The other week I found my self hungry but not hungry wandering Hillside Avenue. I’d spent the morning showing a consulting client the best pastries and baked goods Queens has to offer and wanted a snack but not a full meal. For a moment I thought about Spicy Lanka. I love their food, but couldn’t justify paying for a meal when I’d just eaten half my weight in croissants and other goodies. And then Sybil’s Bakery came into view on the corner of Hillside and 160th Street.
“Perhaps a bangamary sandwich,” I thought to myself remembering the fried fish sandwich I’d tried at the Guyanese bakery’s Liberty Avenue location, “I’ll eat half and take the other half home.” Never mind the fact that the only time I eat half of anything is when I’m leading food tours.
I glided past the steam table filled with oxtail, goat, and other goodies and glanced at the menu, which listed Jamaican beef patties for $1.75 as well as Guyanese chicken or beef patties for $1.25. The latter turned out to be tiny tartlets—no bigger than the palm of my hand— made with a distinctly different dough than their Jamaican counterparts.
I opted for one of each. The short bread crust of each Guyanese patty contained a savory mixture of meat and veggies that calls to mind certain larger meat pie. The dainty duo of Guyanese patties share roots with Cornish pasties. Provenance aside, they are a lovely snack, perfect for when you’re hungry but not hungry.
Sybil’s Bakery, 159-24 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica 718-297-2359