Every morning at 5 a.m., Frankie Hoch loads ribs, brisket and turkey into his pit and watches the smoke rise with the sun.

As the co-owner of It's All Good BBQ in Spicewood, Hoch works over 80 hours a week, balancing his lifetime love for barbecue with a full-time job as a mechanic at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

"I don't call myself a 'pitmaster' because the pit's always mastering you. ... But when your meats are coming out right, there's nothing more rewarding," Hoch said.

The background

Hoch and his best friend Dale Wieczyk founded the restaurant in 2012 after a decade of competing in barbecue competitions.

"We competed in circuits all over Texas, the Austin Rodeo, world championships," Hoch said. "Dale kept asking if we could open a restaurant, and one day, over a couple beers, I finally said yes. Then the next day, he put a bid in for this place."

The eatery sits along Hwy. 71, where many restaurants have come and gone in recent years.

What's on the menu

Everything on the menu is cooked fresh each day using two indoor pits that can hold up to 800 pounds of meat and occasionally, a 40-foot outdoor pit Hoch built himself.

Brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage, chicken, baby back ribs and turkey are sold in sandwiches, on plates or by the pound.

Each plate comes with a choice of two sides, such as pinto beans, slaw, German potatoes, mac and cheese, and tater tot casserole.

Hoch said they make their sweet sauce and seasoning in-house, which he hopes to sell separately in the future.

Quote of note

"They have the best chicken I've ever had; they don't scam you on the portions, and they are certainly all about community," said Spicewood local Rosemary 'Rose' Bud, who's been a customer for eight years.

Looking ahead

Despite recent challenges, such as staffing shortages and price inflation, Hoch said he has created a strong customer base in Spicewood, as new residents and lake tourists regularly flock to the area.

"Spicewood is not a small town anymore, but all of our employees are from small towns in Texas, just like myself, so we won't stop offering that small-town feel," Hoch said.