Carmen’s Holiday Potluck– Tomorrow Night! Tuesday, December 24 5-10 pm

A Neighborly Gathering for Those Who Can’t Be With Their Family

(Announcing Winter Hours, Expanded Schedule & Delivery Service)

TROY, N.Y. — Carmen’s Cafe will host its annual holiday potluck dinner this Tuesday, Dec. 24, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to all. They ask you to bring a friend and a dish or beverage to share.

“We open our doors and our hearts for people who have no place to go on Christmas Eve,” said Carmen Gonzalez, who is co-owner with Jim Lewis of Carmen’s Cafe. “This is one of the events where the community spirit in Troy really shines. Everyone is family here.”

In addition to the dishes brought by guests, Carmen’s kitchen will put out a spread of rice and beans, with picadillo (ground beef, sauteed with tomato and herb broth with olives, capers and raisins), plantains, salad and flan. Sangria, coffees and tea will also be served.

The evening will feature a musical performance by flamenco guitarist Garth Green, of Troy. Carmen’s Cafe is located at 198 First Street, on the corner of First and Adams streets.

“This is about community building and enjoying the spirit of giving,” said Gonzalez. “Bring a dish and a friend.”

The annual gathering has grown over the years from a small group to more than 60 people last Christmas Eve. This year, Gonzalez expects about 100 people will come during the evening.

Carmen, a native of Manhattan, opened the Cuban-American cafe on the border of South Troy in 2004. The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Cuban father, Carmen’s menu is inspired by family recipes.


While Carmen’s Cafe is normally closed for the winter, this year, by popular demand, the restaurant will be open for limited winter hours. From Dec. 28 to Feb. 2, Carmen’s will be open Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of the Jan. 4 and 5 weekend.


Starting in February, Carmen’s will be open for five days instead of three, with a lunch menu of soups, salads and sandwiches served on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in addition to the full menu offered weekends. New hours will be: Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also starting this February, Carmen’s will provide local delivery.

For information, call 518-326-2064 or visit: or


TN3 Todd Nelson Trio

Todd Nelson brings Impeccable Jazz and Snappy Hats to Carmen’s this Friday, September 14

Todd Nelson Trio TN3 mixes elements of jazz, rock and electronics, playing original songs and new arrangements of unusual covers, including pop, folk and gospel and any other genre signified by the muse.

The music of TN3 is improvisational but not noise; exploratory in texture and sound but melodic; arranged but open-ended; structured while embracing the random; aware of the past without repeating it; unafraid of space, subtlety or beauty, and it rocks.

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 for Friday, September 14 ~

Chicken Wings
w/ Mango Chili Sauce

Roasted Corn & Black Beans
w/ Avocado, Scallions & Jicama, topped w/ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Served in an Artisanal Lettuce Bowl

Grilled Flatbread Dressed w/ Sundried Tomato Tapenade
& Shaved Manchego Cheese on Frisee Tossed in Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Breast
w/ Chimichurri Sauce served w/ Rice & Beans

Cumin & Coriander Crusted Filet Mignon
Served w/ Mashed Yucca & Veggie

Crusted Tilapia w/ Lemon-Wine-Garlic Sauce
over Saffron Rice & Veggie

Charlie Smith & Rob Aronstein: The Bluesmen Are Back

Friday June 8  Charlie Smith & Rob Aronstein bring the Blues back to Carmen’s.

Get rhythm when you get the blues. These guys have the stuff to get your feet happy as you start tapping your toes, bopping to the beat these cats lay down as they have for decades. Charlie can evoke that sophisticated big city Chicago blues in the vein of Otis Rush, or just as handily, take you on a river cruise of the Mississippi Delta. Rob is going to tickle those ivories in a perfect weave to Charlie’s guitar licks.

It’s a killer combination, it’s a blues sensation.

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

~ Friday Night Specials Menu June 8 ~

Bacon wrapped scallops w/avocado sauce.

Tapas Specials

Cuban BBQ Spare Ribs, served w/arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and veggie.

Fried Chicken…boneless thighs w/ a spicy mango sauce, served with saffron rice and black beans.

Grilled Salmon w/black bean mango salsa, served w/yucca fries and veggie.

Crispy Tofu w/seasonal veggies in a cool coconut curry sauce.

Eggplant sliders….grilled, and served with avocado slices and guava glaze on a multigrain roll.

Graham Tichy Trio Friday June 1st

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

And the Graham Tichy Trio is gonna rock and swing the night away. Let’s heat up the night with some good friends, some great tapas, homemade sangria, and the rockin beat of Graham Tichy’s trio.

Dinner Specials for Friday, June 1:

Ropa Vieja
Shredded Beef in Spicy Tomato Sauce
w/ Peppers & Onion, Served w/ Yucca Fries & Veggies

Seafood Bouillaibasse
w/ Shrimp, Scallops, Tilapia & Red Snapper over Saffron Rice

Marinated & Slow Roasted  Chicken
Served w/ Mashed Potatoes & Veggies

Asparagus Rolled in Fried Eggplant
w/ Tomato Thyme Sauce

Eggplant Sliders
Grilled Eggplant & Sliced Avocado
Topped w/ Guava Sauce

Graham Tichy Trio with John Tichy and Don Dworkin

The Tichy Boys—Father, Son, and Holy Crow, that’s Doc Scanlon on Bass!

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!

And the Graham Tichy Trio is gonna rock and swing the night away. Let’s warm up the December night with some good friends, some great tapas, homemade sangria, and the rockin beat of Graham Tichy, the legendary John Tichy of Commander Cody fame and the amazing globe-trotting – swing-master Don “Doc Scanlon” Dworkin.

This Friday December 9, Open 5-10, Music 6:30-9:30, $5 Cover

Tapas Specials for Friday, December 9:

Pan Seared Chicken Breast
With Tomato Onion Jam
Served With Fried Yucca

Pan Seared Salmon
With Rum-Honey Glaze
Served With Saffron Rice

Cuban Beef Stew With Grilled Roll

Vegetarian Pot Pie With Grilled Roll

Breakfast Specials for Saturday & Sunday December 10 & 11

Flan French Toast
Drizzled With Carmel Sauce

Life By Chocolate Pancakes
Topped With Homemade Raspberry-Pear Compote
and Creme Fraiche


Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24—
Carmen’s Annual Holiday Potluck

We’ll put out the basics:  Picadillo, Rice & Black Beans, Fried Yucca,
Plantains and Flan Along With Mulled Cider and Sangria

You bring a Dish or Drink to share and an Open Heart

No charge, no cover, just an evening of conviviality & conversation
with the Carmen’s community