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Malia’s Mexican Restaurant

July 14, 2022

Last week was a weird week. I worked alone a lot. My partner was on vacation and we were short staffed all around. Some days I did a little work. Some days I did nothing.

Thursday was one of those days I didn’t much. I had to drive to Gobles to check something out. It turned out to only take a couple of minutes but since I had already made the drive to Gobles, I figured I should pick up something to eat while I was there.

There are a few restaurants in the small town so I had some options. I went with the option that I’ve passed many times but never had the time to stop at.

Malia’s Mexican Restaurant is on the north side of Gobles just outside of the village limits on M-40 near Pinedale Lane. The restaurant sits off the road a little bit with a large parking lot in front of the building.

I actually had to call in my order because there is no online ordering but the anxiety in me practiced it several times before making a phone call so it went pretty smoothly. There’s a pretty large menu of different combinations of Mexican favorites but I like tacos and pretty much just stuck to that.

The restaurant is divided in to two areas and very much has the feel of a smoking and non-smoking section. There’s a smaller dining room right inside the door. The walls are pretty bland compared to the main dining area with most of the color coming from the tables and chairs (we’ll get to that in a second.) There are a few paintings on the wall just to break up the monotony of neutral colors.

The main dining area has a little bit more of that Mexican restaurant feel. There are large murals on the walls, tile floors, and dark wood beams used as accent pieces.

You can obviously see in the previous two pictures just how much the furniture stands out. It’s hard not to notice. The tables and chairs are both heaving wood pieces that have been intricately painted. Both the front and back of the chairs have designs on them and the tables have different scenes of Mexican villages painted on the entire surface.

I had put in a phone order right after they opened so it didn’t take too long to prepare. There’s a pickup window right inside the first dining room before you get to the hostess area of the main dining room. A waitress saw me walked in and popped in to this pick up window to grab my food.

I did my usual order of four steak tacos with just cilantro. I like tacos so much and I like them when they’re just this simple. The corn tortillas were warm and had little crispy bits to them. The steak was tender and juicy. These tacos were tasty on their own without any kind of sauce…but who eats tacos without hot sauce?

The waitress asked if I wanted hot or mild sauce. I picked the hot which is usually a red sauce but this time it was green. I asked again to make sure it was the hot and she said yes. The green sauce had a little bit of a kick to it but it was not mouth on fire hot. Just a subtle heat that added a lot of flavor to these already delicious tacos.

Alright, so let me be weird and order fries at a Mexican restaurant. I’m not a rice and beans person. In fact, it’s why I don’t eat at more Mexican restaurants. I always waste the sides. Malia’s had the option for a side of fries so I took it. The fries were really nothing special. They were just out of the bag frozen food service fries. I waited until I got back to Kalamazoo to eat. I had some mustard in the fridge at work so I used that. I could have eaten them on their own but a little mustard didn’t hurt.

The cost of my meal was right around $13 before tip.

I’ve said it so many times. I really like tacos. I know there’s more depth to Mexican food than tacos but I really, really like tacos. I kind of skimmed over the menu at Malia’s and there are several things that sounded tasty but I don’t regret my decision at all. The tacos were delicious. I would do it again but next time I’d eat in just to get to soak up the atmosphere at this unique Mexican place in rural Van Buren County.

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