Hi – My name is Malika Bowling and I’m so glad you’ve stumbled upon my blog. I’m a northern transplant with Indian heritage. I was born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, but only lived there for a couple months before I was adopted by two wonderful, loving people. Thank goodness they adopted me, or I would have surely perished from the terrible living conditions in the orphanage where I was.
While in the orphanage, I was malnourished and mistreated to the point that when my adoptive parents came to get me, those managing the orphanage told them, “this baby will mostly likely die, you should choose another.” Determination led them to take their chances with me, literally smuggling me on a plane back to the United States. It was an incredible journey and they beat incredible odds to get me but that’s another story….To read the full story of the process, click here.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in an affluent part of New Jersey and experienced the excitement of traveling to New York City on a regular basis. In 1985, after his business collapsed, my father moved us to Atlanta. We were excited to begin a new life here, but our joy quickly turned to sadness as my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away 3 years later before even reaching her 40th birthday.
As my father struggled to raise me and my brother alone, we ate a consistent diet of Hamburger Helper, spaghetti, chili, and a couple other standard meals of the sort. I think this is when I started to appreciate finer food. Once I began college and actually had my own money to spend, I was always trying to get my friends to go to some of the “nicer” restaurants instead of only eating at chain places. Since moving out of my dad’s house, I’ve not once made Hamburger Helper
I love trying new foods. Some of the most exotic foods I’ve ever tried were Ostrich, Turtle and Alpaca. The Ostrich, which I had at a local Atlanta restaurant, was good and tasted like lean beef. The turtle I had while on a trip in the Cayman Islands. I had it in a soup – Turtle soup is actually quite common there. It tasted like chicken – no joke. And I had the Alpaca while visiting Peru. That is one meat I don’t care for at all, it tasted way too gamey. I don’t think that flavor would ever grow on me.
I’ve lived in Cobb County the entire time I’ve been in Atlanta. I grew up in East Cobb and now live in Kennesaw. As someone who’s lived in the ATL since 1985, I remember the uproar created when they wanted to tear down the big chicken, the blizzard of ’93 (in March!), and the thrill of the Olympics coming to my city. After all these decades, I still think Atlanta is a great place to call home (well, except for the traffic).
Why should you read my reviews?
They are unbiased reviews of restaurants around the Atlanta area. And I’m pretty picky and opinionated as I’m sure my friends can attest to, when it comes to food. I also do NOT get paid to write or have any of my meals expensed which means it is my hard-earned money paying for the meals, so you can bet I expect to get my money’s worth. I do, get invited to media events to try out new restaurants or sample new menus, but I always disclose that in the review. You’ll see after reading my reviews, I’ll tell you what’s great about a restaurant and what’s not so great.
That being said, I do try to be fair in my reviews as I know it is hard work to run a restaurant. I am certainly not out to unjustly criticize any establishment, but I do expect good service and food for the money. And I want to pass that information on to my readers.
And I’ll always let readers know of any deals or special promotions I find or what the best value is.
Some of the celebrity chefs I’ve been lucky enough to meet:
Video of Malika at Atlanta’s Crepe Revolution:
What are some of my interests besides eating out?
I love traveling….especially exotic travel where I can experience different cultures. I want to see the whole world. My most recent vacation was a 10 day trip to Peru with my fiance Glen. We had a great time seeing Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and soaking up the culture. I’ve also seen most of Western Europe and Caribbean. My next goal is to see Southeast Asia.
I’d love to connect with you. Feel free to leave comments to my posts or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.