I Love Paraguay
4316 Greenpoint Avenue
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Long has Paraguayan food eluded us. But the beautiful thing about New York City is how you can get any kind of food there. I Love Paraguay is one of the few Paraguayan spots in the whole country and we were excited to see the rave reviews. Located on bustling Greenpoint Avenue in Queens, I Love Paraguay seemed welcoming and popular, with a soccer game playing on a TV in the corner.
I Love Paraguay has a well-proportioned menu, featuring Paraguayan and American classics. We were greeted by a cheerful waitress who readily informed us that…sorry… they were out of pretty much everything. Seemingly every time we ordered, the waitress came back and stated – very apologetically – “Sorry we’re out…” Of salad, chipa cheese rolls, sopa paraguaya. We kept scanning the menu for things we could order, only to be shot down again and again. Wanting to try something typically Paraguayan, we also tried to order a traditional cold mate tea, but the waitress assured us that “Americans don’t usually like it.” Our pet peeve! Usually we would have been more insistent, but we didn’t want to be pushy. Sigh… Oh well.
Our two dining guests finally settled on a selection of empanadas: corn, beef, and cheese. All were excellent, and cheese was easily the favorite. We (L&M), owing to lack of options, were suggested one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant, the sandwich de lomito: grilled skirt steak in a sandwich, garnished with lettuce and tomato (and egg if you so desire). If only these dishes had been on the menu, we likely would have had a much better overall impression of I Love Paraguay. The empanadas were excellent, the steak sandwiches were well-seasoned and perfectly grilled, and you got a lot of food for the money. But hopefully we will be back to try the rest of the menu, and some of the more emblematic Paraguayan dishes, if they are available.