The new lunch counter at Carmen's built by Jim Lewis

Carmen's reopens in Troy

Update: Here is some of the basic information you've been asking about.

Phone: For the moment, Carmen's phone number is a cell phone (note the different area code). 516-857-0474

Address: The restaurant is at the corner of First and Adams, one light south of Congress on First Street. Mailing address is 198 First ST, Troy 12180.

Hours:

5 pm - 9 pm on Fridays for dinner.

9 am - 4 pm Sat-Sun for breakfast-lunch.

Other stuff from Jim Lewis (12-03-09):

"We'll be hosting Jasmine Ceniceros' reception for Heroes of Troy from 4-6 this Sunday during and after the Victorian Stroll. Though Carmen's will be closed for food at 4, Jasmine will be serving mulled wine and light refreshments.

As we work out the kinks, we'll be starting Community Nights again. Jackie Baldwin will do Tapas and Susan Garth is cooking up some interesting ideas. We are collecting emails (yours is on the list, I believe) to announce them, but that won't start until next year."

Whooooohoooo! Carmen’s has reopened. This little spot in Troy where you can get eggs with black beans and rice for breakfast was high on my list for why I love living here. Yes, yes, I loved the eggs, and the tilapia with garlic and cilantro lunch special, but what drew me to Carmen’s more than anything else was Carmen. Carmen the person and Carmen the spirit that you felt when you wandered into the place, plopped down at the lunch counter, and soon found yourself in conversation with – I don’t know, whoever happened to be there – and soon a deep sense of belonging to a community would settle into your bones along with the warm coffee and buttered Portuguese rolls.

the interior at Carmen's

Well, Carmen is back, my friends. And it seems like she must have taken stock of what her little place was really about when she decided on the improvements she would make for this go around. There is an elegant, new, hand-crafted wood bar that centers the restaurant now. Jim Lewis built it, and he can often be found sitting at it enjoying his breakfast or hosting the crowd on weekend mornings. A series of portraits on the wall show the faces of local community people. Small pullout counters around the edge of the room provide space and outlets for people who want to come and lounge with their laptops.

Carmen's new design

The place feels brighter, warmer and, well, prettier than before. Even the new floor is beautiful.

Here is a close up of the bar.

Close up of the new bar

Some things haven’t changed – the menu is basically the same, they still don’t take credit cards, and the pacing can, at times, still be a bit on the Latin side.

The flan has gotten better, and if the mango pancakes were great before I don’t remember. I can tell you they are great now. They’ve only been open a few weeks – three days a week for now, Friday, Saturday and Sunday –and there are still some hiccups. The rice came out under heated and crunchy on one visit. (Carmen took care of it quickly and produced a plate of flan and fruit that made me forget all about it.)

Sunday mornings just got a lot better around here.

The outside of Carmen's --- pretty new colors

AllOverAlbany.com

Comments

It really DOES look brighter! I look forward to visiting!!!!

Are the hours still the same as in your 12/07 post?

Not sure of the exact hours, but I believe it is open breakfast thru dinner on Friday, and then breakfast and lunch only on Sat. and Sunday. Closed the other days. She is phasing back in slowly.

A couple of quick notes. We went with a large group for brunch on Sunday. My mango pancakes were amazing. A couple of my friends had dishes with beans and felt the beans were nice and soft but underseasoned. My son had the meat empanadas and loved them. Still not a place to go if you are in a rush.

Do you know what their number is? 272-3011 doesn't work.

We wanted to call to find out their hours before we stopped by.

So glad that it's back!!!! Looking forward to the mango pancakes, empanadas, plaintains, beans, etc.

Dinner on Friday - BYO?

Yum. I know where I'm going after Berith Sholom drop-off on Sunday. How friendly would it be to a toddler and newborn dining there?

No problem, it is very kid friendly. But it can be on the slow side, so if that will be a problem with the kids.....

ah, yes, one more reason to move to the Capital Region!

sounds very yummy, and I do love Jim's woodwork! So is 198 is the street number address on what street?

I've added an update with the answers to your questions.

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