Reviews and Such Mobile Food

Red Ember – Wood-Fired Pizza

I’ve consolidated my two Red Ember posts into one.
I mentioned in my post on Barbie & Gabi’s Specialteez (no longer in business) that one of the new trucks out on Broadway, was a pizza truck whose name I didn’t get.  Well, on Tuesday,  I headed down that direction again, happy to find that the pizza truck, named The Red Ember, was out on the street again.
The Red Ember Truck is the most noticeable truck out on the street.  It is a custom made food truck, notable for the fact that if was built by the owner.  If you go to The Red Ember Facebook page you can find your way through that story.  It’s a story that is certainly worth taking your time to read.  The mot noticeable feature of the truck is the huge window that allows you to see in  and watch as your pizza is being prepared and going into the oven.

Red Ember truck looking through the production window.
Truck view. You can watch your pizza being made. At least on the days when the lineups aren’t too long.
Blackstone Pizza Oven: The New Boss...
Blackstone Pizza Oven: The New Boss in Pizza Ovens

Of course, the question is whether or not the truck is trying to get by on looks alone?  For The Red Ember Wood Fired Pizza Truck the answer is an emphatic no.  As visually appealing as the truck is, the pizza that comes out of it is even more appealing both in visual and taste terms.  Emphasizing locally grown ingredients wherever possible The Red Ember hits a mobile food truck high.


The pizza’s all range in price from $9.50-$11.50.  They also have salad available at $6.00 for full and $3.00 for half.  The pizzas are 10″ size and easily constitute a meal in themselves. 5/5


There are four our five pizzas on the menu along with a daily special.  There are the salads and beverages.  4.5/5

Red Ember whole pizza
My pizza from the Red Ember Pizza truck


Simply put this is the best street food out there.  The ingredients are all fresh and locally grown.  The pizza crust comes close to perfection, and there is little grease in the pizza itself. 5/5


The pizza is served on a plate, which they will put in a paper bag if you need one.  The plate is sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about the pizza sliding off of being upended in the wind.  Still, a pizza box would be nicer, especially if it starts to rain. 4.5/5

The Red Ember Overall:

Right now, The Red Ember Wood Fired Pizza Truck, (that’s such a long name), has to rank as the best food truck out on the streets of Winnipeg.  They’re not quite perfect, but they’re so close you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference. 4.75/5

Red Ember Common

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The Forks has long been one of my favourite places to stop into on my way to work. A Cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie, always makes for a sweet start to the day, and if you hit The Forks at the right time of day, it can be a really quick spot for picking up a meal.
The Forks has been upgrading over the last couple of years, and the second phase of The Forks Market upgrade is in full swing. I am of mixed mind up this second phase. I plan on writing about this in another post. For now I’m going to write about Red Ember Common. I’ve been a fan of Red Ember almost since the truck first hit the streets.

Red Ember Seating
There is bar seating write by the restaurant, and the view is quite good from the Commons seating area.

The production area for Red Ember is quite impressive. The space has been renovated so that you can look in from three different sides and see the staff as they make their creations. This is an upgrade from the truck in that there is more room to be able to watch your pizza being made.

Red Ember Pizza and More

One of the first things I noticed about the menu is that there seem to be a few more non pizza options to go along with a somewhat larger selection of pizzas. I needed to make a trip back to The Forks to check on the names of which pizzas I had ordered, because the Red Ember Commons website isn’t operating.
One thing I did notice is that the prices for the pizzas at the Commons seem to be higher than they are at the truck. However, the pizzas themselves also seem to be slightly larger, so that offsets it somewhat.

Red Ember Happy Pig pizza.
The first pizza I tried at Red Ember. The Happy Pig, which I presume refers to the pig’s state before it’s incorporation into the pizza.

On my first visit, I tried the spicy sausage pizza. I arrived at a time when there weren’t a lot of people in The Forks, so I was served quick and efficiently. Like most of the new places in The Forks Common, Red Ember Commons gives you a little beeper to let you know when your order is ready. Or you can sit at the counter and watch them making your pizza. I chose the beeper option.

Red Ember Common Beeper, letting you know when your order is ready.
Like a lot of the new restaurants at The Forks, Red Ember Common uses a beeper system to notify you that your meal is ready. It’s almost shaped like a pizza cutter.

Much like the truck, my pizza was prepared and ready for me in very little time. Red Ember has clearly got the whole fast, fresh, and tasty thing down to a science. The pizza is extremely good. On this one, the sausage was well cooked and not fatty. The sauce has a nice little spicy kick to it, and the herbs on top add a freshness to the whole dish. An excellent pizza all the way around.
One other difference between Red Ember Common and the Truck is that the oven at the Common is electric rather than wood-fired. There is a little difference in taste as far as the crusts are concerned, but not so much as to be noticeable, unless you happen to be a wood-fired dough connoisseur.

Of Mushrooms and Meatballs

No, that’s not the name of the John Steinbeck cookbook. It’s a description of my second visit to Red Ember Commons. I knew I wanted to try at least two pizzas before I wrote my review, so I decided I would put a break in between them and order a couple of the non-pizza items off the menu. I chose an order of their meatballs, and an order of their sauteed mushrooms.

Red Ember Mushrooms
Mushrooms with slivers of cheese.

The mushrooms are $4.00 for the order and come with a good number of mushrooms along with several slivers of cheese. The flavour is again really good and this makes for a rather satisfying appetizer.

Red Ember Meatballs with Peanut Sauce.
Meatballs with Peanut sauce. The sauce is one of the better peanut sauces I’ve tried.

The meatballs are the best tasting item that I tried at Red Ember. Yes, better than either of the pizzas. That’s not a knock on the pizzas either. The meatballs themselves are well cooked and seasoned, and the peanut sauce is exceptional. However, there are two things about them I’m not overly happy with. First off, it’s $12.00 for five not terribly large meatballs. Second, five meatballs don’t particularly make sharing easy, especially if you are splitting an order between two. Growing up with five older brothers, the question of: Who got the bigger half, was always a bone of contention.

Pizza and Salad:

On my third trip, I decided to go for a pizza and a salad.

Red Ember Cheesy pizza
This pizza is heavy on the cheese.

The pizza I ordered was the G.O.B. This pizza features, bacon, garlic, and red onion, along with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. One of the things that really stood out for me with this pizza was that it came to the table really hot. The first piece that I tried to eat was so hot that half of the topping slipped off as soon as I tried to pick it up. That being said, I loved the cheesiness of this pizza, but I wish there was a bit more bacon on it.

Wedge Salad Red Ember
A delicious creamy dressing comes with the Red Ember Common Wedge Salad.

Wedge salads have nothing to do with golf, it’s just a fancy way of saying the salad is made with Iceberg Lettuce. This one comes with radishes, cucumber and Kohlrabi which adds a measure of crunch to the salad, along with sesame seeds and a pleasant, creamy dressing.
On the whole, I find Red Ember Common a good place to grab a meal at The Forks, The prices are generally higher than at the truck, but you still get quite good value for money. One thing that the Red Ember Common location adds is a beer and wine menu. I didn’t try any of the beverages on offer. I’m one of those odd people who actually prefers coffee with his pizza, so I quite naturally got an Americano from Fools and Horses.
The service here is friendly, fast, and efficient. I was served by a different person on each of my visits, and all displayed a high level of competence and professionalism in their service. If you like Red Ember’s truck offerings you’re sure to like their bricks and mortar offerings as well.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.