Flower Power

One of the very few negatives about eating out for a living is that we rarely get back to our favorite places. There’s constantly somewhere new to cover, gobbling up our time Pac Man-style. Recently checked back in at Las Bugambilias, Carlos Molinas and Michelle Zimmerman’s cozy Mexican in Society Hill. Back in January, the couple charmed us with their vibrant recipes and warm hospitality, and we’ve been itching to get back since. It doesn’t hurt that the place is also incredibly inexpensive. Decorated in black-and-white photos, fresh flowers, natural wood and hand-painted tilework, the snug dining room feels like stepping back in time to Mexico in the 1930s. The gorgeously green (the photos do it justice) roasted Poblano soup is still on the menu and it’s still one of the best soups in this fair city, humming with husky heat that resonates in your windpipe. Chilled avocado soup was the cool, refreshing yang to the Poblano’s spicy, soul-warming yin. Mined with jewels of avocado and splashed with OJ, the fiery, tomatoey shrimp and cod ceviche sang a spicy, sweet, sour melody. We’re jazzed to see Las Bugambilias is still as delicious as it was in January. Better than the food is how it strikes an elusive balance in Philly’s Mexican depth chart. It’s got the authenticity of a South Philly taqueria but the style of Xochitl or Distrito. It’s gringo-friendly, but it’s certainly not Cantina. L.B. is the kind of restaurant you wanna root for: delicious, unpretentious, affordable, family-owned, romantic. If we were looking to tie the knot, we’d tuck her diamond into fried plantains drizzled with cajeta caramel. Till then we’ll just have to find excuses to keep going back.

Photo: blogalicious

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