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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Shed: Mississippi BBQ

The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS had been on my list of places to visit for a long time.  This is the original of what is now a five-location barbecue trail from Louisiana to Florida.  Still, I hadn't been to any of them because I wanted the Ocean Springs location to be my first experience.  On the way to Pensacola for a bachelor party, my brother Eric and I worked up a hunger.  I remembered that we ought to wait until Ocean Springs so that we could feast on some swine from The Shed.  Memory served me well.  We arrived at The Shed a little after normal lunch hours, which only meant that we were more ready to tackle a plate of barbecue.  As we drove up I realized that place truly is a joint as opposed to a restaurant.  The smell of smoke filled the air, and my excitement level intensified as I laid eyes on The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint.

Like I said, The Shed obviously didn't even try to pretend to be a normal restaurant.  With a massive outdoor seating area on the water, gravel floors, and portable toilets, joint may have even been an over-statement.  But this is exactly the kind of character I had been looking for.  Eric and I found our way to the ordering line where I went with a two meat combo - spare ribs and brisket, as well as some beans and macaroni salad.

The ribs, which are always what I'll judge a place by, were outstanding.  Pull-off-the-bone tender, succulently sauced, and well flavored, these ribs were everything I had hoped they would be.  So they passed the test, but I still had more to eat.  I enjoyed the macaroni salad and the beans, but didn't find them to be outrageously amazing.  They certainly weren't inventive or to-die-for.  And overall the side selection seemed a little weak.  As for the brisket... it got saved by the sauce.  Without the sauce I found it to be a little dry and flavorless.  Still, I'd say the trip proved to be a success.  As I said, the spare ribs were right on the money and I couldn't have appreciated the atmosphere of a true BBQ joint any more.  Bravo, Ocean Springs, you have something Baton Rouge doesn't have... yet.

The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint on Urbanspoon