Get ready, Cahaba Heights. Satterfield’s mastermind Becky Satterfield has been dreaming up a more casual Latin American concept for the new development on Crosshaven Drive with Crestline Bagel and Leaf ‘N Petal. She’s predicting an early June opening date, but we couldn’t wait to get the details on just what we’ll find inside.
Where did the idea for El ZunZun come from?
Most people know that I am a birder, have been for most of my life. Since hummingbirds migrate to the United States and back to Mexico and Central America, I have always pondered what it was like to make that 600-mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico and where the stops were made along the way. When did they stop to rest, drink nectar or eat spiders from someone’s backyard? My curiosity was also in wonder about what kind of food was being consumed at the homestead where the hummer landed. I envisioned fresh tortillas being made outside on a comal over an open fire, fresh corn taste right there in the middle of nature. There is such a connection to our country and to Mexico due to the dual citizenship of the hummingbirds. They come to America to breed and then migrate back to Mexico to breed again. As for the name, I chose this name because it is such a playful name for this particular variety of hummer, so I decided to adopt the name for my restaurant. So many hummers in Latin America are referred to as El Colibri, but this one is the smallest bird on the planet, the bee hummingbird in Cuba. This bird is intensely active and zooms around very quickly, which correlates to the name, ZunZun.
What will the building and ambiance be like?
Our ambiance will reflect a lot of the casual style of decor we encountered in Mexico. Since Angela Schmidt, my good friend and executive chef, and I have travelled extensively over the past year and a half, we are trying to bring back so many of our experiences. I am buying art from the artisans we met during our travels. Some of the other art will be produced by one of my close artist friends who is Puerto Rican. The building is a wooden structure with a tin roof, in line with the other two buildings in our village. Very rustic. We will have indoor and outdoor seating.
Can you give us any menu previews?
We will offer Mexican soft drinks, tequilas and mezcals, cocktails and wine. We will be making fresh corn tortillas daily with our factory that will be in the kitchen, visible for viewing through our kitchen window from our path outside in the gardens. The rest is a surprise. Our price point will be from $12-$24.
How will it be similar to or different from Satterfield’s?
It will be a lot different from Satterfield’s because it is a different cuisine. The only similarity will be that our service will be as friendly and attentive as Satterfield’s.
Why did you choose the location you did?
Because Cahaba Heights is a community I already love. I wanted to be further involved in putting a long stretch of sidewalks on the ground with my husband, Tommy, and with Jamie Pursell of Leaf ‘N Petal, so a village lifestyle can begin on foot or on a bicycle.