Woman of the Month - Tameeka Ballance
Once upon a time on a Friday night (life pre-COVID-19), the process of deciding on a place to eat or party to go to was as simple as doing a Google Search to random spots based on your personal preference or recommendations of friends. While searching and reading reviews, of course, you always come across that one review. You know the one I’m talking about, it’s awful, the customer service was trash, the food was undercooked, the wait too long, the music too loud, the crowd obnoxious, something short of a disaster. Leaving the reader wondering, C’mon, was it that bad? Or is the customer having a bad night? Luckily for me, and now for you, Tameeka Eats is your go-to for all things Eats in NYC. Before ‘Rona touched down and successfully shifted our norms, you could find Tameeka at restaurants and food events a few times a week. Why? “Food is life,” and “It’s become a passion of mine to find new places and be able to share it with people.”
For the past five years, Tameeka has been doing just that. She is eating and reviewing her way through New York! Who better than a Native New Yorker, to let you know what’s going on in her city and give you a lay of the land. Born and raised in Brooklyn to American and Caribbean parents, she is immersed in taste from collard greens to curry. She’s no stranger to food or the kitchen, shifting her role as food reviewer to cook, as most places are temporarily closed. She makes a considerable effort to support local businesses that are still open, whether it’s pizza, Indian, etc. In the meantime, Tameeka is creating and trying new recipes and cooking every single day. A shift from a former life of dining out. She enjoys her current go-to; rice bowls but also enjoys Polish cuisine because we all love perogies and sausage. She is mostly using anything that’s on hand because going outside unnecessarily right now is scary.
Her range, however, is not bound to city limits, and she’s not stingy about sharing her experiences. Look at her stats; over 200 restaurants visited here and abroad; Paris, Maldives, Cuba, and Montreal, just to name a few. While reviews provide us with the where to go and what to do, it also builds community as “there are black food writers, but not a lot.” It’s just as much about the good and bad, as it is about sourcing, origin, and history of the food that we eat. “We all have a purpose, and we can all do this together.” Cutlery clinks and wine glasses raised around the world. Food is love. Food is community. I think it’s safe to say that our taste buds and passports will be living vicariously through Tameeka, and we are looking forward to the continued journey.
For more information on Tameeka, Food and Travel follow he
Feature in Food and Wine: Date Pending (we like to speak into existence over here!)