Former competitors join forces in Spicewood
In 2002 Frankie Hoch was cooking at the Austin Rodeo when he saw a barbecue pit that looked suspiciously like his uncle's. He began inquiring about the pit, and Dale Wieczyk confirmed Hoch's suspicions.
"We formed a friendship right then and there," Hoch said.
Hoch picked up barbecuing at an early age, learning the trade from his father before competing on the barbecue circuit, he said.
"I've been all over Texas. I've been to the world championships in Kansas City, the Houston rodeo, all that stuff," Hoch said.
Hoch and Wieczyk continued to compete against each other, with Wieczyk using Hoch's uncle's pit and Hoch using his custom-built, handmade 40-foot trailer.
"We would go to these competitions and [Wieczyk] would always say, 'Come on man. Do you want to open a barbecue place?' And I just thought he was crazy," Hoch said.
Wieczyk continued to ask Hoch to open a restaurant in Spicewood with him, but Hoch, a Buda resident, was not ready to give up his free time.
"He kept asking and kept asking, and I guess one night after a few too many beers, I said, 'What the heck.'"
Hoch already worked with Dan Harrington on the catering side of the business, so the trio opened It's All Good Bar-B-Q on July 7, 2012, and business has tripled since opening, Hoch said.
"It's been good. We just have to stay at it," Hoch said.
Keeping "at it" is a 24-hour job, he said. To prepare food for the next day, Hoch said he loads the pits with brisket at 7:30 p.m., closes the restaurant and leaves around 10 p.m. He arrives the next morning around 5:30 a.m. to finish cooking the rest of the food for the 11 a.m. opening.
The restaurant uses two indoor pits that can cook 800 pounds of meat, but Hoch keeps his 40-foot pit, which can handle an additional 500 pounds of meat, outside.
"We are nowhere near that amount yet," Hoch said. "Hopefully we will be one day."
In the meantime, Hoch and his partners handle business at the Spicewood location and the food truck that operates at the South Austin Food Court.
Hoch said the next step will be adding a food trailer in his hometown of Buda and perhaps a few more physical locations after that.
"We want to grow," He said. "We don't want to be just here [in Spicewood]."
Hoch said the Buda location will start as a trailer, but he isn't against the idea of it becoming a brick-and-mortar location.
"The goal [is to have more physical locations]," Hoch said. "We plan on going all the way."
"Briskets ($7.25 per 1/2 pound) and [pork] ribs ($6.50 per 1/2 pound) will always be popular," said Frankie Hoch, co-owner of It's All Good Bar-B-Q in Spicewood. "Those are your competition foods. Once you get brisket down, you get time to work on everything else."
Hoch said the newest thing he is working on is beef short ribs ($14 per pound), and they have been very popular.
"They have really taken off," he said. "It's a piece of meat that just blows people's minds."
Hoch said that outside of the barbecue selection, stuffed jalepeos ($1.75) have been popular since the day the restaurant opened.
A delicate balance
Hoch said that he is always trying to find the perfect balance of the amount of meat to cook.
He said the restaurant never reheats food and instead donates what isn't sold that day to a local church in Bee Cave.
"It's a tough tradeoff," Hoch said. "You don't want to sell out [of meat]—that is one thing you hate doing—but at the same time you need to sell out because we don't reheat anything."
Hoch said he tries to get as close to selling out without actually selling out to maximize every dollar.
"Whatever we don't sell gets picked up by the church, so really it's a win-win," he said.
It's All Good Bar-B-Q
22112 W. Hwy. 71, Spicewood, 512-264-1744, www.itsallgoodbarbq.com
- Wed. noon–8 p.m.
- Thu.–Sun. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.