Over the years I've adapted some interesting traditions. I like to visit Disneyland for my birthday. Every Christmas I must watch Love Actually. And, for two years in a row, my first meal of the year has been at the cafe in the Lucky Chances casino in Colma. I’m not sure how this one started, actually. It has nothing to do with gambling, but more about the Filipino-style breakfasts that hit the spot after a night of ringing in the new year.
I had to look it up, but “tapasilog” or anything ending with “-silog” is a Filipino dish that includes garlic fried rice, eggs and some kind of fried meat. I’ve been here multiple times and always order the same thing – “tapsilog” with longanisa (sausages), marinated beef, or Spam, if the mood strikes.
On this day, the longanisa was juicy and garlicky with just the right amount of sweet, perfect with over-easy eggs and garlic fried rice. It comes to the table with sliced tomatoes and a tangy, spicy, vinegary dipping sauce for the meat.
Every time I’ve been here, I’ve headed straight to the café, so I’m not sure what the rest of the casino or gaming area looks like. Based on the menu (which includes Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and as well as American fare, like burgers and fries), the clientele is quite diverse. It's also frequented by all types (families, hipsters and seniors alike, with an occasional bleary-eyed card player mixed in).
I rounded out the meal with coffee (lots of it) and a short stack of pancakes; hot, fluffy and covered with syrup and butter. Oh, and I have this other New Year's tradition too (of making resolutions to be healthier, eat better, etc) which starts, uhm, right after this. Happy New Year, everyone!