Bad news, Memphis: not only are your Grizzlies on the way to losing to the Spurs, but you still won’t get to eat the world’s best barbecue! 

Taking up on a suggestion made by @tmbbq on Twitter, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro is wagering smoked meat from TMBBQ Top 50 joint The Granary against Memphis mayor A.C. Wharton Jr.’s offering of ribs from Rendezvous.

Mayor Castro got in touch before the Spurs’ 105-83 win yesterday, or we’re sure he would have talked more trash:

Dear Mayor Wharton,

Greetings from San Antonio! While everyone knows the best BBQ and basketball comes from Texas, how about a friendly wager on the Spurs-Memphis series?

If the Spurs win, I’ll “settle” for Memphis’ best BBQ. If the Grizzlies happen to win, you can see what you’ve been missing in terms of “real” BBQ. I’ll send you some of Texas’ finest from The Granary ‘Cue & Brew.

Good luck in the series. Look forward to hearing from you.


Mayor Julian Castro

His Memphis counterpart replied:

Dear Mayor Castro:

I appreciate the kind invitation, and I accept your challenge. The Spurs are a great team, but I am confident that the signature “grit and grind” of our Memphis Grizzlies will prevail in this hard-fought series.

Barbeque is a religion in Memphis. People from everywhere make the pilgrimage here during our Annual Memphis in May Barbeque Fest. And, we are home to many of the world’s great barbeque restaurants where smoke stacks are raised like steeples.

When the Grizzlies win, I will expect some of the Texas-styled barbeque you’ve referenced. If the Spurs happen to win the series, I will send you some of our World Famous Rendezvous Barbeque.

Be well and I hope to see you soon.


A C Wharton, Jr.

Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn’s take on the bet? 

“Why isn’t Castro getting Texas BBQ if he wins?,” Vaughn asked. “Rendezvous ribs don’t seem like much of a prize.”

Indeed, when we tweeted a line from the June issue noting that Memphis “grills ribs over charcoal and frets about whether to hide meat under a pool of sugary sauce or cover it with flavored dust,” Memphis BBQ defenders got the reference.

More support for the good stuff came from ESPN’s Bill Simmons, who hit San Antonio’s other Top 50 spot, Two Bros., after the game on Sunday.