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Sep 15, 2007 11:06 AM

Guyanese in Schenectady?

Anyone got the 411 on some Guyanese food in the capital region? I've read that there is a significant Guyanese population in Schenectady, have to assume some of them cook for the masses, no?

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  1. I've noticed a Guyanese market on upper State St., although I've never been in. Might, if I'm passing by again, stop in and ask if there are any restaurants serving Guyanese food and report back.

    1. Since I'm visiting Upstate more often these days, your post got me interested. This is what I have found out so far:

      An article in late December 2007 said the Guyanese population in Schenectady around August 2007 was 5,000-7,000 (10% of Schdy). Former Mayor Al Jurczynski was recruiting residents from Richmond Hills, Queens to move Upstate. I may have to head over to Queens to try some Guyanese cuisine after I check out the hound recs on the Outer Boroughs Board. Learned that Hamilton Hill, Mont Pleasant (used be a pretty working class Italian neighborhood when I lived Upstate), Crane Street as well as Duane Avenue, Paige Street, Delamont Avenue and Lincoln Avenue may be possible areas to search for restaurants.

      Not sure if they are still around but Diamond Club was mentioned as a Guyanese bar/restaurant on Albany Street. Also read about a bakery and convenient store called Timothy's World (old Goldfingers location) on State Street. Not sure if this is the same market markabauman mentions in his post above.

      The hound that finds some delicious Guyanese food in Schenectady first, please report back.


      1. Since I don't know much about what Guyanese cuisine is I did a little research (thanks to The site also references a book, "What's Cooking in Guyana" (1994). East Indian flavors, Chinese food, creole cuisine all influence Guyanese cooking. Juices are popular, curries, cow-heel soup, seafood dishes. Some Guyanese classics include callaloo, black Guyana cake, mauby, cassava bread, coo-coo (ochroes, beef, etc.).

        11 Replies
        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Don't forget Pepperpot made with real Casreep, and Roti.

          1. re: currymouth

            thanks, currymouth. By the way for anyone (like me) who doesn't know I believe Casreep is a thick syrup obtained from boiled cassava juice. So what's a cassava? I'm on a mission now and may have to head to Richmond Hills, Queens and find some delicious Guyanese food before I head back Upstate and search in Mont Pleasant, Schenectady.

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              A starchy root veg also known as yucca. The native indians from that part of South America used it as a food preservitive.

              1. re: currymouth

                currymouth, thanks again. I've had yucca. Can't wait until I return to Schenectady and begin my quest for Guyanese food . . .

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Just curious. Why Guyanese food? Not exactly the best known cuisine.As you have seen, is basically a amalgamation of just about every country's food that ever settled that part of South America. Guyana is also internationally known for the sugar and rum from the Demarara Region of the country.

                  1. re: currymouth

                    currymouth, it all started with a kagi post I read on the TOP NY Capital Region-Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Troy thread. He wanted to try Guyanese food and was looking for some restaurant suggestions from hounds. Since I have been spending more time Upstate, live in NYC and have eaten some interesting food overseas (Singapore cuisine is also a mix of cultures), why not Guyanese? The quest should be a fun culinary adventure . . .

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      i second the why not?...amalgamation has led to some truly fantastic cuisine (trinidian roti... louisiana creole..peruvian al). If it has the convenience of being in yer backyard, i can't think of a single reason NOT to search it out.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Having a Guyanese born mother and growing up in Trinidad, I am well versed in the culture as well as the cuisine.As for your quest, I say Bravo and you won't be disappointed.

                    2. re: financialdistrictresident

                      It looks like my quest will be a short one. Drove around Mt. Pleasant, Crane Street, etc. last weekend. Also inquired about Guyanese restaurants when I was in Chef's Choice Equipment shopping. They told me one new restaurant (on Congress Street) never opened and there were two (the bakery and bar already mentioned in an earlier post). The bar now serves Chinese food.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Sorry to hear that, But there is quite a cross section of typical Guyanese cooking , as you said in queens as well as jersey city. Keep us up to date please.

                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Any updates on this? My wife is in teacher training in Schenectady and has commented on the number of Guyanese kids in school. I would hope some restaurants have opened to serve them. As a side note, the two places that come up on a search for "Guyanese restaurant in Queens" are both Chinese (serving such items as Jerk Chicken Lo Mein).

              2. otis, try or maybe your wife can ask the students. The only restaurant I've heard of is Charlie's West Indian Bakery and Restaurant, 1414 State Street. I believe the nearest cross street is Robinson.

                2 Replies
                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  I found this thread before I spent a dinner and a lunch in Schenectady. Managed to get out to Charlie's for lunch. They have a small handwritten menu, and don't have most of the items on it. Basically you're looking at curried goat with dal puri (roti with lentils) or rice, at least if you go for a lunch. The style of curry and puri didn't seem uniquely Guyanese; it wouldn't have been at all out of place at a Trinidadian roti shop. But having said all that, it was still delicious; the curried goat was spiced expertly and went very well with the dal puri. There's no reason to put Charlie's on any out-of-towner's must-eat lists; but if you're in the Albany area and you're looking for serious international chowhound food, I doubt it can be beat.

                  1. re: Displaced Hoser

                    I drove by Charlie's West Indian Bakery and Restaurant on State Street so I'm bumping this thread up. Anyone been recently? Has the menu changed?

                    Also, West Indian Grocery on State Street?

                    I also Googled a Ramesh West Indian American Grocery and T'luck West Indian Cuisine on Crane Street. Anyone been?

                    Anything else new on the Guyanese or West Indian scene in Schenectady? Looking for "the Tara Kitchen" of West Caribbean/Guyanese food . . .