Mark Rodriguez knows everything about the Austin food scene. Covering places like Flyrite Chicken on east 7th street to the new Cyclone Anaya's Tex-Mex Cantina at the Domain. For the past seven years Mark has been covering some of the best places for happy hour, tex-mex and everyone’s favorite - iced coffee through his own Instagram @markyatx. A native to San Antonio Texas, it’s no wonder this guy has a taste for all things good. I recently caught up with him at EastSide Tavern where we discussed food, the “tea”, and his future plans.
So who is Mark aka itsmarkyatx? Read the full interview and find out!
Q: So tell me, why did you choose to focus your platform on food and drinks?
A: My intention was to start a blog focused on lifestyle in Austin, but the food and drinks came after. After a few months of blogging, I started getting invited to restaurants and its been go go go ever since. My love for food photography and Austin being a food mecca, starting the blog was a no brainer.
Q: What or who inspired you to start?
A: My family, especially my grandma. The one person who has left a huge impact is Barbara Walters. I remember reading her memoir in high school and completely being changed. She’s preserved through so many challenges, she’s the first woman broadcast journalist and started one of my favorite shows, The View. I’ve always been attracted to writing and media, which Barbara Walters gave me my first insight growing up.
Q: As a food blogger, what top 3 resources do you go to before starting on a project?
A: Instagram is my number one, Eater / Eater Austin is my second and word of mouth through friends.
Q: If you could only eat at one place for a whole year in Austin, where would you go and why?
A: I would probably eat at Counter Cafe. I like their farm-to-table options and I can eat healthy or heavy depending on my mood. They don’t have dinner so that’s the tough part, but I do love going there.
Q: What top 3 do’s and don'ts does markyatx live by?
A: Do be yourself. Do be nice to everyone. Do respect your flow and understand when to say yes or no.
Don’t be mean. Don’t expect everyone to give you what you want. Don’t do anything that is not authentic to you.
Q: How has the experience changed you?
A: In the past two years of blogging I’ve learned SO much. I didn’t realize how much work and time would go onto building the blog. Its shaped me and exposed the entrepreneur I never thought existed within me. I’ve learned how to manage time better, how to better communicate with businesses, and so many other business type things.
Q: Okay onto the more serious questions… best time for iced coffee?
Q: Best place for brunch in Austin?
A: Il Brutto is one of my all time faves!
Q: You’re hosting an intimate dinner party. What do you cook and which 5 people do you invite?
A: Oprah, Barbara Walters, Ru Paul, Miley Cyrus and Bad Bunny. I would cook Italian. It’s my favorite and one of the few cuisines I’m really good at making.
Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you were barely starting?
A: Understand that everything is a process, everything takes time and can’t be done overnight. If you stay consistent and keep working towards your goals, it will come.
Q: So I keep up with your Instagram and I see all the awesome restaurants you go to, what is it like eating at a table seated with lots of influencers?
A: It’s fun!
Getting together is such a stress reliever for my body and mind. Knowing I can talk with people who understand all of the craziness that comes with blogging and being an influencer is SO nice.