We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Malika Bowling of Atlanta Restaurant Blog to bring you some of the best in Atlanta restaurant reviews. To kick-start our partnership we wanted to truly get to know Malika.
What is your favorite part of dining out?
Tasting all the wonderful creations of hard-working chefs, of course! I'm truly in awe of what talented chefs can create. They truly are artists.
Describe your a-ha moment when you realized that food blogging was your calling.
Food blogging is not my full time activity. However, I do freelance which means writing for different outlets, creating content for small businesses and event planning for restaurants and brands with my network of influencers. However, my personal food blog is a channel for me to showcase my skills for these things. I did realize I wanted to be full time in freelance when I started to notice how poorly corporations treat their employees. I love that I am in control of the work I do and have the opportunity to say no to projects that aren't something I feel comfortable with or enthusiastic about taking on.
You have truly made yourself a leader in the food writing space. What piece of advice would you offer aspiring food bloggers?
Don't underestimate the power of making personal connections. It is these relationships that help you get established and bring opportunities your way. Having thousands of followers on social media is not the same as personal connections. Invest time in meeting folks and helping others.
What is the strangest occurrence you’ve ever had at a restaurant or bar?
The strangest in recent memory was at the now closed Prohibition. This was a speakeasy. My friends and I wanted one last hurrah at East Andrews (where Prohibition is located). As a friend was leaving for the evening, she wanted a picture in the phone booth which is also the entrance. It took all of about one minute. However, that staff took it upon themselves to shove me out and refuse to let me back in for an inordinate amount of time. Yes, speakeasies should be kept secret but this particular one was going to close forever within one day. Rudest. staff. ever.
You are the author of Food Lover's Guide to Atlanta. How did you decide to write the book? What advice do you have for those who want to become an author.
It's funny. I never really wanted to write a book. The publishing company approached me to write the book. It was a dream come true to publish a book and I have no regrets. The good news is that for anyone wanting to write a book, it's easier than ever to do so with many self-publishing opportunities. That way, you keep all the profits from the book. For my second book, I went the self-publishing route and did and an e-book. It's a great way to establish credibility, so I'd recommend doing it for someone looking to become established in their field.
What is your favorite Atlanta restaurant or bar?
It's difficult to pick a favorite as there are so many outstanding restaurants in Atlanta and so many talented chefs. Two restaurants that I absolutely love and feel don't get enough attention are Poor Calvin's (Asian / Southern fusion) and Better Half.
What is the one thing that you would never want to eat again?
Alpaca - it is a delicacy in Peru but it was completely unappealing and I will never eat it again.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Seafood - I love it! I also love spicy foods too.
What is your signature drink?
Oh that depends on the mood - I love a French 75 or well a made Manhattan when I'm being all fancy, but you know a Dark and Stormy or even a Moscow Mule.
What restaurant openings are you most looking forward to this Spring?
I haven't really spent much time in the newly developed Inman Quarter, so I'm looking forward to checking out some of the restaurants and bars there.
What factors do you look for when picking a restaurant for a group of friends?
I'm very cognizant of having food that is appealing to everyone. Just because I'm a foodie, not all of my friends are and I always want everyone to enjoy an evening out. That being said, I do want to support local businesses as well.
What is your favorite part about Split and why?
Not having to mess with credit cards. It's like Uber for restaurants.
If you could go out to eat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My mother. She's been gone for 28 years and I miss her everyday.
The breakfast of this champion is….
There's nothing quite like a delicious hearty omelette or some cheesy eggs and hash browns to start your day!
Check out Malika's blog here: Atlanta Restaurant Blog
Split is a mobile app for diners and bar-goers that allows them to pay and split their bills from their smartphones; allowing them to dine on their own time. Download and use Split today here.