Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Food Network Has Found My Secret

Chances are if you have ever been to Memphis, you have eaten at the world-renowned Rendevous famous for its barbecue, but you’ve probably never even heard of our favorite place to eat…that is until now. The food network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” recently featured our well kept secret!


Pete and Sam’s has long been the restaurant of choice for our family’s special occasions, birthdays, graduation celebrations-- you name it! It’s an old restaurant (in business since 1948) located in an older part of Memphis now in the middle of pawn shops and Kwik Kash establishments. We’re still part of the “newer” patrons—we’ve only eating there for the last twenty years.


See the harlequin pattern table cloth? On a recent visit I commented to our waitress about the new cloth. “Mr. Sam bought ‘em for the food channel”, I was told. And sure enough, there she is—Lisa Lillien of Hungry Girl talking about Pete and Sam’s barbeque pizza recently on an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”.


This is Mr. Sam---know and loved by many. Well into his eighties, he sits behind the cash register every night, speaks to everyone who comes in, and knows many by name. He likes to tell everyone that he hasn’t had a raise in sixty two years :).


This pizza has the absolute thinnest crust I have ever eaten any where. The pizza is a combination of pulled pork and Italian cheeses with Pete and Sam’s tomato gravy. Combine this with their Miss Vita salad (my personal favorite) for a perfect meal !


Barbeque is my “go-to” recipe to take to new mothers, the family of sick friends, or anyone in need of a meal. It’s perfect because it can be warmed up individually for sandwiches or frozen for later. Add some slaw, a bag of buns, and a bag of chips and you’ve got a meal! This is how I do it.

Pulled Pork

Season a Boston butt with lemon pepper and garlic. I put it in a throwaway foil container. Top with a full bottle of Kraft Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce mixed with a cup of white vinegar. Bake covered with foil at 250 degrees overnight. Wake up to the best aroma you ever smelled! Remove from oven and cool. When the pork is cool, remove fat and tear into shreds. I then top it with homemade sauce or serve the sauce on the side.

Pop’s BBQ Sauce

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

4 tablespoons vinegar

4 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Lea and Perrins

3 tablespoons liquid smoke

1/2 cup chili sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

Melt all together in a saucepan.

This is the real thing! I am joining our hostess Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. She is one hostess who is always cooking up or “dressing up” something good! Click on the Foodie Friday button on my sidebar for transportation!


  1. Very cool!~ That sauce recipe is to die for...we love BBQ never been to Memphis, but there is plenty here in The Carolinas!

  2. When we moved to NC, we began our barbecue education-best classes we've ever been to!
    xoxo Pattie

  3. Sounds good. Pulled pork is just starting to catch on up here in the North..I made it for a 150 for a Community Beach Party. Half the people never heard of it! Have to top it with cole slaw though!

  4. Here in Nashville, it's just Pork BBQ. I am one happy camper with it. Sort of like Sam of Dr Seuss fame. I could eat on the train, in the rain, in the dark, in the park... ANYTIME!
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  5. Pulled pork is my favorite kind of barbecue sandwich! Thank you so much for sharing...I put coleslaw on mine and it is delicious.

  6. I have my own recipe for pulled pork, but yours looks wonderful. I will have to try it. Thanks. Joni

  7. I am crazy for BBQ and the Pizza looks amazing!

  8. I missed that episode on "Best Thing I Ever Ate". I have seen some of them but not all. I have not been to Pete and Sam's in a long time - don't no why - just have not gone. Trying to remember the last thing I ate there. I love a thin, crisp crust recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipe for pulled pork.
    Have a great weekend!

  9. i promise i was not the one that told them!
    lucky pup for being so close to the best dive! :) lol

  10. My favorite place to eat in Memphis for BBQ was always Gridley's. But I think it's closed now. I haven't been in years anyway. Nothing like good ole Memphis BBQ.

  11. I love this post! Oh, I do love the Rendevous. I love smelling the Q as I walk down the alley, then down, down, down the stairs. It's like a big, ole magnet pulling me to lipsmacking flavor. Our Publix sells their bbq sauce (but somehow it's just not the same as being there).
    Have a GREAT weekend!

  12. Susan, One of my very favorite foods is bar-b-que! So delicious and full of great flavor. YOur recipe sounds perfect. Put it in the oven the night before and voila... bar-b-que! This is a keeper of a recipe.
    You have just made my life a little easier!

  13. Can't believe we have missed this since we are frequently in Memphis. Well, we won't miss it again! Thanks for the heads up. I took a little mini-vacation this week with Hubby, but Crock Pot Wednesday will be back up this coming week. I hope you will join me.

  14. I enjoyed reading about your not so secret place. Thanks for visiting my blog. Come back any time and I look forward to returning here.

  15. Yes, I do like Pete and Sam's, too. And I will have to try your BBQ pork. Looks delicious. I have never thought to cook it inside.

  16. I love pulled pork and it my 13 year old son would just love this recipe! I will give it a try! thanks for stopping by my blog, I have enjoyed visiting yours.

  17. One of my husband's biggest regrets is that he cannot get good barbecue the way he used to get when he visited the South! This sounds like it deserves a try for sure - thanks for sharing!

  18. Hi Susan,

    Love BBQ's and pizza and this looks like a fun place to eat.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend

  19. Wow, am I hungry now! Thanks so much for your recipe and somehow I missed the episode of your favorite place to eat - sounds wonderful. Hope you have a nice Easter.

  20. That pulled pork pizza has my mouth watering! I'll have to catch that episode.

  21. I love the sound of the pulled pork pizza. It sounds fabulous! Linda

  22. My sister has a cookie business there and we always enjoy Memphis bbq when we visit!! Check out her

  23. You've got my mouth watering with thoughts of pulled pork and bbq sauce. And Pop's sauce recipe is a must try. I've been to Rendevous for bbq and tried Corky's too when I was in Memphis. Mmmm mmmm good.

  24. All you have to do is say Rendezvous to me, and I am putty in your hands. LOL!

    This place looks awesome, Susan, and that man is a doll! Look how precious he is.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. You've made me hungry, and I just ate!!!


    Sheila :-)

  25. My husband grew up eating at Pete and Sam's! It is always a "must" whenever we return to Memphis -- which is not often enough for me! I have grown to love Memphis like I never thought I would. I must have missed that episode on the Food Network. Guess we will have to be prepared for even longer lines next time we are in town!

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