Special New Year’s Day Hours—Join us as we try something new!

This year, we’ll be open from 9—2 on Friday, Jan. 1st – New Year’s Day – and 10—4 on Saturday & Sunday. We will have some amazing specials, like Orange Pecan Pancakes, Carmen’s Hearty Chicken Soup.

From then it’s on to the new year, and, unlike other times, we are staying open all winter. That’s right, you heard it here first: Carmen’s all winter long, for your brunching pleasure: 9—4 Saturdays and Sundays, with tasty food cooked fresh, and some of the finest specials you’ve ever tucked in to.

Rock Hill Bakery / Empty Bowls / Faces & Places / Specials

Rock Hill Bakehouse comes to Carmen’s

after a visit to the mostest fantasticest bakery in the area, Carmen’s is carrying Rock Hill Breads. One taste won us over!

Try a Basket o’ Breads with our own whipped Strawberry Butter and a Cortado!

Empty Bowls Benefit for the Homeless

Oct 5th 2014 ~ 12-3pm Italian Community Center Troy NY 12180

Featuring many Troy restaurants, including your favorite, Carmen’s
What wonderful blend of savory and spicy will we bring this year? You’ll have to come and see! It’s all good, all for the homeless, AND you walk home with a handmade bowl, courtesy of area potters and volunteers.

A unique event to support the growing fight against the issue of hunger.

OCTOBER 5, 2014 ~ 12-3pm~ Italian Community Center ~1450 5th Avenue, Troy NY 12180

Gary Masline Faces & PlacesNew Art Exhibit: Faces & Places, works by Gary Masline

Showing Thru 2014

Gary loves Santa Fe, and it shows.

You may have seen Gary’s work around the area, he’s widely known. We like the way his paintings start to tell a story, then leave the rest for you to figure out.

Look for an artist’s reception toward the end of the month.

Gary Masline is a post-modern realist working exclusively in oils. His paintings utilize the colors and light of the American Southwest, where he spent time as a youth, and often incorporate figurative images to create narrative.

Masline believes the Southwest is one of the Earth’s centers of spiritual energy, an energy which animates artistic awareness. Realizing that a painting can feign a reality neither the artist nor viewer has seen, he concludes that people can be profoundly affected by images of western landscapes which they may never have experienced, or by events which are alien to their actual experience, but which through imagination or memory reverberate nonetheless in the viewer’s unconscious.

In this regard, Masline expresses images that are emblematic or totemic, their symbols and gestures generating “stories” in the minds of viewers. He paints with the understanding that art is meant to be provocative, and his hope is to provoke a conversation with the viewer responding to his use of color, light and body language to establish image, illusion or icon.

Masline’s previous creative incarnation was as a screenwriter. He reasons that, if one thinks of painting as consisting of line or drawing, color, and story or narrative, his paintings reveal him making films…just one frame at a time, illuminating a moment of truth, whatever that may be for the viewer.

In conceiving a work, Masline frequently is influenced by the poses and postures of newspaper and magazine advertising, whose defined reality and bland presentation collides with his personal interpretations of body language and locale. He concurs with artist Gerhard Richter, who has worked from photographs and said “I am fascinated by the human, temporary, real, logical side of an occurrence which is simultaneously so unreal, so incomprehensible, and so atemporal. And I would like to represent it in such a way that this contradiction is preserved.” Masline’s other influences are painters Edward Hopper, Balthus, and Lucien Freud.

This Week’s Specials:


French TaostBy which we mean, breakfast any time, PLUS our lunchtime menu!

—Which is why we are showing you a picture of French Toast with Fresh Fruit and Real Whipped Cream

Cubano Sandwich by popular demand— pork, ham & swiss w/ mustard & pickle on Cuban bread


Check out our full menu!

Though for a real treat, come in and see what’s on our Specials Board.

Friday Tapas Specials 10/3

TapasBraised Beef Short Ribs w/ herbed garlic mashed potatoes

Pan Seared Salmon in garlic cream sauce over saffron rice

Pernil slow roasted pork shoulder over saffron rice w/ chimichurri sauce

~Full Tapas Menu Here~

FlanDesserts: expanded offerings:


Raspberry Chocolate Cake

We Can’t Thank You Enough!

Thanks to you, we won First Place for
Tapas/Small Plates & Cuban American,
Second Place for Breakfast & Brunch, Best Cuban American and
Third Place for Carribean and International in Metroland Reader’s Poll

And Jim Lewis won for Best Local Visual Artist

When we reopened in 2008, Troy and the nation were on hard times. We felt that Troy needed a community hangout, a place where you could get great food and drink for a decent price. We’ve worked hard to give you that, and with all our hearts, we thank you for acknowledging us. All of you deserve these awards for making Carmen’s what it is—
We couldn’t do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to try!



