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Mumphord's Place BBQ makes list of best in world (Video)

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
May 29, 2013 at 12:29 a.m.
Updated May 30, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.


Get in line early

• WHERE: 1202 E Juan Linn St., Victoria

• HOURS: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

• PHONE: 361-485-1112

Love at first bite

Molly Chumchal has lived in Victoria since 2007 and bravely admitted she had never been to the Mumphord's Place BBQ before. She takes pride in not patronizing big chain restaurants and eats locally as often as possible, so she would have eventually made her way to the Juan Linn Street restaurant of her own accord. The 24-year-old, soon-to-be-married administrative assistant joined us at one of the tables covered in a red-checkered tablecloth and clear vinyl plastic cover. We exchanged life stories and our honest opinions about the food. Despite the fact she has never set foot into the locally loved and state-wide adored barbecue joint before, she walked out knowing she would come back for more soon.

It's not news that Texans love their barbecue. It is news; however, when your area palace of smoked meat is named one of the best barbecue joints in the world.

Texas Monthly magazine has been compiling the best barbecue places in the state every five years since 1997. On a mission to please the staffers' palates, they devour as much barbecue in as many places as they can to crown the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the meatiest of the meats.

Since its inception, no Victoria joint has ever made the list. That is, until this year. Mumphord's Place BBQ, a longtime Victoria favorite, was heralded by the Texas Monthly foodies, commending the moist and flavorful brisket.

To celebrate Mumphord's achievement, we had a crazy thought: What if we could eat one of everything on the menu? And what if we brought along self-described foodie, Molly Chumchal, who had never experienced the glory that is Mumphord's barbecue before? We called pitmaster Ricky Mumphord up, and he more than graciously set us up with a spread that made us feel like barbecue royalty.

Here's the scoop on every item on Mumphord's BBQ Place's menu.

Pork (Thursday - Saturday only)

The pork was tender and still moist. You could taste the smoke in the meat, and the edges were nicely browned. Slap a few slices between some bread with onions and pickles, and you'll have a mean pork sandwich.

Beef brisket

Always a favorite for barbecue lovers. Chumchal snagged a few slices and made note that you could see the smoke rings in the meat - and I made note that she knows her barbecue. The strip of fat that runs the length of the slab of beef help keeps the meat moist and adds so much flavor to the end product. It's good with or without the barbecue sauce.

Turkey

Served every day at Mumphord's, the Thanksgiving favorite was beautiful. The outside had a blackened and red color from the cooking process, and the inside was a bright cream colored breast. Sliced thinly, the tryptophan-laced bird reminded me of jerky I might find at Buc-ee's. I couldn't help but keep tearing off pieces to put in my mouth like a major league baseball player and his chew.

Chicken

This popular barbecued bird is often hard to cook without drying it out, but that is what the sauce is for, right? Mumphord's has perfected the art of 'cueing a bird with a tasty, smoky friend. The meat was a little dry in parts, but still packed with smokey flavor.

Sausage

Chumchal was a tough critic when it came to our tubular friend. I guess growing up on a ranch changes your expectation of what good sausage is. "My family makes their own sausage," she said. "This is more like a kielbasa, and we make more German sausage, with more spices." If I had the time to make my own sausage, I would, but I thought Mumphord's was about average.

Pork ribs

The guys at Mumphord's use a dry rub for their 'cue and rely on the smoke to flavor their meats, so you won't see any sauce on anything. For me, the ribs were a bit too dry on parts, but the fatty edges were so tender and delicious. Chumchal listed it near the top of her favorites along with the brisket and the green beans.

The sauce

Served on the side of every plate - or quarter, half or pound of meat - is the dark orange sauce painted with specks of spices that is Mumphord's barbecue sauce. It's not terribly thick, and it's not just colored water, so it'll stick to the meat, and it'll soak into any slice of bread you use to sop it up when you're done eating. "It has a good balance of flavors," Chumchal said. "It kinda reminds me of my dad's."

Green beans

I feel confident in saying that Mumphord's delivers a mean side of green beans. Mean enough to where Chumchal and I agreed that their luscious, buttery green beans could stand alone as an entree. "They're the best I've ever had," she said.

Potato salad

They must use an ice cream scoop for their mashed potato salad at Mumphord's because it always comes served in an almost-perfect half sphere of creamy, mustardy goodness. I enjoy a chunky potato salad, yes, but serve me this version, and I will change my ways. It has a great flavor and is not overwhelmed by mayo or mustard but rather a happy marriage of all the ingredients.

Coleslaw

This colorful side had more luster then flavor. It left me wanting something more after each bite - maybe a little more acidity or more salt, and it would have been good. It was early in the day, so the coleslaw might be better the longer it sits in its dressing - just saying.

Pinto beans

We agreed that pinto beans were a little out of place in our spread of meats and the more fitting sides for our barbecue extravaganza. They could have used a touch more seasoning, but then again, I still stand by the fact that it was still early in the day. The longer beans sit in the pot over a low heat, the better they taste.

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