Back in April, Ludi's lost its lease. The owner of the longstanding downtown diner, Gregorio Rosas, has been looking for a new location to continue serving breakfast classics alongside Filipino favorites—longanisa sausage, garlic fried rice, ube pancakes—ever since. Then Rosas, who's been at the diner for 41 years, dating back to the restaurant's days as the Turf, took another hit: a kitchen fire forced Ludi's to close ahead of its final day on August 31. Seattle's community of Filipino chefs and business owners have circled around Rosas, who some lovingly refer to as Tito Greg, lamenting the loss if Ludi's doesn't find a new home.
Heartened by the support, Rosas has reopened Ludi's for its last week downtown, a swan song of lumpia and longsilog. As the closure fast approaches, we've asked some Seattle chefs and Ludi's loyalists to talk about their favorite Ludi's memories. —RS
I've been countless times over the years (ever since the name changed from Turf), but I've only ordered the #13 silog combo of egg rolls, longanisa, a pork chop with sunny-side up eggs, and rice with coffee—and the optional shot of whiskey. The staff would always know when I was having a bad day because they would silently slide a little bowl of corned beef hash my way, as if they knew I needed it. It's always been a safe haven for me when I needed to eat my feelings and reset my brain. I'll miss it very much. —Herschell Taghap (Read more of Herschell's writing in the March 2019 issue of Seattle Met.)
Ludi’s is a diamond in the rough. It really was one of those places that was really under the radar but we all knew was there and almost took for granted. When people asked, “Where do you go to eat Filipino food in Seattle?”, Oriental Mart was always the go-to, but Ludi’s was never out of the question. Two memories I have eating there that will always stay with me is the early meetings for the Ilaw Coalition. What better place to talk about the movement and our community then a place as great as Ludi’s? Also, there was many great meals I’ve had with my daughter, who was blown away to find out that there is such a place that she can get pancakes (ube pancakes at that) and longsilog and lumpia in such a place like a diner in downtown Seattle. It was an amazing moment for me to be able to expose her to seeing our food, food we both grew up on, in that type of place and really show her that we do have the opportunity to share our culture and food to the masses. —Justin Legaspi, sous chef at Bateau and recent Seattle Met Next Hot Chef
Garlic fried rice, corned beef hash, two eggs sunny-side up, side of longaniza, and that next-level addition—diced tomatoes in vinegar. I’ll never forget my last breakfast at Ludi’s. It was perfect in every way. It was my childhood on a plate, along with a conversation with Tito Greg at his counter that inspires our work at Archipelago every night. To the whole Ludi’s team, we can’t appreciate you enough for what you’ve done for the entire PNW community. —Aaron Verzosa, chef and co-owner of Archipelago