Great Lunches!

Wed & Thurs: lunch & dinner 11-6 • Fri: lunch & tapas dinner 11-10 • Sat & Sun • breakfast & lunch 9-4
Local Delivery $15 minimum weekdays only 518.326.2064
198 First Street • Troy, NY

Cuban BreadCuban Bread

straight from the source

We are now importing Pan Cubano, made the Cuban way, all the way from the source— Papito’s Cuban Bakery in New Jersey’s Little Havana! We drove down specifically to get these beauties, and we’ll be bringing them in fresh twice a week so our flavors are more authentic.

The little ones are Media Noches (middle of the night), a sweeter bread and just as tasty!

Tapas Samples!Holiday_Partyc6d7b6

Try tastes of our famous tapas— we’ll have Jamon Serrano, Marinated Manchego with Marcona Almonds, fine cheeses and fresh fruits. We’ll pass out sips of Sangria and our new Fentiman’s sodas!

Fentiman’s SodasFentiman's Sodas

Imported from England, these botanical soft drinks feature complex combinations of flavors, distilled and fermented from herbs and spices.

Reduced sugar, eminently satisfying, they are a delicious alternative to mass-market soft drinks.


Cleanse your palate– build your body right with Carmen’s half and whole Garden Salads

Sandwiches!Chicken B.L.A.T

All w/ our own cole slaw and potato wedges

Roast Turkey w/ Wensleydale– Cranberry Wensleydale, arugula & our own marinated tomato spread

Grilled Brie– w/ thin sliced apples and arugula pesto on artisan bread

Black Bean Burger– fresh and tasty, vegetarian, w/ lettuce, onion, & tomato on artisan roll


All home made and tasty

Flamenco – yes, our favorite egg dish starts with a stew! And it’s great as a stew without the eggs. Available w/ chorizo or vegan

Cream of Mushroom– with exotic mushrooms

Turkey Rice – with our own fresh baked turkey

There’s always the CubanoCubano

with real Pan Cubano!

We have always built great Cubanos, now they are even better! We start with Pan Cubano, authentic Cuban bread (or a Media Noche if you prefer, a bit sweeter and just as delicious.

We layer it with Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, and Pickles, add a dab of Mustard and wow, what a flavor!

Cuban Valentine’s with Mundo Nuevo!-3

This Friday, Feb. 14. Reservations strongly recommended for this heartful evening with our favorite musicians

MasterCard  —  Discover  —  Visa  —  American Express accepted.


Charlie Smith & Rob Aronstein 11/2—Blues

Friday November 2nd Charlie Smith & Rob Aronstein— Blues

Cafe open from 5–10pm with music in two live shows from 6–7:30 or 8–9:30 5$ Cover. 
Call 518 326 2064 for reservations

Check out their new CD Steppin’ Down Blues Lane. – two cuts were originally recorded at Carmen’s Cafe.

Charlie Smith

 Engaging and dynamic performer, prolific songwriter, blues guitarist and vocalist of the highest caliber are just some of the descriptions one could apply to Charlie Smith. Entertaining listeners in New York’s Capital District for nearly 40 years, Charlie is happy to have found in the players listed below a virtuoso backing group equal to the task of expressing and extending his musical vision. For more on Charlie himself, click here (dedicated page under construction).

Rob Aronstein 
Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals
Rob Aronstein has been working with and promoting Charlie and the Charlie Smith Blues Band since 1999, performing on and producing Charlie’s CD, “Hardly Ever Blue”. Rob currently performs with Charlie and as a solo and freelance pianist/organist.

9/21: Sensemaya— Latin Jazz

9/21 Sensemaya Trio

Sensemaya Trio fuses hot Latin dance rhythms with the cool sophistication of jazz improvisation. Their repertoire includes funkified interpretations of classic salsa to originals written in the revolutionary timba style of Cuba. Their own uniquely fresh Latin jazz compositions include a variety of styles from Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. While Sensemaya can cater to the intimate jazz listener, their true purpose is to get audiences out of their seats and on to the dance floor.

