve been thinking the same thing Richard. I grew up in Helena but have never had Jones BBQ. Was a well kept secret for years, but word seems to have traveled around the world in recent years. Still a big fan of Craig’s in Devalls Bluff on the days they get it right.

Been to Craigs but not Jones. It must be great.

And I miss Mary’s Pies in Devalls Bluff. None better than Ms. Mary’s pies.

I grew up in Eastern Ark, but have never been to Jones. In fact, I’d never heard of it until a few years ago. I’ll have to try it. Like eagle, I’ve always been a big fan of Craig’s. Often detour off I-40 to stop by. My other favorite BBQ is the Rendezvous in Memphis. I’ve probably been to every bbq place in Shelby Co., but the Rendezvous is still my favorite for ribs. Been going there since I was a kid.

Central BBQ and The Bar-B-Q Shop are better than Rendezvous, the Rendezvous is good/ok, but more of a tourist trap.

Agreed… Central is the best.

Rendezvous is a tricky place. It can be fantastic, great, good, average or below average. Depends on your waiter.

My son-in-law is a Memphis native. He swears by Rendezvous, but says you must know your waiter.

What they are trying to do at Rendezvous is move people and get big tips. Some waiters are better than others at picking out the right ribs. I’ve been told the name of a couple of waiters, but I can’t recall that important information. I’d just make sure I was with my son-in-law.

I’m told that you pick the right waiter and make sure he knows what the tip is up front, or even give it before you sit down. And, then he will pick the right ribs. The other trick is for you to make sure the waiter knows you are going to get in and get out and not sit there all day. You are at his table and how much he makes depends on how many times he flips that table.

The deal is simple, get in and get out and be with the right waiter and it will be the best ribs ever. He said the right waiter will also allow you to send back ribs that aren’t good and he’ll do it so quickly that it will make your head swim. Again, you have to be with a waiter you know and he knows you. That would only be possible if I go with my son-in-law, an old-time regular, as is his family.

I’ve never done that. Didn’t know you could, like a steak that is not cooked properly. I rarely send a steak back unless it’s undercooked because I know that can be easily fixed. I like them rare, but do not like them still alive.

My son-in-law has not taken me to Rendezvous. But my daughter said that he has it down pat and he’s telling the truth on how to make it work. I’d have to be him to see it because I wouldn’t have a clue on which waiter to point to and then get to his table.

Thanks for that, Clay.
I have been to the Rendezvous several times, and experienced a wide range of quality. The last time was below average, and I vowed never to return. With your info, I may try again. But, in agreement with a few posters above, I think Central is the best I have tried in Memphis.

100% correct. I’ve been 40+ times over the past 35 years. Several years ago while a group of 10 or us were in town for a concert, we experienced a line out the door, with the wait list as long. We grabbed a waiter coming out of the kitchen, gave him a $100 and were sitting down and eating the best ribs ever.

has anyone eaten at this place in marianna? heck i would drive over on a saturday afternoon if i knew it was going to be awesome. are ribs their speciality?

Well, I can’t think of anything more subjective than taste in food, but I prefer Rendezvous to both. I disagree about the “tourist trap” description even though tourists make a point of going there because it has become rather famous. The only thing different about it now than 55+ years ago is that it occupies a bit more of that basement space. I couldn’t begin to count the times I’ve been there over the course of nearly 60 years. I admit I’ve occasionally gotten some ribs that were a bit too dry, but very rarely.

i am from eastern arkansas and have been eating at the rendezvous for 50 years. until 7 or so years ago i had the same waiter , lonnie, each and every time. i heard he had a falling out with charlies son and moved on, blues alley i think is where he works now. he would still remember me if i showed up there. never brought us a menu, just a deluxe cheese plate, pitcher of beer, and ribs, extra slaw. once walked in with 10 people, a surprise for my wife’s birthday. receptionist down the stairs said 2 hour wait. i asked if my waiter was there, he was, found him, had a table in 10 minutes. pretty tall order. he was handsomely rewarded each and every time. he put 4 kids through college working there. central is good, but rendezvous is my favorite. I’ve eaten at most every bbq joint in memphis, lots of good bbq there. nothing in little rock compares, not even close. ate at sassy in fayetteville on a recommendation, it was not that good, not even close. we drive over to memphis 2 times a year just to eat at rendezvous. only 1 time did i get mediocre ribs. gotta tell the waiter he will be taken care of right off the bat, and i like the old timers.

another restaurant in memphis on or near park avenue, not a good neighborhood now, is called pete and sams. we ate there 3 years ago i think, awesome. some of the old timers there still speak italian. heard they had a fire not long ago but it is back open. food is good, just make sure you have a concealed carry in that neighborhood. small steak and spaghetti w a meatball and sautéed spinach, appetizer a small thin crust pizza. thinking of both those places makes my mouth water…

I ate there years ago, if it’s the one served on white bread. You need to be there early if you go, because they cook “X” amount and when it’s out, they close, no matter if it’s 11:15, 12, or 12:30.

Do they serve ribs? Have you tried them if so?

Pretty sure they serve pulled pork sandwiches on white bread, that’s it, lol.

Razorwill from what I understand, you need to get there early in the day. When they run out, which they do regularly, that’s it for the day. I also think it’s more of a take it with you kind of place. Only a couple of tables from what I understand.

I still need to hook you up Richard. Will let you know next time I fire up the smoker.


Blues City Cafe’s ribs are fantastic.One of the waiters there told me he’d come over for Rendezvous and his former employer was “cutting corners.” I thought the Blues City ribs were much better than any I’ve had at Rendezvous.

Hard to get bad ribs in Memphis. I guess there would be places that have bad days, but traditionally the ribs in Memphis are great at almost every place. I like Corky’s ribs a lot, too. Some say there are plenty of better places to get ribs in Memphis, but they all are pretty good to me.