The Rendezvous

Across from the Peabody, down a narrow alley is The Rendezvous, supposedly the best bbq ever. In fact, the Food Network featured it on their “Best Thing I Ever Ate” show and Elvis AND Bill Clinton have eaten there, as has George W. Bush – so of course, it’s worth a stop. But, if Betsy’s mom (who was traveling with us) didn’t know about it, we would’ve never, ever found it. (I mean, who walks down city alleys to find a good lunch place?)

Even when you find it, you aren’t quite sure … but then you go inside and down a flight of steps to the basement and the atmosphere changes to bbq friendly. As soon as we sat down, a friendly server brought us each a bowl of sausage/rice/red bean stew/gumbo concoction. This would not be something I would ordinarily order, but it was absolutely delicious and I could’ve easily eaten another bowl. I admit I didn’t actually order the bbq – but a grilled cheese sandwich (which was good).

The placed hopped with activity, both locals and tourists. The staff rushed around, serving the dozens of people who came down the steps. Truly a fun, indigenous restaurant which I would highly recommend.

A DUCK-THEMED TOURIST ATTRACTION (I GUESS)

 So back in 1933, the general manager of the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis came back from a hunting trip rather … ahhh … drunk. He and his friend thought it would be funny to put their live duck decoys in the lobby fountain.

Which they did.

I guess everyone thought that was absolutely clever and hilarious because they’ve been putting ducks in the fountain ever since – with a lot of fanfare.

True fanfare.

Being in Memphis we stopped to see the Peabody ducks which were to make an appearance at 11:00.

The lobby wasn’t packed, but obviously something was going on – which was especially obvious since a guy in a red uniform was heralding the arrival of the ducks.

Then after the fanfare – called the duck march or something – five mallards came out of the elevator, walked down the red carpet and into the fountain where they swam around in circles in an area about as big as two kid wading pools.

I had heard of the Peabody ducks and all that – but watching five mallards swim around wasn’t all THAT exciting. Sometimes I even have mallards in my yard – though the ducks in my yard do not come down in an elevator from my roof.

But here are some facts.

The guy in the red uniform is called the Duckmaster. The current duck master is only the fifth duck master since all this silliness began.(The lady with him is an honorary duck master being that it was her 90th birthday or something.)

The Peabody Hotel does not serve duck at its restaurant.

The ducks serve a three-month term and then are taken back to the wild and because of that, they are not named. (No one wants to get personal with the ducks.)

They have a $200,000 house on the roof of the hotel.

They’ve been on the Tonight Show and Sesame Street.

If you’re in Memphis and don’t have anything to do … stop by and check them out. I guess. Otherwise, just go down to your local pond and watch those ducks and play my video (that I posted below) as you are watching your local ducks to get the full effect of the music.