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2.5
  • Food3
  • Service2.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews53

Memphis Blues Barbeque House

1342 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L3X6
Tel: (604) 215-2599
Fax: (604) 215-2565
Neighbourhood: Grandview-Woodland

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 53 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Truly sub par
By magic_chef of East Van (5 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:06pm [Dine in]

I've given this place more than a couple of chances to win me over but the meat has always been dry and/or greasy. The game hen is regarded as a signature dish and honestly you can get similar quality from a roasted chicken at Safeway. It is dry and chalky and had me reaching for my drink between every bite just to wash it down. I don't mind their bbq sauce but it seems a shame that I usually have to douse my meats so extensively to defeat the dryness and blandness. Their ribs are tough and dry - and embarassingly enough for the Memphis Blues outfit I've had better ribs at Tony Roma's. I suppose it is what it is, there isn't a whole lot of competition for quality much less 'authentic' bbq in Vancouver so this spot is the one of the few options and of course on the Drive it's the only one. To top things off the staff are surly - this seems to be the case at both locations. Not the worst food for your dollar but this place has no business calling itself authentic or associating itself with Memphis when its product is so completely average at best.

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Dry and Greasy
By horndrix of white rock (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 7:00pm [Dine in]

I am so sorry to feel obliged to write this review.I am a fan of real smokehouse BBQ.However,when I took my family to Memphis BBQ for a birthday celebration disappointment was on the menu.We had brisket(dry and greasy and way overcooked),ribs(dry greasy overcooked and gamey) and chicken(dry,greasy flavourless).The beer was excellent.The BBQ sauce was way too full of molasses( I love a good strong BBQ sauce) and was not a real Memphis style sauce.There was plenty of food and the music and atmosphere was great.I know they mean well but they need somebody who knows how to cook.I hope they read this because their's is not a hopeless cause

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Sub Mediocre
By caracasbbq of New Westminster, B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, January 8, 2006 - 3:46pm [Dine in]

If that classification exists then it is appropiate IMHO. Sides were ordinary, pulled pork was mush, I would venture a guess that they have a Hobart buffalo chopper in the back. Just not correct texture. Sauce was generic, brisket was tender and juicy, but tasteless (Not hard to do with the equipment displayed). I couldn't even detect a smoke flavour, and no smoke ring on the meat??? How can this happen with the equipment (oven) used. I have run a rib business that pumped out 100 kgs of product a day and I can assure you that if wood smoke gets to the product in a gas oven, you will get some ring, and much more smoke flavour. Again, my guess is that they skimped on wood the day I ate there. The brisket was unwrapped from plastic wrap in front of me for slicing, I doubt my palate would have detected the plastic, but come on guys!!!! Saddly, I will not waste my time here again, a half hearted effort by some one who is obviously not in love with BBQ.

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My partner enjoyed it...however I didn't
By COMPANI of V5A1S6 (21 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 11:11am [Dine in]

We ordered the Memphis Feast platter for $44.00, one lemonade and a water. Wow this place is expensive for what you get. Don't get me wrong, it IS a big platter, however the quality of the food is not. I really, really did not enjoy eating ANY of this and ended up getting a slice of pizza on the drive. I will say though my boyfriend loved it, maybe we have different tastes and expectations of food. I found all the meat tasted really old and it grossed me out. It had a 'frost'-bitten taste or something, just it wasn't right. You order at the till, which is fine but then they expect you to tip. Which I'm not cheap so I gave $5 bucks, thinking that at least the server walking around doing nothing would grab refills, ask how your doing, how the food is or if you needed to take anything to go...NOPE she just directs you to grab your own stuff...literally, we asked for my lemonade to be refilled and our water, she said, " you can get it yourself from the front". Later we asked if we could get the platter wrapped up to go, she said, "you can do it yourself, the boxes are at the front". It took us 10min, we wrapped up everything but needed a bag to it all in, we asked for one...you can guess what her answer was. We felt rushed too while packing as people were standing right beside our table staring at us waiting to sit. Then the server came over and was like "are you guys finished?" and started wiping the table. We couldn't even let the food digest. What a waste of any tip!

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Consistency would be nice
By VcrFoodie of Coal Habour (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 7:45pm [Dine in]

We've gone to Memphis on Broadway and Commercial a lot - way more than 10 times - and we can't understand why the portions and level of moisture is inconsistent. My husband thinks the ribs and pulled pork are the best in town. On a visit this past Thursday with another 3rd carnivore friend, we ordered the usual Memphis feast. The cornish hen was very moist and delicious but what happened to the price and portions. Price went up and portion were less than past visits. The staff has always been pretty friendly for a self service restaurant style. This location is more spacious and brighter than the Broadway one. We'll back for another feast but probably the visits will be fewer.

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Amazing
By browntown of Richmond (23 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 21, 2008 - 7:24pm [Dine in]

This place is great, we were greated by a lady as soon as we walked in. It is a little bit of a take out/self serve place rather than a full on dining experience (sometime like a Nando's). The food was amazing, I didnt know you get BBQ like that in Vancouver. The had the brisket and it was amazing! The fixens were great too. They even have authentic Southern pop and drinks as well. I have been going here for a long time and will keep coming back.

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mmm bbq!
By onegirl of vancouver (22 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 22, 2007 - 12:27pm [Dine in]

Oh soo good! Great food! Always busy, but good reason, food is fab! come hungry and come often... only problem I have is the drinks situation (if you want iced tea it's in the fridge, get it your self).. but other then that bbq stuff is yummmmy!

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Hot food can cure the blues but...
By grantrmca of Mount Pleasant, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 8:23pm [Dine in]

This is the second time here both times my meat was cold. I had a half BBQ chicken. It was cold, but other than that okay, just okay. The coleslaw was probably the worst I have ever had. Considering the meal was $12 before my beer and there is only counter service in a nutshell it lacked on almost every aspect. The BBQ sauce was pretty good though!

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Great Tasting BBQ, Everything else So So.
By comiccrow of Yaletown,Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 12:43pm [Dine in]

My girlfriend and I took a drive down Commercial and found this BBQ place. We've heard good things about Memphis Blues so we decided to give it a try. We walked in and it looks like the set of The Dukes of Hazzard. It looked just like what you'd expect from a place called a BBQ house. The smell was mouth watering. You go up to the counter and order and pay as you would at McDonalds. Then you go find a seat and the guy behind the counter brings you the delicious meat. We ordered a sampler meat platter that contained BBQ'd Chicken, Bibs, Pulled Pork, Brisket, Sausage and sides of beans, fries, coleslaw, potato salad, and corn bread. The best things that stick out in my mind was the pulled pork, and brisket which was my favorite. Everything else tasted great too, but if you only choose one item pick the brisket. The platter was huge and looked like it was for a group of six for approx. $40. Great value and I felt meated out and had lunch for the next day. We had a great experience and will definitely be back when we're feeling carnivorous!

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Cannot recommend.
By cigar06 of vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 29, 2009 - 9:20pm [Dine in]

The food quality is mixed. Locals who claim to like this must never have travelled much. The ribs were tasteless and certainly not fall off the bone. The beef was tender, moist and tasty. The chicken was dry and bland. The pulled pork was so dry and stringy it looked like an old birdsnest. The french fries were hard little sticks. The sauce and coleslslaw were good. The potato salad was much worse than safeway potato salad!! Maybe it was old but you couldn't get it off the fork. AWFUL. The price is too high for what you get. The service is none existent. The girl at the cash was very rude. Amazing in this economy. The owners are clearly absent.

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What? Get it myself?
By Quality_First of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 6:56pm [Dine in]

Why, why, why does this restaurant not have table service? I feel like I'm eating in a cafeteria - having to get my own food, utensils, water, etc. For the amount of money that you are paying, you would think that they could afford a few waitresses on the floor and actually provide table service.

After a few more grumbles about the self-serve issue, my friends and I sat ourselves down after ordering their "Elvis Platter" - a sampling of all their BBQ meats.

