Midday Mafia strikes at Mumphord's
Editor's note: The Midday Mafia is made up of five locals who wish to remain anonymous at the moment. Names have been changed to protect the guilty and are as follows: The Don, Two Taps, Walnuts, Jack the Knife and Jimmy Three Cheese. The Midday Mafia will run every other Thursday in Get Out. Until then, forget about it.
Every Texas town worth its salt has a legitimate barbecue joint, and fortunately, Victoria is a legitimate town. Ricky and Keith Mumphord have created a haven for the senses near downtown Victoria and quietly built a business that rivals the meccas of Luling and Lockhart by focusing on the meat - moist, tender, smoked meat.
Mumphord's will satisfy no matter what your standard of great barbecue happens to be. Brisket, ribs, sausage, turkey breast and chicken are served daily and are all spectacular. There is a smoked pork chop available Wednesdays that must be seen and tasted to be believed.
The key to this treasured spot is the atmosphere. Diners gaze at youthful photos of old Victoria athletes and area legends, including Doug Drabek and Ronnie Thomas. White and black, alive and passed - all remembered equally in a spot that time seems to have forgotten. Picnic-type tables and four tops crowd together to provide as many as possible a glimpse and taste of the greatness.
My buddy James cuts the meat and talks a little trash as you make it through the line. Don't let the line intimidate, as it moves quickly. James is a master with a knife - a key reason I was scared of him when he played at Stroman, and I played at Victoria high years ago. (Sorry, James, had to take a shot, my friend. Really, put it down.)
Two beautiful young women, and great Victoria athletes, Ebony and Erica Murphy, handle the extremely reasonable cash register duties and are quick to provide the glass of ice for the endless tea just past the counter.
Back to the line. By the time you settle up, the wonderful staff is delivering your plate to your table. The Mafia has never waited more than a minute for our food, and these guys aren't scared of us.
There are other superlatives at Mumphord's like the perfect sauce they make in-house and deliver with every plate. The sides are consistent and compliment the meats. The place is clean, the folks are friendly and there is typically a fresh dessert on the counter. Bonus note: They stock a little container of peanut brittle that is the best the Mafia has ever had. Try it.
When we yell "EAST SIDE," there is usually an echoed "BEAST SIDE" to follow. The wise guys from West typically sit idly by, intimidated.
Until then, forget about it.