Friday, May 09, 2008
It was a completely perfect day. Seventy two degrees, sunny, my 27th birthday. Angela was coming in to town because her birthday is just two days after mine and we try to celebrate together when we're close enough to do so. I took the bus into the city to meet with some folks about an exciting possible writing opportunity, walked home along the parkway, taking a few pictures along the way. Then I treated myself to this delicious water ice and sat in the sun by Eastern State to enjoy it.
The fun really started when my friends started to gather at our house and we were all(mostly) wearing fun colored pants!
After a few great drinks, we were all starving and I was delighted that we were headed to Las Bugambilias on 2nd and South Streets. I'd heard great things about it in the papers and had eagerly been awaiting going there to taste for myself. Due to the aforementioned drinks and the drinks that subsequently entered my system at Las Bugambilias, the photo quality in this post is not the best. Additionally, this high level of alcohol consumption resulted in no note-taking at dinner. That, coupled with the unfortunate situation that no menu exists online for Las Bugambilias means this post is complimentary but hazy in recollection of details and names of dishes, please forgive me.
We started with the guacamole, of course. It was delicious. We were ravenous and the portion was not the most generous, so it was gone in minutes. It was nicely balanced with garlic and lime, and nice and chunky. The chips were also worthy of a mention themselves. Clearly made in house, they were thick, crunchy, not oily and lightly salted. The perfect transport for the tasty guacamole.
Empanadas were also devoid of characteristic oiliness and filled with tender niblets of corn, peppers and cheese.
Deliciously melty Oaxaca cheese baked with crumbled fresh Chorizo sausage was served with mini flour tortillas and really pleased the non-vegetarians at the table.
Small but thick corn masa cakes called sopes are a favorite of mine in general. Las Bugambilias does a few different preparations with various proteins, but we opted for the veggie variety. Black beans, salsa fresca and fresh cheese topped these warm sopes with a cool bite.
Quesadillas were also a hit, filled with flavorful cheese and huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on ears of corn. I'm going to make an effort to eat this more and maybe try to cook with it at home, it's very good!
Vegetarian enchiladas were stuffed with beans, peppers, onions, and cheese, then covered in a green chili sauce. Accompanied by black beans and rice, they were a satisfying and delicious preparation.
Enfrijoladas also went over well, everyone was a fan of the black bean sauce that enrobed the stuffed tortillas. It was creamy, spicy, and addictive. I've been thinking about it for weeks now.
The advertised tenderloin filet special was grilled to order after being stuffed with cheese and spinach. It was made extra special with some of the same guacamole we enjoyed earlier as well as a pasilla pepper sauce.
Named for the vessel it's served from, the steak molcajete was ridiculously good. Tender pieces of steak, peppers, onions, and nopales were swimming in a thick spicy sauce that begged to be lapped up with a spoon.
I didn't choose any of the desserts, but they were all very good. A candle was stuck in this one and I look terribly silly blowing it out, but overall the picture perfectly captures that moment, so I had to share. The cake had walnuts and spiced frosting.
Churros are deep fried pieces of dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar and they're pretty much awesome all the time. What makes them even more awesome at Las Bugambilias is that they're served with caramel sauce and chocolate sauce to enhance your churro experience.
Finally, chocolate tres leches cake. A vanilla cake soaked with a combination of three milks and cocoa. It was great and a nice change from the traditional version.
For a special occasion, or any occasion, I'd definitely suggest a visit to Las Bugambilias. Delicious cocktails and delectable food are both easily found at this traditional Mexican restaurant on South street.
148 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147