Elegance, Grace, and a Whole Lotta Beer

August 5th, 2010  |  City: | Published in Out on the Town  |  4 Comments

Zandunga means elegance and grace in the Oaxacan region of Mexico.  The Zandungas are women in this region that are known for their elegance and grace, and for their tendency to drink a lot of beer.  This juxtaposition of soft core and hard core presents a fun atmosphere with serious food at the new Zandunga Mexican Bistro that has recently entered Austin’s restaurant scene on E. 11th Street (in the former Primizie space).  Their food is full of flavor and encompasses dishes from all regions of Mexico, which is unique in itself, compared to other Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants in our town. Take, for example, the guacamole (shown above). The presentation is festive and served in a way that allows diners can customize it to their own liking (by adding serranos, tomatoes, lemons, oranges, mango, and onions), each enjoying a different taste, even if they are sitting at the same table.  (Sidenote: what a great idea for hosting at home!)

Next up, Scallop and Red Snapper Ceviche with a habanero infused tequila. Even though we had already ordered the Campechana-style Shrimp Cocktail, I had to taste this one (thank you to the restaurant for providing this on the house!) when I saw the word habanero in the description on the menu.

Both ceviches were flavorful and served with plantain and corn husk chips (so clever and tasty!) and vibrantly colored dishes to brighten the experience.

And my meal, complemented by a mini-carafe of sangria, was so light, yet full of flavor!  I ordered the Mojarra al Mojo de Ajo- Pan Fried Tilapia in light roasted garlic sauce, with roasted tomatos, a delicious mushroom-like risotto, and watercress.

I, of course, ordered the sangria, but Zandunga is proud of their Guava Agave Margaritas, Mojitos, and House Margaritas that are always in progress, ready-to-serve behind the bar.

Rebeccammended for a medium-casual meal (maximum price on the menu is $20) with friends before heading to some of the East Side bars, out of town family, or even a business lunch. As an extension of the family that brought Austin Mi Madre’s, you can tell that a family’s love has been poured into each bite and your experience as you dine at Zandunga.

*There’s no website up yet, but you can check out the menu here or follow them on Twitter.



  1. Jodi says:

    August 5th, 2010 at 9:43 am (#)

    Thanks for this review, Rebecca. I can’t wait to try Zandunga!

  2. Christina Torres says:

    August 5th, 2010 at 4:37 pm (#)

    Hey Rebecca,
    Thank you so much. Would you mind if we used one of your pictures for our website? I love the Ceviche pic. Let me know?

  3. Jette says:

    August 5th, 2010 at 7:15 pm (#)

    This is amazing, Rebecca! I vote this as our place for our next ladies nigt out!

    Love the pics!
    _ Jette

  4. TheRebecca says:

    August 6th, 2010 at 12:03 pm (#)

    Christina– I had such a lovely dining experience! I’m so glad I got to meet you! I would love it if you would use the photo. I’ll work with you to get the photo file if you need it.

    Best of luck in the upcoming weeks!

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