Authentic Mexican taquerias don't do much for me, simply because they don't offer up much for the vegetarian. I admit that a big-ass rice and beans burrito is my absolute favorite (hello, Cantina), even if it is far from authentic. And Distrito with their fancy Mexican tapas is just heavenly, but sometimes you want a platter of enchiladas with a side of beans and rice. Good enchiladas. Not the crap you find at Rosa Linda's Ranchero in the strip mall (I made that up. If there's a Rosa Linda's Ranchero, I'm sorry).
Say hello to Las Bugambilias. A nice compromise between all of the above. Also the best enchiladas I've ever had. ¡Hola!
It's a tight squeeze in Las Bugambilias, so we had drinks at the tiny corner bar while waiting ten minutes for a table. We were dining without a reservation, but at a late hour. I recommend a reservation for prime time.
I was a little scared of the Coche Mexicano I ordered from their cocktail menu because it contained licorice infused tequila, but the bartender assured me it did not taste like licorice. I went for it and enjoyed the citrusy (Cointreau and lemon), but woodsy (that's the licorice infused tequila talking) cocktail.
Three other cocktails (don't remember which ones) and one pitcher of red sangria were also consumed. By four people!Comlimentary chips and salsa: fried tortillas with one fresh type salsa, and one spicier mole type salsa.
Three of the above four dishes contain meat, so I can only repeat what the other eaters told me. Everyone loved their dishes, but since they know I write this blog, people tend to mention what bothered them.
Top right: Corn Empanadas filled with corn, zuchinni, and pumpkin blossoms. While eating Distrito's empanada-like quesadillas, I longed for Las Bugambilias' tangy, veggie-filled empanadas, if that tells you anything about how good these were.
Bottom left: Grilled achiote-marinated grouper filet topped with marinated shrimp, avocados, and salsa, with fried plantains, rice, and beans. No complaints on the fish. The only complaint was that the fried plantains were overly mushy. But it's a plantain. What's not to love.
Bottom right: Shrimp stuffed with cheese, pumpkin blossoms, zucchini, and corn wrapped with bacon, served with a chipotle sauce, rice, and salad. The biggest eater in our group ordered this and was a little afraid that five shimp would not be enough, but he was stuffed when it was all done. Shrimp, bacon, and cheese in one bite! It must be awesome. Believe it or not, he actually thought there was too much bacon. He was perplexed at that declaration.
Now, what I ate...the best enchiladas, ever.
I'm not a lover of cheese enchiladas because I just don't need that much cheese in my system, but even though these three vegetarian enchiladas are covered in Chihuahua cheese, the tart, assorted vegetable filling made me so, so happy. The menu says it's filled with carrots, zucchini, and spinach, but I remember corn in there, too. This may become the dish I have to order every time I visit Las Bugambilias. Thank you for not making a vegetarian enchilada by simply filling corn tortillas with cheese. And thank you for making it so tasty.
My only complaint about my meal was the black beans. I found them thick and grainy. But a friend across the table kept groaning about how she loved the beans, so...
Let's all do a ritualistic dance to preserve Las Bugambilias' presence on South Street. Or just go support them. But not when I want a seat!
148 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147