I found a company with core values: to show excellence, love, outstanding gratitude and self-worth. Even more so, a company that follows their values. I stumbled across Tselogs in San Francisco right off South Van Ness and I was totally floored by the enthusiasm and friendliness of the staff. I did not expect this since they are right next to The Mission Hotel with homeless and dependent people loitering the street. Seeing this did not steer me away from trying Tselogs out and I’m glad I did.
After entering, I was greeted with love, kindness, and a delicious cup of warm chicken broth. I sat down and admired the décor. The wood structure beams up high played well with the wood tables and the huge bar. I really wanted to sit at the community table near the kitchen (maybe next time).
I was happy to see a long list of silogs. Normally, places will have anywhere from 3 to 5 types of silogs but here, you can get tocilog, tapsilog (marinated pork), longsilog (filipino sausage), shangsilog (lumpia), spamsilog (spam), hotilog (hotdog), cornbisilog (corned beef), sisiglog (sisig), bangsilog (deep fried milkfish), embutidosilog (filipino meatloaf), and paresilog (tenderized beef). The menu does not stop there. It continues with lumpia shanghai, arroz caldo, arroz caldo pares, chicken/beef mami, pancit palabok and bihon. It ends with dessert choices of buko pie, ube macupuno pie, halo halo pie, banana lanka pie, egg pie, and maja blanca pie. I really thought I was going to go in and just have a tocilog and call it a day. Then there was a line item on the menu, “Ask about our specials.” So I did and sure enough there were a few more items but I could not remember anything after they said lechonsilog (lechon made from pork belly).
Silog is a class of Filipino breakfast dishes containing sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). They are served with various meat dishes, such as tapa, longganisa or ham. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silog)
I did as I normally do when trying a new place. I ordered 2 items. This round I went with lechonsilog and arroz caldo. I had a need for breakfast and then wanted to see how their arroz caldo was executed. Before I knew it, my silog arrived. I was in the middle of trying to defeat a fortress tower in Harry Potter Wizards Unite (here’s my friend code: 6364 0159 6159). There it was, lechon pork belly, side of rice—topped with egg, and the signature tomato and cucumber slice. The tomato and cucumber are a thing. Not sure why but it’s a thing. I hope someone will give me some background on the tomoto and cucumber slice. Back to the food…the lechon was amazingly crispy. The egg was cooked just right. Most places will serve the sunny side egg where the white is still raw or the yolk is hard. Tselogs got it right.
The arroz caldo arrived a few minutes later. I’m sure they thought it was strange to have one person order 2 dishes so I’m guessing they spaced out my dishes. The arroz caldo had great flavor. Personally, I’m not one who enjoys saffron in my arroz caldo but I definitely respect the version. So the color was a little more on the golden side. There were chunks of chicken and slivers of ginger! This is what put this dish over the top. You can tell that the stock was made from scratch. It had a complex layering of flavors. Part of me wanted the arroz caldo to have a little more liquid. Not a lot, just a little.
Overall, I could taste the excellence, love, gratitude, and self-worth in the dishes. I’m so happy for Tselogs to be in this location and will definitely go again and again and again.
518 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110