For the series Inside Atlanta, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re chatting with Marian Liou from We Love BuHi. You may recognize Liou as the woman behind the drool-worthy We Love BuHi Instagram, where she features the people behind those Buford Highway dishes we love so much. Liou founded this community organization a year ago as a way to promote the diversity and culture in the area beyond food — and she’s succeeding in big ways. Most recently, this former attorney gave a talk at Creative Mornings about the initiative, won a Blinkie award via the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and was featured as one of Creative Loafing’s 2016 People to Watch.
Today we get a tour of The Big Peach lead by Liou herself.
I live in… “Brookhaven across the street from The Pink Pony. It's great because it's super convenient to anywhere in the city and, of course, Buford Highway.”
I wish people knew… “There are so many people who are engaged, curious and dedicated to putting their mark on this city, and it's truly possible for anyone to do so.”
You can find me… “On Buford Highway. I really spend most of my time there.”
It’s dinner time, I’m headed to… “Little Bangkok on Cheshire Bridge Road. I also love every single pho or banh mi place on Buford Highway (Don’t ask me to pick a favorite!). I went to BoccaLupo recently and absolutely loved it. I go to Shoya Izakaya for special occasions and La Mei Zi for their weekend lunch buffet when I'm looking for Chinese/Taiwanese food that tastes like my parents or grandparents made it. I head to Hong Kong Bakery early in the morning for their warm coconut buns and hot egg custard tarts.”
The clock strikes 5 o’clock, I’m drinking… “Bubble tea with tapioca balls and grass jelly. Half sugar, no ice. My favorite spots are Quickly for their chewy tapioca balls and Honey Bits when I need a quieter place for a meeting. I head to Sweet Hut Bakery when I have my kids because it's their absolute favorite.”
Atlanta’s best-kept secret is… “MARTA Bus Route 39, which runs on Buford Highway between the Lindbergh and Doraville stations. You can take all the pictures you want of what you just ate on Buford Highway and then post them to social media without endangering pedestrians or yourself.”
When I’m playing tourist, I go to… “Buford Highway and Sweet Auburn Curb Market. When family and friends come into town, all we do is eat, honestly. We love the places that are a little gritty and not so shiny. I used to take my kids to the Atlanta Botanical Garden but now that they're a little older, we spend a lot of time at Piedmont Park. I want my boys to feel like the city they live in belongs to them and to feel a sense of curiosity, exploration, and ownership about Atlanta.”
I get my sweat on… “at the Atlanta Streets Alive events. If I could, I would just walk everywhere and call it a day. ”
I love spending my money at... “Atlanta Vintage Books because the couple that owns it, Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla, are a civic treasure. And because of the therapy cats.”