As I was talking about starting this site, many people asked what exactly it is that makes a thing "Glorious". 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.
I experienced a moment like this recently when I 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.
I'd arrived there based on a local's sworn testament that it was some of the best BBQ I'd find on the Gulf Coast and, because you just don't skip spots with that sort of word of mouth, I continued past the broken down fridge and old tires out front, grabbed a menu covered in dried barbecue sauce, and ordered a dinner with beers that came in red cups. I walked to the tent in back, sat down on a pair of wobbly booths set right down on the dirt, and waited for the food, feeling a tad skeptical about my choice of eateries.
And that's when the 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, I couldn't help but be charmed by it and, when my food arrived a minute later, served on black styrofoam and covered in foil, I was all smiles. The pulled pork, spare ribs, brisket, and chicken ended up being some of the best barbecue I've ever had, in Mississippi or otherwise, and in a place I'll never forget—a reminder that, while you can always seek out the Glorious, you never know where you might actually find it.