Southern Living magazine revealed its list of the South's Top 50 Barbecue Joints on Wednesday.
Three Memphis barbecue restaurants made the 2022 list: A&R Barbecue, Cozy Corner and Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous.
A&R Barbecue was the highest-ranking Memphis restaurant, landing in the No. 11 spot.
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"Memphis is famous for its slaw-topped barbecue sandwiches, and A&R serves the best in the city," the description reads. "The first bite of chopped pork explodes with flavor, and the tender meat merges into the warm, soft bun while yellow-tinged slaw adds cool, crisp pops. The rib sandwich is even better — a short, meaty slab wedged, bones and all, between two slices of plain white bread, with plenty of slaw and A&R's signature reddish brown sauce. The Pollard family cooks their pork shoulders and ribs on charcoal-fired pits, and their sauce is thick and only moderately sweet — the perfect partner for some of the best smoked pork in the South."
Cozy Corner was listed at No. 40.
The post about this Downtown barbecue restaurant reads: "Two years ago, Desiree Robinson — the matriarch of Cozy Corner — was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, and deservedly so. Under her watch, the restaurant her late husband, Ray, founded in 1977 has become an iconic example of Memphis's signature barbecue style. That means ribs and rib tips enrobed in sweet, tangy sauce and bursting with sharp, smoky flavor. The signature brown sauce comes in four varieties ranging in heat from mild to 'super hot,' and even the medium will leave your lips tingling. For sides there are beans, bright yellow slaw, and BBQ spaghetti, a fusion of tender noodles and savory barbecue sauce that's unique to Memphis. Cozy Corner offers a few touches all its own, too, like smoked Cornish hen and sandwiches that pile thin-sliced pork or beef on long sesame-topped sub rolls instead of the usual bun."
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous was listed at No. 47.
The description of one of Memphis' most famous rib joints reads: "Back in the 1940s, Charlie Vergos converted an old coal chute in his basement restaurant into a barbecue pit, and he started cooking pork ribs hot and fast over a charcoal fire. He finished the racks with a reddish-brown spice blend borrowed from his father's Greek chili recipe, and Memphis classic 'dry rubbed' ribs were born. Nothing can quite compare to the Rendezvous's iconic setting, from the stylish red and green awning outside to the red-checked tablecloths and photograph-lined walls of the basement dining room. Start things off with a cold draft beer and an 'appetizer plate' of ham, cheese, and sausage, then move on to a big basket of charcoal-crisped ribs. It's a barbecue experience found only in Memphis."
Scott's Bar-B-Cue in Hemmingway, South Carolina, was named the best barbecue spot in the South.
The only other Tennessee restaurant listed was Peg Leg Porker, a Memphis-style barbecue joint in Nashville. It came in at No. 41.
The list was compiled and ranked by Southern Living's contributing barbecue editor, Robert Moss.
"Resilience and new beginnings are recurring themes on this year's list. Instead of widespread gloom, the past two years have brought a flourishing of barbecue entrepreneurship," Moss said. "Established restaurants have added new locations, and some have evolved into nascent multi-state chains. A parade of ambitious new players has entered the market, too, and they are transforming the long-running Southern barbecue tradition with their energy and creativity."
The full list of winners can be viewed at southernliving.com.
The last time the magazine published its top barbecue list was in 2019.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Southern Living's Top 50 Barbecue Joints: Memphis restaurants on list