Eat your way to a charmed life 

A Hot Bowl of Luck

Some people don't believe in luck. Like Seneca, they say, "Luck never made a man wise." For them, luck is something you must earn. But here at the City Paper, we like our luck battered and occasionally deep fried. Here's where to eat if giving 100 percent hasn't proven to be enough. Good fortune is just a dish away.

Full Circle

At Lauren Mitterer's WildFlour Pastry, everything is round, from the cupcakes to the tarts to the truffles to the quiches. So it's a good thing corners are a pet peeve of Mitterer's, because one of the reasons cakes are internationally revered as lucky is because of their shape. To eat something round represents a portion of your life coming full circle. And coincidently, all the home-baked goods at WildFlour are individually designed to be round — even the brownies. "I guess that's why I feel so lucky," Mitterer says.

Super Soba

In Japan, people eat buckwheat soba to celebrate the New Year. Long noodles symbolize a long life. So for those who can't pay health insurance premiums, go to Sushi Hiro for a fountain of youth in a bowl of udon soup. The steaming bowl of fish broth comes swimming with your choice of soba or udon noodles; they're super long and some of the finest in this city. A word to the wise: Pay attention when you're eating. Breaking a noodle could set you back a decade or two.

Go Green

Cooked greens symbolize money. And no other green will contribute more to your health and wealth than collard greens. Fantastic collards can be found all over town, but Alluette's Café puts them in a sandwich. A juicy serving of sautéed collards arrives on flatbread with lettuce, onion, tomato, and cheddar cheese. Alluette's sandwich nearly dissolves in your mouth. It is well known that Alluette takes extra time to cook her food, sending each dish vibrations of love and positive energy.

Hop To It

Some Southerners will eat 365 black-eyed peas every New Year to bring them luck for the days to come. Peas represent coins, and Hoppin' John is a favorite recipe. For Hoppin' John any time of year, head to Hominy Grill or Virginia's on King. Virginia's uses a 2:1 ratio of rice to black-eyed peas with Carolina Gold rice, so it's extra sticky. Hominy Grill's Hoppin' John is slightly more colorful, made with tomatoes, chives, and Anson Mills Heirloom Sea Island field peas.

Pig Out

The pig has long symbolized progress and prosperity. There's something about the fatty meat that translates to fat wads of cash for people in Cuba, Austria, Portugal, and Hungary. So when dining for luck, go for the whole hog. Marvin's Meats in Hollywood, S.C., sells whole roast suckling pig by the pound, with little piggies ranging anywhere from eight to 130 pounds.

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