Kaya – A taste of the Caribbean

Kaya is a popular restaurant in the Strip District of Pittsburgh that specializes in Caribbean cuisine.  It also has a bit of an African vibe, but all the items on the menu were either Caribbean or Caribbean inspired.

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The drink menu has a decent selection drinks you would expect to find in a tropical location such as: dark and stormy,mojitos, tiki #7 and pina koladas.  One of my companions got the pina koladas while I got the Poco Picante (“a little hot”) a drink made from habanero infused tequila.   Like the name says, it was just a little spicy but balanced with the rest of the drink so as not to over power it. Also available was a robust selection of craft brews, many from local breweries.

For an appetizer, we went with the steamed mussels. This was a generous serving of mussels, sprinkled with sausage bits and served with fresh bread an a flavorful broth. It was quite good, and could have been a meal in and of itself.

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Steamed mussels appetizer

For dinner, I went with the seafood paella while my companions went with the flank steak stir fry and the shrimp and grits. A full flank steak meal is also on the menu. Everyone loved their meal. I found the seafood paella quiet tasty ; spicy without dominating the dish. The seafood — consisting of shrimp, more mussels, and scallops — provided a good variety and was well prepared.

Kaya has a small selection of desserts available, including ice cream from Millie’s. I went with the grilled peanut butter sandwich, a dish so new the waiter had not heard of it before. It is exactly what it sounds like: a grilled sandwich, topped with concord grape sorbet. It was a good pairing, as the sorbet tasted exactly like grape jelly.  Perhaps too much, as I found the dish overall tasted more like a sandwich and not enough like a dessert. My companions got a selection of ice cream: salted caramel, mocha, and vanilla. As I wrote in my previous blog entry covering Millie’s, it was awesome. Rich and creamy and imbued with unique flavors, you just cannot go wrong with Millie’s.

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Grilled peanut sandwich dessert.
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A selection of Millie’s ice cream

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