TRAVERSE CITY – Bergstrom’s Burgers opened in June 2020 as a food truck and in December 2020 in a physical building near Chum’s Corner.
Chef-owner Timothy and his wife Kathy Bergstrom return to their beginnings with their new food truck Kathy’s Little Tiangge, which translates to “place.”
“It’s his native food,” Timothy said. “It’s native Filipino food. The menu strictly aligns with this.
Currently, they serve kinilaw (ceviche), lumpia (egg rolls), humba (Asian BBQ pork), afritada (similar to a stew), adobo (marinated chicken), and pancit (a dish of noodles). Timothy said they could make pancit with protein or veggie. The ceviche is made with tuna and the afritada uses pork.
“We create everything from scratch,” he said. “Everything is done by hand, like at the burger place.”
Kathy said spring rolls are common in the Philippines.
“I use beef because I have Muslim friends,” she said. “I don’t use eggs because there are food allergies.”
Instead, she uses heavy whipping cream to bind the ingredients together. The meat is marinated with onion, garlic, carrots, peppers and a few other ingredients. The whole thing is mixed together and then wrapped in a thin paper-like blanket, similar to a spring roll.
At least two dishes are made to order: escabèche (a sweet and sour fish dish) and tuna ceviche. Kathy said this helps ensure they are fresh and “we don’t waste any product”.
Many of their dishes are made with pork, fish or chicken and they mainly season things with salt and pepper, Kathy said.
“Nothing is really spicy with Filipino food,” she said. “There are no heavy seasonings.”
Timothy said they wanted to insert more variety into the Northern Michigan dining scene. He said many restaurant menus feature similar dishes.
“We lost a lot of ethnic places, destinations,” he said.
Although it took a while to get started with the truck, he said they “promised the community that it would open.”
“The season is going to be short,” he said. “We will work the next few weeks so that people know to come and that they can take advantage of it next year as well.”
Kathy added that she is happy that community members can try a different type of food.
“I’m happy to be able to share what another country serves,” she said.
Kathy’s Little Tiangge is open 2-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday in the Flat Cap Ventures parking lot.