Based solely on its moniker, one might be tempted write off Bubblicitea Café as another teeny-bopper boba tea joint. Don't.
505 Entrée: Bubblicitea Elevates Boba Scene
BY ARIANE JAROCKI
Based solely on its moniker, one might be tempted write off Bubblicitea Café (2325 San Pedro NE, Ste 1D) as another teeny-bopper boba tea joint. Don’t. Chartreuse walls artfully slung with b&w photos of cityscapes are the first visual tip-off that this café is a mature offering.
Sleek seating in reception is echoed by modern pendant lighting and shiny silver carafes at the counter. The dining area’s intimate tables are cheekily offset by white Eamesian chairs. Patrons ought be forewarned about being enveloped by scents upon entering. While the baked goods are an olfactory delight, the Filipino offerings — ranked 2nd best world cuisine in a recent CNN poll — are even more tempting.
Warm pastries bask in a glass display case and wait patiently on baker’s racks . . . in dozens and dozens. At Bubblicitea, the vastest array of confections and delicacies is the sole province of the early bird. Their delightful baked goods sell out quickly so I make it a priority to arrive early.
The menu and daily specials vary, but everything I’ve tasted meet or beat my expectations. Consider the pan de coco, yeasty buns filled with sweetened coconuts flakes. Saturdays are a literal feast day at Bubblicitea, with a heady selection of Filipino cuisine. What I fell for was the Mami, a broth-based soup laden with veggies, meat and noodles.
Bubblicitea’s Mami boasts slow-cooked beef and secret spices (garlic, anise and some sort of magic), resulting in a rich, savory broth. Napa cabbage, a hard-boiled egg and falling-apart, stewed beef are served in broth atop fresh egg noodles. Order Mami à la carte or as a combo with two steamed BBQ pork buns aka Siopaos. Arrive famished to tackle the combo or save the buns for an afternoon snack. Other dishes include the Pork Adobo bowl and Longsilog, which is a breakfasty plate of Filipino-style sausage with garlic fried rice and and a fried egg.
A visit to Bubblicitea isn’t complete without sampling the boba tea. Offerings range from classic to fruity in a variety of styles from milk tea to smoothies. I opted for Green Milk Tea. Bubblicitea has a better handle on sweetness levels than other joints. The option of ordering tea at 25-percent sweetness was a sight for sore eyes . . . and teeth.
Order tea at Bubblicitea plain or with fun add-ons like boba, jelly, nata de coco and liquid-filled popping pearls. Another unique offering is Bubblicitea’s yakult drink, which blends probiotic yogurt with tea base and flavor. The kefir-like custard delights. Strawberry yakult is my go-to, but flavors range from honeydew to mango.
Resident foodie Ariane Jarocki fearlessly reports on Albuquerque’s restaurant, food truck and bakery scenes for ABQ Free Press.