I sent my parent's Rendezvous BBQ for Christmas last year and they're still talking about it. What's the saying? If something's not broke, don't fix it... Well, my parents are very hard to shop for, and I'm telling you, I think I've finally found the perfect one-size-fits-all gift solution, BBQ! Although I have the novelty aspect of living in Memphis working for me, any carnivore in your life can't turn down Memphis BBQ. I mean seriously, if you're human + an omnivore there's no going wrong. This is a fantastic idea if you need to gift an entire family. I mean, stuff gets overrun/forgotten/in the way and experiences are the things that get talked about + it takes care of everyone for under $100. Win/Win. What's more bizarre/novel/awesome than having delicious authentic Memphis BBQ FedEx-ed to your kitchen for an impromptu family party? They're still taking about it, folks. I only called mom to see if they wanted Rendezvous again or to try something new. Win.
1) Corky's - Corky's is a Memphis staple. Corky's sauce is a sweet,smoky (but still tangy) blend. My cousin served FedEx-ed Corky's for his wedding rehearsal dinner and my sister said she preferred it to all the other BBQ she sampled while visiting Memphis... after being shipped. Her favorite. I think that speaks for itself.
2) Rendezvous - In Memphis you see lots and lots of vinegar in BBQ. Rendezvous packs in that great tangy flavor + they have my favorite dry-rub in the city (you can use it in everything you cook). I believe it is the most famous BBQ spot in Memphis, which some locals consider "selling-out" or whatever, it's totally delicious. My family can only sing praises on this place.
3) Central BBQ - Central is much more local than the previously mentioned BBQ hot spots. Again, we have a great smoky, tangy flavor and a super slooow cooked (Memphis is all about the slow cook) meat-falling-off-the-bone rib. I have definitely eaten at Central more than any other BBQ joint as it's basically around the corner from where I live. It's delicious. I wish they offered more non-traditional options online (2 words: BBQ Nachos, mmm hmm.)
*Note: after looking at these website descriptions, it's important to remember these are Southr'n portions. 1 slab of ribs can definitely feed more than 1-2 people. My guess is that there are somewhere between 13-14 ribs per slab.