Meat is King in Paraguay, and I mean carne…as in beef. Not chicken, not pork, not fish, but BEEF. Some may say, “…but those other meats are eaten in Paraguay!” and yes they are, but when it comes to having an asado, beef is what’s for dinner.
What is an asado, you ask? It’s like a barbecue in the US…kinda. It’s a social gathering in which grilling the meat over the parrilla (open fire) in the quincho (outdoor kitchen) is the main event and everyone laughs and has a great time and eats.
So, naturally, when it comes to eating at a a nice restaurant and we want to go out, a churrascaria (brazilian-style steakhouse) is a natural choice, and ours is Paulista Grill.
By American standards, dinner there is incredibly inexpensive. For a similar dining style in the US, one will pay $60-$100/ person. Here we paid about $15/person including drinks.
Included in the meal is all-you-can-eat sides and salads ranging from traditional Brazilian and Paraguayan dishes to this time, a little sampling of sushi and Lebanese tabouleh and raw Kibbeh. (When you sit at your table, you are given baskets of freshly-baked Brazilian cheese puffs (this recipe is excellent). After a few minutes to gather your sides, which I suggest you limit (trust me…the meat is the star), the servers come around every 5 or so minutes and ask if you want a portion of the cut they are offering on huge skewers. They will then slice off a piece and gently lay it on your plate. This article is a great explanation of the Brazilian style meal and some pretty neat facts.
From the star of the show, Picanha (top sirloin), to others like acem and costela, they are all amazingly tender and juicy, and oh so tasty.
After dinner there was barely any room for dessert, but I managed to taste the best chocolate mousse pie and maracuyá pie (passion fruit pie) I’ve ever had.
Paulista Grill is one of our favorite restaurants and the meat never disappoints. It was a lovely evening with the whole family and it was nice just to sit around a table and laugh and enjoy each other’s company and good food.