Overlooked Gem

Wow!  Why was this place so quiet on a Thursday night?  The food is absolutely incredible.  We shared the Tostados de Jaiba to start and a Tacate each.  The tostados were beautifully presented, the crab meat tasted fresh, and a perfect blend of fresh ingredients, zesty sauce, and the crunchy housemade tortilla.  Then we split the chile rellanos.  Having just lived in New Mexico we held really high standards for our favorite chile dish.  At Zandunga they used a poblano pepper and one had a barbecue chicken filling – the sauce was unbelievable for this – sweet, tangy, and smothered all over everything.  Roasted, not fried the peppers were delightfully carmelized and really spicy.  We loved it.  The other was a beef and was prepared in a more straightforward way... less tricks.  There were fresh pickled carrots on the side which added a lot of color.  The service was wonderful, too.  My only quest and dream for Zandunga is that it kick up the outdoor ambience a beat.  Some string lights, candles... this section of East eleventh needs a little pizazz to pull the passers by in.  It is difficult to tell if they are open, what they are, etc. just in passing.  Go to Zandunga for a fresh twist on authentic, handmade Mexican.