Nicole Marquis’s New Rittenhouse Spot Will Have You Dreaming of Vegan Tacos

bar bonbon
About an hour ago, a coworker and I were about to duck into HipCityVeg for a quick grab-and-go lunch (clearly I’ve lapsed back into my old, embarrassing ways) when we saw that Nicole Marquis’s new sit-down Rittenhouse eatery, Bar Bombón, located just a few feet away from HipCityVeg, was officially open. And of course, in the name of work, I had to try it. Spoiler alert: This new place might just cure me of my HipCityVeg addiction once and for all. 

Like HipCityVeg, at first glance, you could easily mistake Bar Bombón for a meat-eater’s paradise, with menu items like pescado tacos, enchiladas de pollo and chorizo concoctions popping out at you. But nope: Everything at the new restaurant, which just opened Monday, is plant-based — cayenne-battered “fish” included — often using Gardein products to mimic meat.

I’ll admit, while I don’t eat meat, I’m not a huge fake-meat fan, but I opted for the pollo tacos — fajita chick’n topped off with lime crema, avocado and slow-cooked black beans on corn tortillas, served with rice and beans — because the whole fake-meat thing seems like it’s kind of their bread and butter. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that, unlike many a flavorless and rubbery chick’n dish I’ve tried in the past, the tacos were completely drool-worthy. But before I even get to the tacos, let me talk about the beans. The beans, people. The side of black beans was so freakin’ flavorful, I could’ve eaten just a giant pot of those for lunch. Tomato-y, loaded with chunks of stewed potatoes, and not all watery, they were probably the best black beans I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

Now, onto the tacos. The homemade corn tortillas, though a bit flimsy under the heaping contents of my two tacos, were soft and delicious. And they really did not skimp on the taco ingredients: The tacos were stuffed, overly stuffed almost, with well-seasoned chick’n, sautéed onions and peppers, avocado and a nice drizzle of vegan crema. After housing my beans like a human who hadn’t eaten in weeks, one taco was enough to fill me up.

When I asked our server what the restaurant’s most popular items have been so far, he listed off the fish tacos, the tofu tacos, the guacamole picante (because who doesn’t love a big ol’ bowl of guac?) and the platanos, all of which I plan on trying sooner rather than later. Now, time to go back to work, but if the message my coworker just sent me on our intraoffice messaging system — “I’m dreaming about tacos” — is any indication, I’ll be slightly distracted by visions of vegan finger food for the rest of the day.

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