One question I often hear is, “Why did you start your Instagram?”
Now, I could easily tell you the trigger point, but that would be too direct, I’d rather tell you a bit about myself and what led up to that moment.
First off, hello, my name is John, and this may come as some surprise to you, if you’ve been following my culinary journey through life the last year and a half, but I’ve not always been as adventurous with my taste buds as my current content might suggest. According to Wikipedia’s Settlement Hierarchy page, I grew up in a large town in south Texas where the fanciest place to eat was Red Lobster but most of the time you would visit a local Tex-Mex restaurant or go to Applebee’s (no, we didn’t even have a Chili’s back when I was a kid) when going out to eat. I believe this over exposure to cookie cutter chain restaurants stunted my earlier adoption of cuisines and foods that I now absolutely adore.
One of the first turning points for my wider adoption of more flavorful and exciting foods was my move to Austin, immediately following my high school graduation, in 2005. Now, back then, Austin was not the elevated foodie haven that it is now and, to be honest, I’m glad it wasn’t because I was broke as a joke in those days! Some places I remember frequenting in those early days included Hut’s Hamburgers every Wednesday for their 2 for 1 night, Hill’s Cafe when I wanted a chicken fried steak, Serrano’s downtown location (now closed) when we wanted a fancier setting, and Hickory Street Bar & Grill where the 800 Congress event space is now. This gives you an idea of the food landscape at the time in Austin, small, basic local places with simple and affordable food that tasted good. Boy, times sure have changed…
I used to be pretty picky with my food before moving to Austin, in fact, I didn’t like onions, beans, or vegetables to give you an idea of how stunted I was but after moving to Austin I really embraced my already present “idgaf” attitude. What I mean is, if I ordered a burger with no veggies and it came out with veggies I started saying, screw it, and would eat it as delivered. Due to me rolling with the flow, I found out quickly how surprisingly awesome certain food combinations were and realized how much I had to learn. This eventually morphed in to where I am now, a person that rarely, if ever, modifies a dish from the stated menu description.
As my discovery of food expanded and my preferences shifted I began taking pictures of my plates to send my mom to surprise her. She often responded along the lines of, “since when have you liked ” upon which I would reply with “just now” or something similar. This soon turned in to me posting photos of interesting food on Facebook which eventually led up to December of 2016.
Every winter, normally in December, Stiles Switch BBQ holds their “12 days of smoked meats” series where they feature a different daily special for twelve straight days. Some items have included a chicken fried beef rib, smoked brisket chili, smoked fried alligator, and other awesome offerings. Well, back in December of 2016, I went to about six of the days and was posting photos of the sometimes outlandish, but always delicious, specials on Facebook which began garnering a lot of positive attention (and likes) from my friends. It was at this moment that I decided I should try out that Instagram thing, so in January of 2017 ATXFoodGuy was born!
Now, here I sit, a year and a half later, typing an introductory blog post for ATXFoodGuy.com and telling you my story. Now that you have an idea of where I started and where I’m at now, I want to express my intentions and expectations.
What I wish to provide:
- Quality photos of food and drinks from Austin and other cities or countries as I travel through life
- Restaurant and bar recommendations for cities I visit
- A completely positive experience, I will not post about places I did not enjoy
- An approachable voice and an open and respectful forum for discussion about food and drinks around the world
- A trustworthy place to find your next meal
What I hope from you:
- To voice your recommendations! I want to visit the places you love; often times the recommendations from strangers have become my new favorites!
- Honest feedback about what you enjoy seeing or what you would like to see
I hope you’re willing to join me on this journey, bon appetit!
Since you made it this far, here is one of the oldest photos I have available to post, and it’s from April of 2012 taken at JMueller BBQ, the trailer that became la Barbecue, in South Austin: