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Hey, Harry, how’s the Caribbean doin’ these days? Oh, that was a long time ago, right? Harry told me he’s been in business for 39 years in Minneapolis and 19 of those years in his present location on Eat Street. He thought just “Harry Singh’s Caribbean Food” was good enough for a name! He told me that business is still good after all these years, although some days lunches are slow. Evidenced by my lunch that day.
Harry Singh’s Caribbean Food
Talked with Harry for a bit. As above, he’s been in Minneapolis longer than many of you have been alive! That day business was slow but he said he’s usually very busy at dinner. And sometimes at lunch. There are four booths on one side, two booths and two tables on the other side. And a large table for 12 in the center. He said people like the Caribbean atmosphere in the winter because it reminds them of warm places! (By the way, here’s a link to the main Eat Street post covering (eventually) all the places on Eat Street.)
Trinidad and Tobago
Interestingly, Harry came here in 1970 to attend the University of St. Thomas where he earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in social work. He worked for a time after graduation as a probation officer. Since he became a precocious cook starting at the age of nine, he couldn’t resist the urge to run a restaurant. By 1983, he gave up being a probation officer and started the restaurant in Uptown, another area of Minneapolis, (it’s south of downtown!). According to reviews I’ve read, his food maintains a unique and different taste from other Caribbean restaurants. At least those here in the Twin Cities. Here’s a link to a review and a bit more about Harry.
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Trinidad and Tobago history
Harry came here from Trinidad of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The nation consists of two main islands and a few smaller ones. Trinidad definitely being the “main island”. Here’s a link to a brief history. Trinidad, being an island in the Caribbean, had many different people come to the island, some to work and some to take control. At the time of European contact (Christopher Columbus) in 1498, successive waves of people from other islands and from South American took control over time. With the arrival of Christopher Columbus, Trinidad and Tobago became part of the Spanish New World Colonization.
For nearly 200 years, Spain made little progress on developing the islands. By the mid-1800s, Spain and France, working together did bring in people with knowledge of tropical agriculture. By 1797, Trinidad became a British Colony through military conquest. Tobago was annexed to Trinidad in two phases between 1889 and 1898. The new consolidated colony remained a British Crown Colony until they gained independence and formed their own nation in 1962.
Harry’s interesting sign on the inside
As I said above, Harry’s is a great place to grab a meal (take out or eat in) and take in the flavor of the Islands. The walls are virtually covered with photos and memorabilia from Harry’s original home. It’s really a “go to” place, especially if you like Caribbean food.
Take a look at the menu! I hear from many people that the Roti is great! Roti is a round flatbread native to India. It’s made from stone-ground whole meal flour, traditionally known as atta, and water. It’s combined into a dough and used for various dishes.
My Caribbean Dinner at Harry Singh’s
I had the Steamed Shrimp. Probably not being too adventurous that day. Food was very good. Recommend you try it when you get this way. Again, hope you enjoy it! And that, abruptly, leads us to……
Want to see a shop for my road trip photos? You can have them printed as wall art or puzzles. They also work on coffee mugs, t-shirts and more! So, take a look. Maybe you'll see something you will like!
“Kokomo” by The Beach Boys
Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go, Jamaica
Written by: Michael Edward Love / Terry Melcher / Scott Mckenzie / John Phillips
(Off the top of my head, first thing that came to mind!)
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Nice post Drive By!