Vancouver’s popular Memphis Blues may now be serving all that is delicious and tender in 5 locations (two in the city, two in the burbs, one in Kelowna), but no matter how big it gets, it’s doubtful that we’ll ever think of the Southern Barbecue restaurants as amounting a “chain”. They’re just too good for aspirational veneers or airs. Memphis Blues is what it is, which is as honest and unpretentious an operation as any diner (red in tooth and claw) could possibly hope for. We’ve long suspected the same was true of owners George Siu (above right) and Park Heffelfinger (above left), as further evidenced by their answers to the following questions…
Name the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating?
George: pork rinds.
Park: ice cream.
Default drink/cocktail of choice?
George: Pimms No.1 with ginger ale and a slice of cucumber.
Your favourite word?
Park: I can’t use it.
Your least favourite word?
Your favourite curse word?
Park: that’s the one I can’t use.
The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?
Park: indecisiveness, I think.
How do you know when you can trust someone?
George: by their actions.
Park: when you’ve broken bread with them.
1465 West Broadway Ave | Vancouver, BC | 604.738.6806
1342 Commerical Drive | Vancouver, BC | 604.215.2599
50-2443-161 A St. (Grandview Corners Mall) | Surrey, BC | 604.531.8005
302-18690 Fraser Highway (Hillcrest Village) | Surrey, BC | 778.574.3355
289 Bernard Street | Kelowna, BC | 250.868.3699
Website: www.memphisbluesbbq.com | Twitter | Facebook
MONDAY – THURSDAY – 11 am – 10 pm
FRIDAY – 11 am – 11:00 pm
SATURDAY – Noon – 11:00 pm
SUNDAY – Noon – 10 pm
George Siu – Co-Owner
Park Heffelfinger – Co-Owner
Deborah Siu – Marketing and Promotions
About Memphis Blues
In January 1999 George Siu (an original owner of Not Just Desserts) and Park Heffelfinger (Vancouver Wine Academy) had a stopover in Memphis while flying from New Orleans. Lunch was a Pulled Pork Sandwich, and it was love at first bite. Since then, they have attended the World Barbecue Championships in Memphis where they conducted extensive research. They were able to reproduce the recipes at home, and decided to bring Authentic Southern barbeque to Canada.
In September of 2001 they opened the doors of the first Memphis Blues Barbeque House on West Broadway in Vancouver. George and Park have gone on to serve tens of thousands of happy customers from all across the globe, winning dozens of awards, and garnering citywide and national acclaim – all in the name of spreading the juicy gospel of succulent, slow-roasted Southern baah-bee-cue.
Southern Barbeque is traditionally meat smoked for several hours at low temperatures over hardwood, resulting in a succulent and tender product. Ribs should be tender enough to pull apart yet still firm, with a nice pink smoke ring. The meat is never mushy, or falling off the bone. (This is a sign that they have been braised or boiled – taboo in the South.) Pulled pork is Pork Butt, slow cooked until you can pull it apart with a fork. Pile it on a white bun, add sauce & coleslaw, and you’re in Pork Heaven. Beef Brisket is the trickiest to cook, it must be tender and juicy, yet have most of the fat rendered out.
The passion-fueled restaurant was an innovator from the start, and continues to be to this day. Indeed, they were the first casual self-serve restaurant in the city with a sophisticated twist to what is now a celebrated, but reasonably-priced wine list, recognized by Wine Access Magazine as being one of the ’50 Best Wine Restaurants in Canada’ three years in a row. Memphis Blues also boasts one of the most extensive Bourbon selections in the city!
In their 10th year of mouth-watering service, George and Park are preparing for further adventures. After the successful issue of their best-selling cookbook, Memphis Blues Barbeque House – Bringin’ Southern BBQ Home (Whitecap Books, 2008), the pair are in the process of releasing a series of unique Memphis Blues Rubs and Sauces, and are planning a series of interesting menu additions, including a yet-to-be-named food challenge to be unleashed on an unsuspecting Vancouver in the next few months.
With its roots in Vancouver, you can now satisfy your BBQ cravings at not just one, but FIVE family-owned locations across BC. A sixth store is set to open in downtown Vancouver in early 2012, and further expansion is planned for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in the coming months. Memphis Blues has also extensively grown their takeout, delivery and catering division, and are a sought-after partner for weddings, corporate events, and more.
This is messy food, folks – dive in, and eat with your hands.
2011, 2010 – Best Barbeque (West Ender)
2010 – Silver for Best Casual Chain (Vancouver Magazine)
2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 – Best Barbeque (Vancouver Magazine)
2006, 2005 – Best Southern Barbeque (Vancouver Sun)
2006, 2005, 2004 – One of Top 50 Best Wine Lists in Canada (Wine Access Magazine)
2005 – Best Restaurant to Eat Meat (Georgia Straight)
2004 – Best Place for Meat Lovers (Georgia Straight)
2002 – Best New Restaurant (selected by Media) – BC Restaurant and Foodservices Assoc.
2002 – One of Best New Restaurants in Canada (EnRoute Magazine)