We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Mardanbigi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sara, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are two important factors behind my personal and professional successes: 1. Always staying true to myself and listening to my intuition. There are going to be a lot of opinions flying your way to consider. While some of them are worth serious consideration, at the end of the day, you are responsible for making choices that best reflect your gut instincts. 2. Gearing up for a lot of hard work. Nothing happens overnight, so you gotta work at it every single day without any expectations or entitlement.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We’re a little taqueria that brings old and new together. While our heirloom corn tortilla is the star of the show (it’s a 15-hour process to make masa and tortillas every day, using corn from Oaxaca, Mexico), the dishes are Mexican-American: West Coast vibes, French technique, a touch of Persian influence, with ancient Aztec-certified nixtamalization daily. Nixta aims to transform the culinary landscape by providing imaginative creations that are steeped in history for our community.

We’ve now been open for a little over a year and the thing I’m most proud of is how we have already evolved and rolled with the punches. The first year of business ownership is pretty tough, so when you compound that with a global pandemic, it tests your resiliency to the fullest extent. I’m proud we managed to take care of our team, piloted Austin’s first Free Fridge Program, and in general, stayed afloat. In terms of how I got to where I am today.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Eat: – Discada – Cuantos Tacos – La Tunita – Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ – Nixta – Emmer & Rye – Loro – La BBQ – Comedor – Kemuri Tatsuya – HMart – Franklin BBQ – Tamale House – Bufalina – Licha’s Cantina Drink: – Nickel City – Jester King – Justine’s – Whistler’s – Kitty Cohen’s – The Skylark Lounge – Garage – Techo – LoLo Wine Bar Activities: – Bike around – Paddle-boarding on Lady Bird Lake – Alamo Drafthouse – Texas Capitol Tour – UT Austin Tour – Mount Bonnell – Zilker Park – The Continental Club – The White Horse – Ginny’s Little Longhorn – Chicken Shit Bingo – Barton Springs – Congress Bridge for the bats – Blanton Museum – Downtown Library

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my parents, Ghamar and Farhad Mardanbigi! As a first-generation American from Iranian immigrant parents, mediocrity and doing the bare minimum was not something that was ever tolerated. Growing up, I couldn’t understand why they would be so hard on me, but the resilience to do and be better is something that I’ve carried with me my whole life. I’d also like to shoutout my partner, Edgar Rico. He’s not only my partner in business, but in life. We have created something really beautiful together at Nixta and I’m so proud to do it alongside him.

Website: www.nixtataqueria.com
Instagram: instagram.com/nixtataqueria
Facebook: facebook.com/nixtataqueria
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/nixta-taqueria-austin-2

Image Credits
Mackenzie Smith Kelley Jess Attie Gabriel C. Pérez

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