I can see why people don't rate this BBQ place very high. The meat was not very good. Although you can tell that the meat is smoked, it's the final product that doesn't deliver. The meats were dry and the BBQ sauce was ... hmmm ... shall I just plainly say, "not good". My friends and I are making our way through all the BBQ joints in the city and we would not recommend this restaurant (at least not this location). We'll have to try their other 2 locations to see if the consensus is the same for the others.

I would not take my mom here.

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Won't be back
By delicieuse of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:16am [Dine in]

I can honestly say that the food was okay but the service was something else. Yes, it was a Friday night and they had a large party so we understand that it was busy but still it was really shocking to see how they treat customers. We had to wait over an hour for table because of poor table planning. To make amends for the wait, the hostess handed out coupons for free appetizer. But low and behold, when we wanted to use the coupon, we were told that the coupon was only valid for the Broadway location. Instead of giving this location our business we were suppose to drive all the way to their smaller Broadway location and basically line up again. The coupon by the way was as clear as mud. It read "free appetizer" but somehow the obscure arrow explained that we were suppose to drive all the way to Broadway to use it. That's not all, the hostess made one group of diners move to another table in the middle of their meal to accomodate a large party then she approached them again and basically hurried them out because of the long line up. The nerve!

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Best Barbecue in Town
By Lizard2112 of Surrey (10 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:24pm [Dine in]

It's super. What can I say? Best barbecue in town and I know that means a lot of competition from other places, but I love it. Great food at a very reasonable price given the quantity you get. It's a heart-stopper special but if we can't chow down on some meat now and then, life isn't worth living. Highly recommended for takeout - the place is often too busy!

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Love this place!
By palms007 of V5M 2R2 (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 10:45pm [Dine in]

I've been going here for many years! Excellent food menu and excellent service. Although I'm a busy person, from time to time, I do take the opportunity to eat in here whenever I can. I especially love their BBQ Poutine and a glass of Coke because I somehow always have leftovers to bring home! Each and every time I do take out or pick ups, they're always fast with my orders. This place is also a good place for a date past the lunch time rush as there's PLENTLY of seating and they always say goodbye when you leave. Best tasting food here! Other than that, rock on Memphis Blues!

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A guilty pleasure
By Valdemar of Burnaby, BC (38 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 3:16pm [Dine in]

Memphis Blues is a place you go if you want to consume vast quantaties of meat and care not for your waistline. If the platter says it feeds 4, it will feed at least 6.

Food: This kind of BBQ is not common around here, which is probably why I'd rate it higher than perhaps I should. I loved the pulled pork and was satisfied by everything else. Yes, the food is exceptionally fattening and greasy, but that's why you go in the first place!

Service: What service? It's a self-serve place where you pick up your own order and are basically on your own. The staff are friendly, but you might be better off taking the food home.

Value: For that much meat and food, it's a very good value. You are almost guaranteed to get plenty of leftovers, and enough calories to last you a year.

Ambiance: Not much ... wooden tables, rolls of paper towels everywhere (you need them). At least the people around Commercial Drive are generally friendly and everyone is simply there to get stuffed.

Overall: Great for a guilt-free glutton.

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An insult to Memphis, and Southern BBQ.
By patio of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 10:19am [Take-out]

This was my second visit to this location and I was hoping I was wrong the first time. Gristle, fat, and dry meat (once you get to it) prevail: there's far too much sugar in the beans and BBQ sauce to maintain the balance required for full flavour (any smoky or spicy flavours are completely lost), the collard greens were grey and over cooked, the potato salad contains too much mustard. The pulled pork included one golf ball sized chunk of gristle with pork attached (on both visits). The brisket is good but also dry.
For some reason, the Feast platter claims to serve four, but only comes with three tiny bite-sized pieces of so-so cornbread, and if the sides are to be split between four, each person would be lucky to get three bites each.
As an actual Southerner, I'm not impressed. And I, too, suspect that the ribs are baked. I doubt many of the patrons have been South or ever had true Southern BBQ.
The restaurant is okay - not terribly clean and extremely noisy. The service is predominately self-serve, whether dining in or out - tipping is optional as far as I'm concerned. We chose to take-out this time so that we could actually talk and not feel pressured to hurry during our meal.
It's certainly not worth the $50.

