Memphis Blues Barbeque house features southern comfort food including melt-in-your-mouth ribs. There are several other locations in the Lower Mainland.
My main complaint is that I find their BBQ sauce to be entirely too sweet with not enough spice to it. If you like sweet BBQ sauce, then this is won't be an issue. It just doesn't do it for me.
Other than that, I found the beef brisket to be moist, tender, and smokey (everything it should be). The pulled pork was pretty good, but I have had better. I liked the coleslaw and beans too.
You order at the counter, but the employees are really friendly and helpful (even letting me sample some dishes when I wasn't sure what I wanted). You can see them prepare your food since it is an open kitchen, and it looks really clean and well maintained.
It was a nice surprise to see that they have a good selection of hard to find Bourbons, but it would be nice if there were some more choices for beer.
I must say that I like this place, but if they added some different styles of BBQ sauce I would love it.
That's the best way to describe it. Sometimes some pieces are dry and other times not. Very unpredictable. After 4 visits and always ordering the large platters, I will still go back cause I haven't found anything better. Brisket is probably my favorite as it should be. After 20 years in the South and long stints in Seattle and here, I like this place for one reason. They don't think the chili has to be flaming hot like most people in the NW. Good chili can be hot but it's not a prereq. Still looking for a place that puts mesquite and hickory chips to proper use.
Ambiance I gave a 2 but this is bbq not tapas in yaletown. I've got no complaints about the service.
Our first time at a Memphis Blues -- great food, great waiters (even if you do have to serve yourself!). The decor is nothing to write home about, but that's ok! The washrooms could use improving from a wheelchair access standpoint.
The food -- well!! We had a Memphis Feast for 4 of us, and had leftovers for the next 2 days' of snacks! I didn't like everything, but that's my taste not the food's fault. I got the Feast so we'd known what to order next time -- pulled pork for sure, chicken (that's no game hen!), and the ribs.
The prices are reasonable, but the wine prices are outrageous - we'll stick to beer and pop.
We'll go again for sure!
So many people told me how amazing this place was, but I was sadly disappointed. I've had so much better ribs elsewhere. The meat was a little tough and stringy, I dont think it was the ribs themselves, but how they prepared them, over smoked, under smoked- I dont know, just not good.
Also they taste way too smokey, is that smoke flavour, or are they burnt? The service is pretty much indifferent. This maybe proper Memphis BBQ, but I dont like it.
I've been there twice, and enjoyed it both times. Food comes fast, as long as you know to order at the counter. Both the chicken and ribs were delectable. Nice atmosphere with the music they play, and you can sit and people watch on Commercial if you want. I'll be back...
Quite heavy. The smoked sausage was good but really did not like the chicken or the briskette. Briskette was sooo fatty, and the chicken had absolutely no flavor. I had to put cider vinaegar on the mushy pulled pork to get a bite down. The sides were actually quite grose (beans, coleslaw, potatoe salad). Not impressed. I read about this place on this site, and was actullay quite disapointed. Oh well, can't win them all.
I've been coming here since it opened. Before that the Broadway location since shortly after it opened. Before that my hook-up was Fatzo's...
Unless they have a beef rib on the specials board, I always have brisket. Lunchtime on salad or in a bun, dinnertime with fries.
The meat is consistently excellent. Good quality beef, properly slow cooked. Tender, tasty & smoky. Usually some crackling; easy to separate the meat from the fat.
The beans are outstanding. The fries are usually very nice; crisp & nicely spiced. The cornbread is inconsistent; when they get it right (moist) it is sublime. The bbq sauce is nice as a condiment for the fries; I prefer the brisket unmolested by sauce.
Excellent choice of non-alcoholic bevvies. Good beer & wine choices at correct prices. I notice a good selection of bourbons but have not imbibed...
I find the servers to do a great job (within the margins they operate). When busy there is usually a greeter to help you find a table & understand the process. Tables are turned quickly. The counter-person is patient, friendly & efficient. Cooks will often run the order to your table if not yell your (pornstar) name for pick-up.
Excellent place for groups if you time it right / don't mind waiting for a table.
The place isn't cheap (~$50/couple); but they have cornered the market and use top-quality ingredients... I'm an addict with rapidly clogging arteries.
