¡A reason to fiesta! El ZunZun opens in Cahaba Heights

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El ZunZun–complete with those cute red double doors| Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now

El ZunZun is a nickname for a Cuban species of hummingbird.

Nestled in the middle of Cahaba Heights, Becky Satterfield (owner of the equally yummy Satterfield’s Restaurant) opened El ZunZun to “create a place as inviting as the kitchens of the abuela’s (grandmother’s) we’ve learned from,” and despite being a brand spankin’ new building, the fun colors and vibrant atmosphere paints the picture of an upscale, yet somehow cozy dining experience.

The hummingbird seems to be Becky Satterfield’s favorite bird, considering one species is the namesake of her second restaurant, and it’s Alabama-native cousin (that migrates 1000’s of miles a year from Alabama, to Mexico and finally Central America) inspires the truly authentic Latin-American cuisine you’ll find in El ZunZun, all the way down to their homemade corn tortillas. 

Birmingham’s Latest Latin-American Treasure

On Monday, August 27, El ZunZun opened it’s doors for grand opening day. So naturally, I skipped lunch to ensure I had PLENTY of room to enjoy this meal from start to finish. 

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The Patio overlooks Leaf and Petal Nursery. Talk about a pretty sweet location. Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now

I began my dining experience with items from two major food groups in my diet: guacamole and margaritas. The dainty blue and white dishes and colorful placemats made my order so lovely, I almost didn’t want to dig in. Almost being the key word, of course. 

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Guac fit for a queen. | Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now
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Hummingbird Margarita. Lipstick mark on the glass because I have no self-control. Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now

The entree choices were diverse and affordable, with prices between $12-$24.  I went for the Al Pastor del Asador tacos–adobo marinated pork, grilled pineapple and pickled red onion, with a side of grilled cactus. Yeah, you heard me. GRILLED CACTUS! I ordered this thinking it’d be a wacky food to check off my bucket list, but ended up asking my server if I could find cactus in a supermarket to eat at home. It was SO tasty and apparently very healthy. If you’re thinking about stepping out of your comfort zone, add this easy accompaniment to your order. 

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Al Pastor del Asador tacos. Photos by Hilary Meares of Bham Now
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Grilled cactus. Muy bueno. Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now
Ready for Dessert? ¡SÍ!

You can’t visit a Becky Satterfield restaurant without having dessert. She’s the executive pastry-chef at Satterfield’s Restaurant, so it’s no wonder the menu includes eight dessert and pastry choices for every kind of sweet tooth. My dessert menu strategy is to just find the word “chocolate” and point to it, so I went for the Mexican brownie with Mexican chocolate ice cream. The combination of richness from the brownie and the tiniest bit of cinnamon and heat from the ice cream was something I would never have thought of myself, but I’m very, very glad someone else did. 

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A brownie perfect for sharing–but this one is mine. Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now
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Me + this Hummingbird Margarita = A match made in Heaven. Photo by Hilary Meares of Bham Now

El ZunZun is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 9p.m., and Friday-Saturday 11a.m.-10 p.m.  If you’re looking to expand your taste for Latin-American cuisine (this ain’t no Tex-Mex, y’all) then make your way out to El ZunZun.

Are you planning on trying out El ZunZun? Let us know what we should try next!

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Hilary Meares
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