By Doc Lawrence
Once in a blue moon I discover a useful and reliable tool that helps with restaurant selections. Regularly pummeled by dining propaganda, I learned long ago to ignore useless recommendations that uniformly make claims that put my wallet at risk should I follow them.
Culinary Atlanta, Malika Bowling’s brilliant guide to the best restaurants in the expanded Atlanta region is credible, current and oh, so useful. Several hundred dining destinations are covered ranging from internationally acclaimed gourmet shrines to neighborhood breakfast spots, barbecue joints and good bars with pub food.
Ms. Bowling, a veteran Atlanta food critic, adroitly accomplishes something few writers would dare: The Buford Highway corridor. This crown jewel of dining adventure unique to Georgia presents the authentic cuisine of Korea, Malaysia, El Salvador, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Peru, India, Columbia, Cuba and dozens of other countries. While I’ve journeyed through the menu of many of these over the years, Culinary Atlanta mercifully directs me, navigating a once difficult path through the magic of expert summaries and solid contact information. This is a genuine accomplishment, showcasing one of the most unique dining experiences in the Southeast. Bravo!
Be assured that Malika Bowling writes about what she has actually experienced. The opinions and conclusions are her own, based entirely on her first hand experience. That’s a Herculean task, qualifying this an essential book for those who enjoy dining out but are wary of just dropping in to eat in strange places, fearful of the expensive nightmare of bad food, minuscule portions, high prices and horrible service.
There are genuine advantages when we make informed choices and there’s an added bonus with this book: The author doesn’t avoid examining restaurant wine and cocktail offerings, subjects that are vital in selecting where we want to invest our time and money.
Malka Bowling is honest and fair. A veteran of the Atlanta area food scene, she writes straightforward critiques, eschewing hyperbole. A trusted and wonderful friend, I long ago concluded that she has few peers as a food and restaurant writer/reviewer here in Georgia or elsewhere.
This is the perfect gift for those living in the Atlanta region. Those lucky to receive it will use it regularly. Culinary Atlanta merits inclusion by area CVB’s and state tourism officials in those media kits and visitor gift bags.
This will be one of my Christmas gifts to family and friends.
Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! is easily purchased through Amazon.