by Jared Bray, ABS-CBN News
MOUNT PLEASANT, Utah — A new Filipino restaurant is dishing up Philippine cuisine in an unusual place: rural Utah.
Mount Pleasant is an agricultural town. Population: 3,280. That’s including the two Filipino families who reside there.
Its newest restaurant, Tap-Z-Log, is one of just a few places to eat in the area and the first to offer Filipino food.
According to locals, the carinderia-like restaurant is unlike anything else in town.
“There’s a number of burger shacks,” longtime resident Brian McCauley said. “There’s two pizza places, and one of the pizza places has a little bit of Italian pasta with it. And there’s a Mexican (restaurant) and a Subway. That’s about it in town. Literally.”
Ninety-nine percent of Tap-Z-Log’s diners are non-Filipinos who either were born and raised in the area or attend Wasatch Academy, an international boarding school in Mount Pleasant.
“I come here often,” Wasatch student Sophia Jessee said. “It has amazing food, and it’s just like a good vibe in the restaurant. It’s fun to hang out here.”
As its name suggests, Tap-Z-Log specializes in the silogs, but it also features other Filipino staples, such as adobo and lumpia.
“My favorite food here is the tocino and the chorizo,” Jessee said. “Those are the best ones, I think.”
The restaurant’s owner, Peter Cossid, is a Davao native and high school science teacher at Wasatch. He got the idea for Tap-Z-Log after he and his wife experimented with a small catering service.
“It started,” he said, “when my neighbor asked, ‘Hey Peter, why don’t you cook for us? We keep on smelling your food out there, and you’re not selling for us.’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, why not, right?'”
Cossid says business has been strong since the restaurant opened last month.
“Maganda ang response ng tao,” he said. “Kasi, yung sabi nila, iba daw.”
Considering it’s the area’s first and only option for Filipino food, “iba” may be the perfect word to describe it.