Since we started this site, many people have asked what exactly it is that makes a thing “Glorious”, and truth be told it can be hard to put into words. Some things—a beautiful town, a charming hotel, an incredible sunset—are obvious. But other times, gloriousness just comes down to a feeling you get. It often arrives unexpectedly, when you stumble across a person or a place that pulls you in to the present moment and makes you fully aware that, right here, right now, something wonderful is happening. It’s a gut reaction really, and for our money it’s the best kind of Glorious.
We experienced a moment like this recently when we walked into The Shed restaurant in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It’s a ramshackle spot to be sure, hastily constructed from salvaged plywood and aluminum siding, slapped up around some decrepit food trucks that seemed to have broken down on a gravel parking lot. The “decor” is of the license plate and beer sign variety.
We’d arrived there based on a local’s sworn testament that it was some of the best BBQ we’d find on the Gulf Coast and, because you just don’t skip spots with that sort of word of mouth, we continued past the broken down fridge and old tires out front, grabbed a menu covered in dried barbecue sauce, and ordered ourselves dinner with beers that came in red cups. We walked to the tent in back, sat down on a pair of wobbly booths set right down on the dirt, and waited for our food, feeling a tad skeptical about our choice of eateries.
And that’s when the Gut Glorious began to happen.
The back of the restaurant is situated right along the bayou, and at 6:30pm on a summer’s day, the light is just perfect. It glimmered off the dark, flat water and danced through the branches of the skinny trees, casting a golden glow over the crude construction. The setting at that moment felt so authentic, so distinctly Southern, it couldn’t help but charm us and, when our food arrived a minute later, served on black styrofoam and covered in foil, we were all smiling. The pulled pork, spare ribs, brisket, and chicken ended up being some of the best barbecue we’ve ever had, in Mississippi or otherwise, and in a place we’ll never forget—a reminder that, while you can always seek out the Glorious, you never know where you might actually find it.