CAYA (Come As You Are) is a nice smoked/BBQ place to eat with an upscale type menu tucked in a corner of Walled Lake. If you’re visiting the area or attending the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi this place is about 10 minutes away and it’s a must. In 2013 this place was voted one of the Best New Restaurants by the Detroit Free Press.
Inside the restaurant was been stripped down to give an industrial type of feel. As the name stats most everyone was dressed casually. The dining area seems a bit small only about 40-50 tables (seating for about 100) & most of them were full at about 6:00 on a Saturday evening. They have a good size patio that is open during warmer weather. There is a bar where people can drink, eat & wait.
The wine section is pretty good, crafted cocktails and 12-15 beer options (regional micro brews with a couple of national brands). The menu has something for everyone from fish, burgers, chicken, salads, and sandwiches and of course smoked meats. The smoker section (meaning the items have been smoked) had the normal pulled pork, brisket, ribs, but they had turkey & smoked squash as well. The ½ slab of ribs had a dry rub on them which was good. I found the ribs well cooked and moist. The only downside of ordering from the “smoker” part of the menu is they come with no sides, you must order those separately. My friend and I ordered 4 sides altogether, but you could easy just order 2 and share them. The sides we had:
• Burnt tips Chili- (Large pieces of beef, onions, peppers, tomatoes & beans) The chili was Ok, but a bit too spicy for me.
• Onion Rings-(Fried to golden brown with a crunchy batter, not the normal flour type coating found on onion rings.) Everyone loved them.
• Cornbread (comes in a cast iron pan.) It was very moist and had a cake like texture. Some of the best I’ve ever had.
• Grilled Sweet potatoes with maple glaze. The potatoes were cook very well and we dipped each one in the maple glaze.
The bottled water that was brought to the table upon arriving came straight from the refrigerator and was served in an old fashion type of bottle. On the table is their signature “Blueberry” BBQ sauce in a glass syrup container, pepper sauce and homemade stone ground mustard.
This was my 1st time to the restaurant, but I will back for sure and try something “new” from the menu. The only negative was the building was very chilly, so dress warm and bring a sweater is my recommendation.
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