A couple of you asked for this review, so here it is. I visited Suya Spot some weeks ago with Funmie and another friend, Kay. It was my first time there. Suya Spot is located in Owings Mills, Maryland, and from what I have been told, there is (or was) another location in Randallstown, Maryland. I don’t know if the Randallstown location is the one that got moved to Owings Mills or if the Owings Mills location is a second location. The website implies that the Randallstown location is still open, but some people have said that it isn’t, so maybe the website is not updated or maybe it’s updated and people are misyarning. What I know for sure is that there is a Suya Spot located in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Suya Spot describes itself as producing food “the way nature intended – No chemicals, No preservatives.” And they also say that they have “food for the human tribe.” Thankfully, I am of this tribe.
The Food: Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the food, especially since I was not even planning on writing about my experience there (until Kay told me that men don’t ask women out anymore). That said, among the three of us, we had jollof rice, pepper soup, suya, asun (grilled peppered goat meat), and plantain. The pepper soup was nice and spicy, definitely a thirst catalyst in a good way. The jollof rice was not bad, but it was forgettable. I do not mean to brag – actually, I do – but my jollof rice game is strong, and this one at Suya Spot was just mehhh.
The (beef) suya was dry, so I don’t intend to order again. But I should mention that I lived in the North in Nigeria where the best suya is made, so I’m a big suya critic; it’s possible that it’s impossible to please me since I compare everything to the suya I ate at Standard (popular suya location in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria). They also have other kinds of suya, like chicken, fish and others, which I did not taste. I suppose it’s possible that this was an off day for them in the suya department, I don’t know. The asun was nice; it was soft and very spicy. I’ll definitely order again. They also had palm wine, but I did not taste it because I have never had palm wine and this one came in a bottle, and I did not want my first palm wine to come from a bottle. I want the calabash cup. The plantain — well, it’s hard to go wrong with plantain. It was fried plantain; I have nothing else to add to that. See their complete menu here.
I should mention that this was Funmie’s second time being there, but the first time she was there, she had the “fish suya,” and according to her, it was very, very good. I’m not a seafood lover, so I did not order this when I was there, but the description sounds yummy. My favorite food from everything I ate was the pepper soup.
The Cost $$: The cost was, in my opinion, within what I would expect from an establishment like this. The beef suya was $11.99. The jollof rice was $3.99 and came in a prepackaged plastic bowl, and the plantain was $2.99 and very hot. You can see their menu for other prices. So, if we’re putting dollar signs next to this restaurant to indicate the cost, I’d put two dollar signs out of five.
The Ambience: I liked the Lagos/Nigerian feel of the wall decor as seen in the picture above. There was music playing through the speakers, and it was loud enough to get into your head and make you dance in your seat, but not too loud that you couldn’t hear yourself or your company talking. The bathroom was clean. No pee smell or questionable wetness on the floor. There was ample bathroom tissue. There was a mirror to “dress” my lipstick, and I did not walk out feeling yucky or like I had to bleach the soles of my shoes, so that was nice.
There were enough seats and enough space between tables to get by without having to inappropriately rub your table neighbor’s body. Personally, I think it would have been nice if it converted to a dance floor late at night. BUT first, certain things have to be put in place like dancing lights, maybe, and maybe different kinds of seats. Right now, it has the feeling of a pretty takeout joint. I did leave a Google review – yes, I’m one of those people – where I mentioned that it’d be nice if people could dance, and someone from the team responded and said “We’re creating an atmosphere by which you can express yourself on the dance floor and it will be possible by May 2019.”
So, there you have it, my people – my contribution to Nigerian success in the Diaspora.
The Service: I don’t remember if there was someone else in the back (in the kitchen), but out front taking our orders were two ladies, and they were friendly and professional. One of them was the one who took our pictures. They were patient and courteous and came back every now and then to ask if we were okay and if we needed anything else. That was nice.
The Location: The picture above was not taken by me but was culled from Suya Spot’s website. I’m not too familiar with the Owings Mills area of Maryland, but the street where the restaurant is located seemed like a new establishment. It was clean and pretty and not at all like a place you’d park your car and never see it again. There was street parking, which I believe was pay-to-park, but we were there in the late evening, so we did not have to pay to park. I did not have trouble finding a spot to park, but as I said, it was late evening. I don’t know what’s it’s like during lunch hour, for example.
Inside, the customers were actually diverse. I think we were mostly Nigerians, but there were non-Nigerians, too — and yes, *whispering* White people! I was impressed they were eating all that spicy food and not turning red in the face. They were definitely making America great again.
What I did not like: With the exception of the jollof rice, the other foods came in “real” plates – which I loved. But then, they ruined it by presenting us with disposable utensils, and I was not feeling that at all. Still, a girl had to eat.
I’d give this location 4 out of 5 stars, just like I did in my Google review. I hope they keep their service and restaurant clean. I don’t know if they have free wi-fi or electrical outlets, but I think it’s a nice place to hang out alone or with a friend. And if you’re there alone, it might even be a nice place to meet someone.
I’d definitely go back.
P.S. This is not a sponsored post, and I do not know the owner/owners of this establishment, nor am I affiliated with them in any way.