Hot Rod’s Filipino Grill is another of the new entries into Winnipeg’s Food Truck scene. Winnipeg is home to a large Filipino community, and in recent years restaurants such as Jeepney have been creating an impact on Winnipeg’s dining scene. Hot Rod’s Filipino Grill is building on this.
The cart features the cooking of Rod Cantiveros and is a joint project with his son Ron, writer for the Filipino Journal, and general man about town. Originally they were just selling Longanisa sausage, but have since expanded to operating the grill. Ron tells the story behind this culinary venture in this article. I recommend that you read the article, and then go out and give Hot Rod’s Filipino Grill a try. On to the review.
Hot Rod’s offers a variety of meat skewers for $3.00 each. I’ve also had the thigh one chicken leg for $4.00. The Longadog, the highlight dish on the menu is available for $8.00 without toppings or $10.00 with. This is a little pricier than some food truck items, but the Longadog is homemade, and it is also more substantial than the smokies out on the street. 4/5
This is definitely a meat lover’s truck. Yet there’s plenty of variety on offer. Some of it may require you to be a little adventurous, such as the Mag Wheels, which are pork intestines served with a spicy vinegar. However, there are several other items as well, such as the Longadog, Pork Skewers, and Chicken. I’m interested to see what else may be on offer as time goes on.Sometimes though, only the small Hot Rod’s cart is out with just the Longadog on offer. 4.25/5
The Longadog, a play on the Longanisa sausage, is excellent. Longanisa can be either spicy, sweet, or both. I found this to be on the sweet side. There are a variety of spicy condiments on offer if you wish to kick up the spice. It also had a slightly chewy texture which I enjoyed. The BBQ Chicken leg I tried at ManyFest was well-seasoned and moist. The home made vinegar for the MagWheels and Pork Ears that I tried had a good, vinegary bite to it. 4.5/5
Everything comes in a little boat like you might get from a hotdog cart. The boats are deep enough that you can carry two items in one hand without messing up either dish. 4.25/5
My first visit to Hot Rod’s was at The Fork’s Farmers’ Market. The confines were narrow which made it a little chaotic. I noticed when I was by the market the other day, they had moved off to the edge of the Johnson Terminal, which I think will help. At ManyFest, they had taken to marking names and orders directly onto the serving boats, which helped keep things moving. Still, this is one area that a little work needs to be done. 3.5/5
Hot Rod’s Overall:
The Longadog alone makes this a welcome addition to Winnipeg’s street food scene. I hope the selection eventually matches the Hot Rod’s location at Investor’s Group Field. If you are unfamiliar with Filipino Food, Hot Rod’s Filipino Grill would be a great way to introduce yourself to it. 4.25/5