Cafe open from 5–10pm with music in two live shows from 6–7:30 or 8–9:30 5$ Cover.
Call 518 326 2064 for reservations

~ Tapas Specials for Friday, September 21 ~

Cuban Style Chicken Tamales
served w/ Yucca Fries & Veggie

Pan Seared Red Snapper
w/ Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
served w/ Roasted Potatoes & Veggie

Herb Crusted Lamb Chops
w/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Seasonal Veggie

Marinated Crispy Tofu
w/ Sauteed Veggies over Saffron Rice

~ Breakfast Specials for Sat-Sun, Sept. 22-23 ~

Huevos Benedictus
Poached Eggs over Saffron Rice Cake & Bacon
served w/ House-Made Hollandaise Sauce & Plantains

Veggie Huevos Benedictus
Drop the Bacon & Plantain, Served on a Bed of Greens

Marinated Crispy Tofu
w/ Sauteed Veggies over Saffron Rice

Dangerous on Decaf

Friday August 24th  Dangerous on Decaf—  Blues, Jazz, Rockabilly

Three friends playing rock, folk, blues –
Offering jazz and Latin their dues;
A few jug tunes to add some spice,
With maybe some naughty and maybe some nice!
Drinking coffee is part of the share
Trying to keep the caffeine spare,
Cause these three players don’t need much
To keep their motors hot to the touch!
Pickin and drumming and singing the songs
With Dangerous on Decaf your night can’t go wrong!

Cafe open from 5–10pm with music in two live shows from 6–7:30 or 8–9:30 5$ Cover.
Call 518 326 2064 for reservations

Tapas Specials for Friday, August 24

Chicken Breast Wrapped in Cuban Pancetta
w/ Mango-Black Bean Salsa
over Saffron Rice & Plantains

Strip Steak Au Jus
w/ Pureed Yucca & Seasonal Veggie

Pan Seared Salmon
w/ Red Pepper Coulis
over Saffron Rice & Veggies

Polenta Cakes
w/ fresh mozzarella & Sauteed Veggies


Sat & Sun August 25 & 26

Steak & Eggs
w/ Home Fries & Toast

Pan Seared Salmon over Greens
w/ Avocado, Tomato, Onions & Mango

George Fletcher’s Folding Money—Blues

George Fletcher’s Folding Money Plays the Blues Live at Carmen’s Cafe Friday, July 6, 2012

George Fletcher’s Foldin’ Money plays a variety of blues that teeters on rock, occasionally jazz, and even a little reggae. Expect to hear Foldin’ Money’s takes on the music of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Little walter, Freddy King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, …Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Benson, Bo Diddley, Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. In addition, some standards from the great American songbook occasionally find their way in to the set as well as a bunch of great original tunes.

Cafe open from 5–10pm with music in two live shows from 6–7:30 or 8–9:30 5$ Cover.
Call 518 326 2064 for reservations


This Friday, July 6, is
 Paella Day at Carmen’s!
Sample Three Paellas—


Gazpacho, served Chilled, w/Chips

Eggplant Sliders, Grilled, Topped w/Avocado Slices & Guava Sauce

Chicken Croquettes


Seafood Paella.…….W/Shrimp. Scallops, Calamari, Mussels, Clams

Chicken and Chorizo Paella Marinated Chicken/House Made Chorizo

Vegetable Paella Full of Fresh Seasonal Veggies.


Fresh Seasonal Fruits, served w/House Made Chantilly

Friday, March 9th: Taina Asili – World Music

Friday, March 9th:  Taina Asili – World Music: Puerto Rican vocalist Taína Asili and Sicilian guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro come together as a captivating duo intertwining potent vocals and enchanting classical guitar, performing unique and unforgettable representations of some of Latin America’s best loved folkloric classics. They have studied music under some of the world’s finest flamenco musicians, and have toured nationally in various musical projects. As a duet, they traveled the world together from California to Mexico, and from Puerto Rico to Spain enchanting audiences with their música latina. Two Shows 6-7:30 & 8-9:30, $5 Cover

WITH YOUR SUPPORT The Reclaim the Thunder US & European Tour seeks to raise $15,000 to offer 15 free shows to organizations and schools!

Taína Asili and Sicilian guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro come together as a captivating duo intertwining potent vocals and enchanting classical guitar, performing unique and unforgettable representations of some of Latin America’s best loved folkloric classics.

Taína Asili and Sicilian guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro


















Dinner Specials
for Friday, March 9

Ropa Vieja
shredded beef
slow cooked in tomato broth & spices
served with yucca fries

Fried Chicken
served with garlic mashed potatoes

in a cilantro-garlic-white wine sauce
served with wild rice

March 2nd: Carmen’s Cafe Returns

Welcome Back!
We reopen
March 2nd with Mundo Nuevo and their smooth Cuban jazz!
Mundo Nuevo  —  March 2 at Carmen’s  —  Two Shows 6-7:30 & 8-9:30, $5 Cover

Dinner Specials for Friday, March 2

Carne Guisada
Beef Stewed With Carrots, Celery and Potatoes
Served With Grilled Dinner Roll

Cuban Bouillabaisse
Shrimp, Scallops, Clams and Mussels in a
garlic-wine broth, served Over Saffron Rice

Marinated & Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder
Served With Yucca Fries