I was excited to go to here since I heard great food reviews from co-workers (one of them is even related to the owners), so I thought it would be a great opportunity to check this place out. I ordered the combo plate to share (so I picked pulled pork & the brisket) which was more than enough to share between 2 people, and it's only $20! It comes with a generous portion of fries, coleslaw, and a piece of corn bread. You order, pay, pick up ur drink/cutlery/plates...so it's like cafeteria style, which is fine if you know this in advance. I did, so I waited patiently for my food. I waited, not knowing how long it would take for my order, they said, just wait until you hear your name. Once I noticed everyone in the room who had arrived after me, got their orders, I know that something was wrong...so I had to ask politely "when will my order be ready?". It was then they realized that they had forgotten my order. I was pretty mad/disappointed. Instead the cook person said "sorry, this usually doesn't happen, so what did you order?" at this point I had waited for 45 minutes (not exaggerating) and I repeated my order and asked for it "to go" immediately. Yes, accidents happen, but no effort of compensation was suggested (even "i'll throw in some extra fries for you, or can I offer you a free soda?) and by adding "Cheers" when I repeated my orders, doesn't cut it. So, that ruined my experience (my 1st, but not my last i'm sure). So, my advice is, if you haven't gotten your order within i don't know, 10 minutes, start harassing them...or better yet, just order take out, they seem like they're always top priority anyways. Now if my co-worker (who's related to the owners) ask me if i've been, i'll just say the food was great, and not comment on the lack of common courtesy from their employees. To be fair, the overall rating was affected based on their error, where they could have made unhappy customer not so unhappy...but the food was pretty good.
Don't ask the staff here! There seems to be a prevalent attitude from the owner/manager down to front-end staff that chicken is a second-class meat. Maybe they should try Nando's, learn to prepare and cook it better, or just remove chicken from the menu all together if they hate it so much. The last two times I was there I heard attitude and snide remarks from the staff when someone ordered chicken. Good food, even the chicken, and clean place with a blues theme.
Don't usually get up to the Commercial Drive area but since I was in the area, I wanted to try this place out. When you walk in, the smell of smoked meat is so overpowering...Got the Feast for the family and left. Pulled pork and ribs very tender and very good. My wife didn't care for the sauce even though I thought it was okay. The corn bread was basically a miss for us, but that's more to our preference than anything actually wrong with the bread. A decent lunch and large portions. Writing this review here in the evening and snacking on some ribs I got earlier actually and there's still some leftovers for lunch tomorrow. A good deal for 30 bucks.
Walking by this place the other day and seeing the big platters of food we had to try it. Went for lunch and got a 2 meat combo shared between 2 people. it was...OK. Brisket and rib ends. More than enough for 2 people at lunch we left full, but it was just OK.
And yes I have been all through the south east. This place is basically a road side stand trying too hard with the "ambiance". What they lack in subtle they make up in portion size.
Maybe I'm a cheapie but 5 and half bucks plus tax for a glass of beer on tap that I have to go get myself?!?!
BTW no table service, order and pick up when called.
As a Texan who relocated to Vancouver, I'm picky about a few things, and barbecue and Mexican food are two of them.
Memphis Blues is the one barbecue joint i've found which passes muster.
Supposedly founded by a couple of Vancouverites who discovered Memphis-style barbecue in a trip to Tennessee, and then spent a great deal of time and research learning to replicate it, the restaurant and its food speak for themselves.
Memphis Blues carries a varied selection of different meat choices which put most other barbecue establishments to shame (their pulled pork and rib ends are my personal favorites, especially on a sandwich), and executed in a way which does not disappoint. They also offer two different sampler platters which allow larger groups the chance to try a little of everything (though I've watched as few as two men finish off an Elvis Platter by themselves a time or two).
The only thing which sets Memphis Blues aside from truly authentic Memphis style barbecue is their homemade sauce, which, although quite tasty, falls into more of a smoky molasses-rich Texas-style barbecue sauce category rather than the sweet and pungent sauce usually associated with Memphis, but really, at that point, it's splitting hairs, and over something which still tastes better than anyone else's in town, so who's to complain. Oh, and then there's the not putting the cole slaw directly on the sandwich, but if you're a true Memphis barbecue purist, nothing's stopping you from doing that yourself anyway. . . .
Bring a big appetite, and leave your vegetarian friends at home.
I've always had just the takeout and it still impresses even after the 20 minute drive to Burnaby.
Ribs, sausage, chicken, beef and sides are all outstanding. My wife loves the pulled pork.
The Memphis feast for two to four feeds us for two days and since I don't eat meat during the week this satisfies all the cravings and it costs less than $40.