Paraguay offers you an alternative experience to the rest of South America as I seen it. Here in Asuncion, the country’s capital city, tourists are few and far between. Even staying at the city’s best hostel (by a country mile) The Black Cat, the rooms weren’t full and you could kind of tell you were really travelling. Yes, I loved Asuncion and so today’s Friday’s Featured Food is all about a Paraguayan all you can eat buffet that I tried! To be honest it’s not essentially ‘Paraguayan’ style food – it’s a mixed buffet of all kinds, but I loved it. Plus as a budget backpacker I struck gold with this place in downtown Asuncion.
It’s a restaurant called Bar La Esquina and is situated at 14 de Mayo 614 at the corner of Gral Diaz. Asuncion’s map system is easily navigable (as was the bus system) but remember it’s not a rich country and people speak Spanish, not much English and they are PROUDLY Paraguayan. The address in English by the way is 614 May the 14th Avenue (basically). It’s really not that hard to find. It’s on a prominent corner and you want to head there at lunchtime for the ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET!! It’s a Paraguayan feast and it’s dirt cheap! You can get it for less than $2 US Dollars – if you take the meat option out! However I paid the full whack of 10,000 G’s (10,000 Paraguayan Guarani) which is about $2.3 US Dollars. An absolute steal. That includes all you can eat salad, pasta and meat!!
The place is extremely busy and staff work round the clock to constantly add more food amidst the flurry of customers. The thing was – my travel buddy Gregory and I went there early afternoon and it was packed. I don’t have a huge appetite at the best of times but that day had a large breakfast so wasn’t extremely hungry. I still did my best on the feast though! So what food can you get?
Meat – chicken breasts, chicken wings, chicken legs, beef steak, pork chops
Salad – coleslaw, tomato, lettuce etc. (with a variety of salad dressings also available)
Vegetables – potatoes, chips, beetroot etc.
Local stuff – Chipa bread, Milanesa (Paraguayan style)
Foreign stuff – stir fried rice, noodles, beansprouts, pasta, lasagne, quiche
Price – 10,000 Paraguayan Guarani for the basic all you can eat buffet. Grab all you can on your plate – there’s a charge to go back up again so basically heap your plate full and you’ll be onto a bargain. You might want to bring your own water as this doesn’t include a drink, I bought an orange juice there which was 3,000 Paraguayan Guarani. All in all it’s a full buffet all you can eat meal for around £2 or $3 US Dollars! Great bargain on your travels if you ever end up in the randomness of Asuncion, Paraguay’s unknown and charmful capital city. Moments like this make me realise how amazing a lifestyle of travel really is – to buy and cook all that food myself could cost more than £10 and take well over an hour.
A video of me in La Esquina devouring my Paraguayan all you can eat buffet:
Friday’s Featured Food is a regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. I’m a travelling Northern Irishman!