Well, the lupia wasn’t what I ordered, but I’m not going to hold it against Rod and Helene Seradilla.
After all, I can only imagine how hectic the last week has been for the West End husband-and-wife duo, who launched their new Filipino food truck, Pimp My Rice, at APTN’s National Aboriginal Day event June 23.
The two have been marinating in the demand for ethnic food carts on Winnipeg streets and across the province.
"We’ve got festivals calling us to be there, which is amazing," said Rod Seradilla on a white hot Canada Day while setting up his truck near the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks.
The prospective business is good for Seradilla, who quit his job as a bar manager at Bar Italia on Corydon Avenue, to pursue a longtime dream of being a chef.
An episode of the Food Network’s Eat Street inspired him to begin pursuing his dream this past February. With Helene’s encouragement and his early bird resolve, he jumped at a chance to purchase an old burger and fries truck in Sanford, Man.
"I’d be bummed out if I saw a Filipino truck drive by that wasn’t ours first," he laughed.
Pimp My Rice, which is being branded as the first Filipino food truck to hit Winnipeg streets, can be found downtown on Broadway serving up Filipino comfort food Tuesday through Friday.
With a menu loaded with Pinoy BBQ skewers, pancit (noodles), tocino (pork belly), longanisa (spiced sausage), and Adobo chicken wings, the 38-year-old is hoping the simple Filipino comfort food will be a hit with the uninitiated.
Which is why I assume the lumpia (egg rolls) I ate were just as good — heck, maybe better — than the turon (fried banana and jackfruit roll) I initially ordered.
I’m part of his target market.
"The food we sell here is pretty novelty. Our plan is to bring Filipino food to the people, bring it more exposure and make it available," he said.
Seradilla thinks the odds of him being successful are pretty good in Winnipeg, where the Filipino population is the largest per capita in Canada.
"Six degrees of separation," he said. "There’s not too many people who don’t know a Filipino, either a neighbour, a coworker, or through a friend."
The start-up has been a lesson in patience, Helene said.
The couple hope to have a second truck and a second menu by next season, she said.
The current menu is safe for people with allergies, with no seafood or dairy being in any of the products, she said.
She hopes they can go even further.
"We could potentially have a menu that’s gluten-free," she said.
For more, visit pimpmyrice.ca.