A Pig of a Different Color: The Shed Comes to Alabama

Mobile, Alabama is a city with a pretty good BBQ pedigree.  Not quite the juggernaut of Memphis, the Carolinas, Texas, or Kansas City, but certainly on that next tier.  Two local Que joints have been featured on national TV and in magazines and books.  A third is a branch of another well publicized North Alabama legend.  It is also home to one of the most important stops on the professional barbecue circuit, The annual BBQ Championship & Hog Wild Festival.  Well, another famous BBQ place has opened a satellite in the Port City.

The Shed's original Ocean Springs local has been featured on the Food Network, Travel Channel and countless other places and now they have brought that distinct M'sissippi style to Bama.  The question is, just how does the Shed stack up?

In a word, different.

First off you don't sit at a table and order at the Shed.  You go to a pick up window to order, pay, then go sit down.  A little while later someone shouts your name and brings you your order.  At this point your interaction with the restaurant is done.  Unless you are indulging in adult drinks.  You go to the bar get your adult beverages and why wouldn't you get an adult beverage?  They have over 100 types of beer including some of those trendy high gravity craft brews.  (We enjoyed selections from the North Coast Brewery that were a whopping 10.2% ABV.)

Your food comes out in "to go" boxes with plastic-ware.  Unless you ask otherwise your barbecue comes out swimming in sauce.  Swimming isn't the right image.  Think of a saber-tooth tiger wallowing in the Le Brea tar pit.  There's a lot of it.  And it is sweet, really sweet.  One of the sweetest sauces I have ever tried.  Man, was it sweet!

The ribs had a good smokey flavor with perfect texture.  The brisket had ample smokiness and, too, was tender.  The baked beans were quite good and the loaded potato salad was tremendous.  You are welcome to loiter as long as you want watching any of the large TV's scattered about showing sports.  And for those in your group who don't care for BBQ, well, you're SOL.  There are no burgers, there are no chicken fingers, no Caesar salads.

The sauce is different from anything in Mobile.  The service is different from anything I have ever experienced before.  The Shed is different from any BBQ joint you have ever seen.  Different.
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