Zavala, Fresh Mexican Opens in East Lyme


I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t like Mexican food, and the more spots to get your fix, the merrier. We were happy to hear that the folks behind Milagro in Stonington were opening a place closer to home in East Lyme, and East Lyme seems very happy to have them!

When we arrived at 4:30 (the better to take photos!), the place was empty, but by 6 pm, when we headed out, it was full of happy diners. Our suggestion? Start off with a large platter of Totopos and salsa. While not precisely the puffier Totopos we were expecting, these chips were homemade and fabulous, and the salsa was fresh and redolent of cilantro with a bit of onion. We moved on to a garlicky shrimp, served in a citrus sauce with rice and a crisp slaw; a smart choice for those who crave a lighter meal. The Carne Asada Tacos on a double housemade corn tortilla were an authentic version of this classic street food, and we loved the plate of churro bites which makes for a great shared dessert. Less successful was the Chile Rellenos, which was drowned in tomato sauce, but did we care? No, not at all, as we gleefully sipped the fresh (and giant) margarita with homemade orange liqueur and fresh-squeezed citrus.
Outdoor seating is available, but you’ll be on the sidewalk in the parking lot.
Take out, too::

135 Boston Post Road in East Lyme