Sabor Guaraní, a restaurant and bar in Bayside, opened its doors on Small Business Saturday to serve up authentic Paraguayan cuisine like empanadas, sliders, steak, and meat platters.
Sabor is a family-operated restaurant and has been located at 40-04 Bell Blvd. in Bayside since October 2015, according to Ismael Roman, the second-generation manager of the restaurant.
The first generation of the family, Nancy and Carlos Ojeda, started making authentic Paraguayan food in Sunnyside 10 years ago at 43-16 Greenpoint Ave. Later their son Fabricio decided to expand the business to accommodate people who wanted the same food who live in other parts of Queens, Long Island and even Westchester.
Helping to manage the restaurant in Bayside is Fabricio’s brother-in-law, who is married to his sister Natalia, Ismael Roman.
“I manage the kitchen and I manage the bar,” said Roman, who also trains people in the kitchen.
The family is from the capital of the landlocked South American country, Asunción, and their restaurant mostly serves traditional Paraguayan food.
“In a lot of authentic Paraguayan cuisine we serve a lot of beefs, steaks, empanadas, a little bit of fish,” Roman said. “What we have here is something you won’t be able to find anywhere else, because it is hard to make, but we do have the people who are trained to make it. Some of them even come from Paraguay.”
The restaurant also concocts the national drink of Paraguay.
“It’s a non-alcoholic drink called Terere and it’s made with herbs,” said Roman. “We have different brands we used and pulled in from Paraguay.”
There are also drinks made from Mburucuya, which is the national flower of Paraguay that is featured on the Sabor sign, according to Roman.
They also have the dessert pastafrola.
“It’s a dessert made with guava,” Roman said. “We bake the little bread and put the guava on top and then bake it again.”
Despite serving conventional Paraguayan food with meats and cheeses, the restaurant does adapt for people who are lactose intolerant, gluten-free and vegan, according to Roman.
“We want to accommodate everybody who wants to try Paraguayan food,” Roman said. “We keep it as traditional as we can.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose