We have a long and storied history with El Zunzal. It began roughly a decade ago. It was March Madness, which means the UK Wildcats were rampaging through another series of college hoops teams as they made their way, inexorably, to yet another national title.

It wasn’t on the mammoth television at El Zunzal however. That wrong was quickly righted and we settled in at the little Salvadoran restaurant for a couple hours of pupusa eating, lager drinking and camaraderie with the staff who quickly were hollering out loud for “Azul Grande!” We had ourselves a time and have been back dozens of times for pluperfect guacamole, stellar soups and stews (they make homemade stock) and some of the best tacos in Austin, Texas.

Do not skip the curtido, a sour slaw of cabbage that’s one of the great garnishes in the western hemisphere. Most of the staff have been there for years; there are strolling mariachis on the weekends; the pupusas are bulging with molten cheese, and it always bears mentioning that El Zunzal puts out the best bowl of guacamole in Austin-bar none.

Wash everything down with a quart bottle of Regia, the national beer of El Salvador and do not skip the desserts, some of which feature sweetened cheese!

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