By Doug Toyryla
“Eating on Wheels Restaurant Dining as a Wheelchair-user”
I love food. All types. Growing up overseas has not only given me a great appreciation for foods that are not necessarily American, but has also allowed me to develop my palate. I love to try new things, and over the years have discovered a love for several dishes that I once thought I would never touch.
As a person with a disability (PWD), I have also always frequented restaurants which strive to accommodate customers of all ability levels.
Cuisine type: Like the name implies, TACOS!
9114 Center Street
Manassas, Virginia 20110
Sun – Wed: 11:30am – 9:30pm
Thurs: 11:30am – 10:30pm
Fri & Sat: 11:30am – 12:30am
(All tacos are $1.00 off before 4pm)
This gem is a recent find. Zandra’s opened their doors in late 2014, and I can’t say enough good things about this place.
Accessibility: 4/4 stars
From the outside, I first thought that Zandra’s didn’t look like it would be a very accessible place. HOW WRONG I WAS. When I entered, I was pleasantly surprised to see a wide open dining area, a good-sized bar on one side, and direct access to the restrooms without having to weave around tables & chairs.
My date & I were immediately seated & waited on by very personable & knowledgeable staff, who ensured that I was able to pull my wheelchair directly up to the table. When I got up to use the restroom, I found a doorway that was perfectly-sized, a large wheelchair stall, and a sink that was comfortable to use. In my opinion, one of the most accessible non-chain restaurants in all of Northern VA.
Food: 4/4 stars
WOW, is this food good! The meal starts with complementary homemade chips & salsa. The chips were still warm, and the salsa had a great consistency with a little chili heat.
For our appetizer, my date & I ordered the Queso. A few minutes later, out came this HUGE plate of the same type of homemade chips, but this time topped with tomatoes, lettuce, & scallions.
The queso dip itself was freaking amazing. A rich textured cheese dip, with a slight bit of heat & no residual oiliness to speak of. Then came the bison taco that I ordered. I’ll say that again. BISON TACO. The tacos here are fantastic. They are fairly large, served in two corn tortillas, and are STUFFED with a good amount of ingredients. Two of these make for a very decent-sized meal.
Zandra’s also has a great selection of beers, both domestic & imported. However, I chose to go with one of their microbrew IPA’s. It was delicious! A great accompaniment to the tacos & sauces.
Finally, there was dessert. We skeptically ordered the fried ice cream. I say “skeptically”, because there are places out there which will try to fake it & just give you ice cream that’s been coated in something like graham cracker crumbs. Not Zandra’s! These guys do it right! A BIG mound of ice cream, coated in sweet crumbs, flash-fried, and brought on a plate with fried sopapillas & plantains, all drizzled with a honey glaze. I was in Latin food heaven.
All in all, Zandra’s has delicious food, great ambience, and super friendly & knowledgeable staff. I HIGHLY recommend this place to anyone who happens through the Manassas, VA area.