Mr. Vergos, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Greece, opened the Rendezvous in 1948, selling ham and cheese sandwiches and beer. His signature pork ribs, charcoal-grilled, basted with vinegar and sprinkled with what has come to be known, in popular parlance, as dry rub, came later, around 1954 or 1955.
When barbecue obsessives talk about the dry rub style, often referenced as the Memphis style, they’re talking about the style that Mr. Vergos forged, by sprinkling ribs with his variation on a Greek seasoning mix.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Memphis BBQ Pioneer Charlie Vergos RIP
Those of you you have been coming here for any length of time know I am a BBQ fanatic and pride myself on the ability to turn out great BBQ. When it comes to BBQ I lean toward Eastern North Carolina for my pulled pork but when it comes to ribs I am a Memphis boy. Charlie Vergos who opened the famous Rendevous BBQ in Memphis in 1948 is known as the originator of the Memphis dry rub, a must for a great BBQ pork rib. Not to take anything away from Mr. Vergos but I didn't consider the Rendezvous the best BBQ place in Memphis but it was definitely a place to visit and experience, and all the great BBQ in Memphis owes Charlie a debt for coming up with the dry rub which defines Memphis BBQ today.