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Gas Station Food…A Southern Phenomenon

Gas station food is a Southern phenomenon, and it can run the full gamut from amazing, to, well, grim. There are a handful of local gas stations that offer food (not including the places that serve hot dogs on a roller grill!), but I recently stopped by Brooms Grocery and Diner, located at Big B’s EXXON in Ocean Springs, and was very impressed. It is now my go-to place when I am in a hurry, don’t want to spend a ton of money, and especially when I am craving Southern comfort food.

If you have been to the Broome’s buffet on Government Street in Ocean Springs, you know the kind of soul soothing, classic Southern comfort food they serve, and you can expect to find the same goodness at Big B’s.

Breakfast includes biscuits seven ways ($1.69 to $2.79), with choices of bacon, sausage, fried chicken, link sausage, pork chop, steak or egg. It’s quite a selection, but, honestly, the biscuits are so good, fluffy and delicious, I’d be satisfied to have just a biscuit and a tab or two of butter. The sides are the same as the biscuit fillings, with the addition of some very crunchy and good hash browns. There is also a combo of grits, eggs, biscuit, with bacon or sausage for $3.99 and just $4.99 if you add a link sausage, steak, pork chop or chicken.

Lunch includes an entrée, two sides, dessert and a 16 oz drink, for just $7.99. Breakfast is good at Broome’s, but lunch is killer good. Lunch is a daily special, with fried pork chop with red beans and rice on Monday, the classic Creole Monday-wash day special. Tuesday is meatloaf with red sauce, Wednesday is pot roast beef, or chicken fried steak, Thursday is Salisbury steak or liver and onions and Friday is fried fish. Fried or baked chicken is always on the menu and, honestly, the fried chicken I tried was some of the best I have had on the Coast.

Gas station food has to be in a category all its own. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but expect a variety of customers; especially at Broome’s. There is a line for a reason!  I am a huge fan of comfort food, and Broome’s has nailed everything I have tried. Large portions, easy on the pocketbook, and delicious, satisfying food. It would be hard to ask for more.

Lunch is served Monday thru Friday, 11 am to 2 pm.

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Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."

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