Victoria–On a sunny morning in south Texas, we found Mumphord’s Place. A BBQ joint in Victoria where smoke fills the air while the 70’s soul fills in the gaps.
Here, they do BBQ the old school way.
“My business card says the real deal and that’s what I feel like we do. We do it through the old fashioned way and the real way,” said Mumphord’s Place co-owner, Ricky Mumphord.
Ricky and his brother, Keith, have been smoking their meats at Mumphord’s since 2000, but this tradition of preparation goes back way farther than that. It harkens back to their famous family get togethers that have been going on since 1904.
“Growing up as a kid, I bet you there’s 400 relatives at that family reunion. If you came late, you parked way down the road,” said Ricky.
The Mumphords can trace their roots all the way back to the 1800’s when their great grandfather was dropped off on Indianola Beach.
“The Mumphord side… that goes deep,” said Ricky.
Family is foremost in their lives and when getting together someone always had to cook. Ricky’s father and uncles would get the coals burning to prepare a legendary meal and the boys got a big lesson.
“When we were kids– thirteen, fourteen years old– my dad and them say, ‘Come over here,’ and he’d show us how to get that old hot fire. I remember being a little bitty boy, getting that old heat, just like back there now,” he recalled.
Ricky and Keith’s father never got to see their BBQ business, but he lives on through the tradition he taught his sons.
“We shovel those coals inside of there and that’s the only way we know how to do it. That would have been a nice… I could see him smiling. Yeah. He’d have been proud of us,” said Ricky.
“That’s what they do, man. They come in every day, they come in early, they fire up the pit… This is their calling,” said Victoria local, Kyle Pantel.
“They have a lot of history here in Victoria,” added customer, Reuben Ybarra.
Now when you make this much BBQ every day, a lot of wood is needed. Fortunately, Ricky’s got one of the biggest stacks, but only on Mesquite and Oak.
“Have to have it. For how we do it, we have to have that wood. Just keep it coming… Pecan’s a smoking wood to me, so I don’t like the pecan. It turns into ashes anyway,” he said.
With the sweet smell of smoke in the air, Ricky put together a platter of practically everything for The Texas Bucket List sampler.
Mike, the BBQ cutter at Mumphord’s Place, gets things started with chicken, sausage and brisket.
“We try not to give the fatty stuff unless someone asks for it, you know? And a lot of people like the marbling back here…the moist part, but there’s people that want that fat on that brisket which is I know very unhealthy, but that’s what they want,” said Ricky.
The early bird gets the ribs at Mumphord’s! Next on the platter are some well known ribs that are in high demand.
“Ribs… they sell out quick, though, every day. There’s no saving them…Get there early!”
To round out the platter, some slices of turkey, Mumphord’s one of a kind green beans, and potato salad!
“That’s the talk of the states. I’ve heard that people call from different parts of the United States, talking about the green beans. That’s a pretty neat feeling,” said Ricky.
Every item on The Texas Bucket List platter from the brisket, turkey, chicken, pork chop, sausage, ribs, potato salad, and the unforgettable green beans, have customers raving and craving for more.
“The food, the meat, you need to taste it,” said Linda Diaz.
“It’s delicious. Good old homemade cooking,” added Reuben.
“That’s some art, being able to smoke anything. I’ve tried, I’m not very good at it,” confessed Kyle.
From the smoked meat with incredible old school BBQ flavor, to the unique yet classic sides, Mumphord’s Place does not disappoint.
“Their green beans and potato salad; they’re like no other,” claimed Reuben.
“I don’t think you can describe them, man, you’ve got to try them,” said Kyle.
It’s safe to say that in Victoria, Mumphord is one of its favorite sons.
“The culture of it means a lot to our community,” expressed Linda.
“It’s one of the best barbecue places around, in my opinion,” said Kyle.
Well, if you’re ever in South Texas looking for some BBQ full of soul and smoke, Mumphord’s Place in Victoria, Texas is well worth the stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“My dad kept the family together. That was his whole thing about us. A Week before he passed away he told me, ‘You keep that family reunion going, stick by the Bible, and find reasons to get together’ and we’ve done just that,” said Ricky.