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Filipino food finds its way to Wausau

Published: Jan. 30, 2021 at 8:25 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Ed and Marjorie Giallombardo wanted to figure out how to channel their love for cooking into a business. When West Side Tasty Treat went up for sale, they saw their opportunity. Marjorie is the chef, bringing her Filipino heritage to Wausau. Taste of Manila is now the only place around to try these flavors.

“Basically I just learned from cooking, watching my dad I think, and I do remember when I think I was maybe 12, when I started cooking and I really liked it, said Marjorie Giallombardo.

The restaurant is pick-up only, and pre-ordering is recommended. This has helped these fledgling restauranteurs learn the ropes, which is good, because its popularity is growing.

“I give Marj a lot of credit, you know there’s a lot of good cooks, but then to do that and figure out how to serve 200 people in two hours and make it fresh is a different animal, and she’s really adapted her cooking to a larger volume, said Ed Giallombardo.

The menu is small for now, but authentic. Marjorie uses uniquely Filipino ingredients and cooks from scratch. She has a few culinary students to help, but the recipes are all hers.

“Since we are calling it Filipino cuisine, I wanted it to be real Filipino food,” said Marjorie.

For those who miss West Side Tasty Treat, there’s nothing to fear. The Giallombardos will reopen the ice cream spot, offering much of the same fare that it always has. A lot of the Filipino fare will be available through catering.

“The hot dogs we’re going to keep as close to what they were as possible and the ice cream as well. But obviously with other menu items we’ll have to rearrange some things, but we’re definitely going to keep it as true to that as we can,” said Ed.

Ed also has some fun events planned for the restaurant in the summer, including outdoor Sunday sing-alongs for parents with small children.

Taste of Manila is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30. Menus and other information can be found at westsidetastytreat.com.

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