Tony Turns 30 – Day 3
September 10, 2017
Tony’s Birthday dawned with Sunday morning. Coffee was brewed, skittles were eaten and we hopped in the car and headed to Biloxi Mississippi where the annual seafood festival and gumbo championship was being held.
We drove past the NASA rocket testing space center and I hung my head out of the window to get a photo which came out rather blurry and uninspiring but it was a good effort. We pulled into Biloxi around 12:00 pm, right when the gumbo championships were opening up to the public. A line to the gumbo booths wound halfway through the festival grounds and we walked past car-sized skillets of paella being made and every other kind of seafood imaginable while waiting in line.
The line moved surprisingly quickly and we each received a ticket at the gumbo entrance to vote for our favorite. It was packed elbow to elbow, the sun was out and everyone was sweating, eating gumbo, and dictating who was the best, while one booth had a very large man bellowing into a microphone about how everyone else’s gumbo was mediocre. I’m still not sure how he did it but he managed to preach a fire-raining Sunday sermon in between comments about the other contestants. This is why people leave the south…
And here I must speak truthfully; That festival had some of the worst gumbo I’ve tasted. Most diners in New Orleans on a half-assed day will blow theirs out of the water and I learned something very important that day – Repeat after me, “Do not eat gumbo in Mississippi.”
Having had our fill we made our exit and took a short walk down to the pier to watch the shrimp boats. We then headed to Patio 44 for some air conditioning and a beer.
Because we obviously hadn’t had enough food at this point we made a detour to The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint. A really unique venue with a huge, outdoor seating area and a stage. You order your BBQ at the bar and it’s served to you on a sheet pan with a pile of napkins. We got the sampler platter which included baby back ribs, spare ribs, pork, brisket, chicken, sausage and three sides.
You get your tray of food, Squirt some BBQ sauce into little plastic cups and then seat yourself on one of the benches over a bed of gravel. There’s a large merchandise area, dollar bills pinned to the ceiling with plastic forks, and the bathrooms are covered in graffiti. Just the way a BBQ joint should be.
We ate all we could and the resident kitty came and made friends with us, a surprisingly skinny fellow for living in a BBQ joint. We then boxed up the leftovers (easily enough for dinner) and headed for the car!
We stopped to get gas and buy a cup of coffee and then back to New Orleans we went where we enjoyed a relaxing evening of (surprise) Netflix. I then broke out the leaning cake I’d been working on. The cake did not turn out very delicious and I had also forgotten to buy birthday candles so I put a tea light on top of it instead and we both pretended to like it for about two bites.
We then happily threw it in the trash, ate some more skittles and settled in to rest up from our weekend of birthday celebration. Here’s to 30 more years with you…
To Be Continued…