Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Being an adventurous eater in New York, I’ve eaten food from many different cultures and countries. We have (just about) everything in this uareat diverse city. But sometimes I realize just how much I have never tried, There’s literally an entire world out there.

I recently learned about a Paraguayan restaurant in Queens and became immediately interested. We have plenty of Ecuadorian, Brazilian, and even Uruguayan restaurants, but this would be the first time I have ever tasted specialities from the small Latin American country of Paraguay.

I arrived at a strange in-between hour (after lunch but before dinner) which is usually when I have time to go exploring. Not a soul was in the charming restaurant except the gracious wait staff. The menu was quite large and they were happy to help me through it since I was not familiar with most items.

I wanted to taste the most traditional dishes possible of course and ones I had not tried elsewhere. Empanadas are certainly traditional in Paraguay and I’m sure a bit different from their Argentinian and Chilean cousins. But I’ve tasted other forms of emapanadas – I have never encountered some of the strachy appetizers on this menu. So I ordered two.

One was a really interesting grilled flatbread called Mbeju that had a white Muenster cheese incorporated into it. It was almost like a chewy quesadilla without all the mess. It had a starchy texture and was quite interesting.

But I prefered the Chipa Guazu, an impressive corn cake similar to a souffle. In addition to the eggy lightness, there was a browned tasty exterior skin.

Again, there was cheese hiding inside the mass. The corn and onions spilled out with bits of the cheesy dough (I do believe this is gluten free – so the word dough is slightly inaccurate).

I had never tasted anything quite like it. It’s a hearty and tender appetizer and evidently one of the most traditional Paraguayan dishes around. And go figure, you can try it right here in good old NYC! Price: $5.50

I LOVE PARAGUAY
4316 Greenpoint Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Street),
Sunnyside, Queens
(718) 786-5534
ilovepy.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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