IGNACIO – Former Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters star Dayson Goetz is opening a new restaurant in Ignacio, and he’s bringing firefighter-tested, bounty hunter-approved smoked-meat recipes with him.
Porky’s Smokehouse, expected to open Dec. 3, is the first restaurant on the main road into Ignacio. Goetz chose Ignacio because he wanted to give the community more food options. The restaurant is joining a recently opened pizza shop, a cafe and a few other restaurants. Residents are excited for the new flavor in the local food scene.
“People are coming here and knocking on the doors all day long. ‘Are you open?’” Goetz said. “They’re very ready.”
The restaurant will serve brisket, pulled pork, ribs, appetizers and desserts. It will be open seven days a week, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will offer $8 to $9 sandwiches, with beans and potato salad included, and meat by the pound. Goetz might pursue a liquor license in the future and will offer catering services.
“I want to put this place on the map, and I’ll be able to do it with my cooking,” Goetz said.
The bounty hunter and bondsman used to bring his smoker to Upper Pine River Fire Protection District where he was a firefighter and emergency medical technician. Then, in between hunting fugitives, Goetz raised longhorn cattle on a ranch in Hesperus. He said he still gets recognized from his days on Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters, which ended in 2015.
Now, he’s going all in on his Ignacio restaurant venture.
“I definitely don’t want anybody to leave hungry, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun place to come to with super-good food.”
In the dining area, rows of ranching brands are scorched into the wood paneling. Goetz, a Texas-native, plans to decorate with Dallas Cowboys merchandise and play Cowboys games on the TVs.
His smoker can hold 30 briskets, 60 racks of ribs and five whole hogs. For his meat, he uses a dry rub and light smoke from local scrub oak on the brisket. He doesn’t use sauce. He wants people to taste the barbecue and realize they don’t need it.
“That’s how you can tell it’s really good barbecue,” Goetz said.
Most of his appetizers include either bacon, jalapeños or cream cheese. For example, his armadillo eggs are cream cheese inside a jalapeño encased in sausage and wrapped in bacon. He’s still coming up with ideas for vegans, vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions.
Porky’s Smokehouse isn’t the only barbecue place in town. KD’s Caffe Latte also serves brisket, ribs and pulled pork with its cafe items.
“We have a really good reputation and following for our smoked meat. We’ve also won awards for first place and people’s choice,” said Kristy Davis, one of the cafe’s owners. “We have tried the competition, and although we wish him the best, we feel there’s no comparison.”
One Ignacio resident, Bill Baird, 73, quickly became a regular at Porky’s Smokehouse food trailer while it served food during the building renovation.
“The flavor was so good,” Baird said. That’s what kept him going back – flavor, and the breakfast options. “Everything that I’ve eaten there has been good.”
For Goetz, the restaurant is a mixture of his past and his future. It’s a way for him to be more settled – as a bounty hunter, he can be in Arizona one day, Texas the next.
The menu ties in elements from his childhood. After hunting, he and his brothers would compete with other students over who made the best jerky. Goetz always tried new recipes to stay a step ahead.
Growing up in Texas, he and his grandfather would go to a little hole-in-the-wall store where they would pick up their sausage for the week. Now, Goetz plans to include that sausage in his menu.
“My grandfather, he’s passed quite a while back,” he said. “It’s just really cool that I can get that and sell it in my restaurant.”