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Go anywhere else unless you like to throw your money away
By katyas of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 7:14pm [Delivery]

We just ordered the Memphis Feast for takeout. What a collosal waste of money. I ordered at 5:10pm for delivery. Our meal arrived at 5:33pm. Was the food fresh? Nope. It looked and tasted like bad leftovers, having been recooked a few times - obvious in the fact that it took only 23 minutes for them to "cook" and deliver. The only thing good about the meal was the soda - because it wasnt cooked by Memphis. I have never regretted spending $70.00 as much as I did tonight. You would have had a better meal at McDonalds. The potatoes in the potatoe salad were waterlogged. It was like they previously cooked the potatoes, then froze them unti they needed to make a quick salad. Potatoes out of a box that you just add water to, taste a whole lot better.

The coleslaw - lets just say you could get better at KFC. The refried beans were just a mush - also like it was leftovers reheated 10 times. They even failed on the fries. They were so soggy and overly salted - we couldn't eat them. The cornbread was burnt.
Such a difference from when we ordered a couple of years ago. When I read the latest reviews, I thought that since they did such a great job then, that the reviews may not have been truthful. Be forewarned. unless you have no taste buds and a stomache of steel, stay away. I'm going to call them right now to pick up their garbage and ask for my money back.
Whoever their cook is, he should be fired or should go back to doing the dishes.
I have received bad service or bad product before, but this one takes the cake. I have NEVER EVER written a review before. The fact I am writing one reflects how bad this place really was. I hope you take the favor and go anywhere else. I should say though, the lady taking the order over the phone was nice. Thats they only thing good about this place besides the old fashioned pop in glass bottles. If i could rate this a zero star - I would.

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Good Brisket
By rcm of Vancouver (Killarney) (5 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 11:56am [Dine in]

After reading some reviews for Memphis Blue, my boyfriend and I went to the commerical st location. We parked a block away and walked to the restaurant. The servers were really nice. I ordered the Combo plate and chose the ribs with the brisket with fries. Fries were delicious, ribs were a bit dry but I LOVED THE BRISKET! it's a must eat when you go there! My boyfriend had the rib ends (delicious) and chicken (kinda dry). Overall I would say the food was alright... portions were huge! and for $45 it was worth it. Definitely go back again... maybe we'll try a new location next time.

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No wonder Memphis is singing the Blues!!
By livinforthefood of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 11:54pm [Dine in]

After being an avid review follower and reader of Vancouver Magazine, finally thought'd I'd give the place a try. It's just BBQ, how bad could it be? Bad! Bad! Bad! Must admit we were turned off right away by having to step over the food all over the floor just to place our order, but we forge ahead. (Actually had to ask the floor under and beside our table to be swept up so we could put our feet down comfortably). They are written up as having a decent wine list. (????) Seriously? Okay, so we "be a sport" and order 2 glasses of wine, which we have to pick up at the counter (????) and they are in small water/juice glasses. Come on! Can you not stock cheap wine glasses - here's a tip, don't offer wine! I will admit that this was when the husband came back from the till and asked me if I really wanted to stay. (Duly noted for next time - it was a strong recommendation, not a simple inquiry). Again, we decide to just go with it - the food must be fantastic to put up with the rest of the shortcomings. Food is served (Memphis platter), with about 5-6 meats, 4 "fixins", and not one single thing I couldn't cook better at home, with a blindfold on. Wait, wait, make that my 7 year old. Dry, tasteless and dismal at best. The final topper was using the restroom, that is beyond describing, it is so neglected. I am still wondering to this moment how they can pass the Vancouver Health Board inspections, just based on that alone. Gives me a very good insight to the cleanliness of the kitchen. Shame on them.

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OK
By surreydiner of Surrey (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 6:08pm [Dine in]

I love parts of it but hate the others.
Love the brisket, pulled pork and ribs. Good flavour, cooked well.

Hate the chicken,fries and corn bread. Dry chicken and corn bread and limp fries.

I been here lots and now just get what I want and stay away from the other stuff.

The service is a little sparse as you order from a counter.

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