Meet Brisbane's Newest American BBQ Food Van | Bella BBQ

Before we begin, stop, take a second...and mentally prepare yourself for the BBQ realness we are about to drop on you... 

If you’ve been tuned into the instagram lately you’ve no doubt heard us gushing about Brisbane’s newest American BBQ food van - Bella BBQ. Check them out on our Top 10 Burger list Here.

You’ve probably thought, “Hey that looks pretty good I should check that out sometime…” 

See.. that’s where you went wrong…you should have immediately made Bella BBQ your number one priority and we are about to show you why!!!

Welcome to our new “Behind the Food Van” segment. We are stepping inside the van and giving you the 411 on all things Bella BBQ. Let’s do this...

Behold! The Mega Burger.

The BBQ phenoms behind the van are Steve, Cassie, and Bob. Owner, Steve, has long held a deep passion for traditional American style BBQ. Long before it became a “thing” here in Brissy, Steve had dreams of owning his own BBQ food van. 

An electronic engineer by trade, Steve dove head first into the world of Smoking researching to hone his craft. He developed a kick ass spice rub by studying the flavour profiles of the top 20 award winning rubs in world!!! All of Bella BBQ’s sauces and rubs are handmade and Gluten Free.

Pulled Pork Burger

Encouraged by his mates, he decided to make his dream a reality. So he purchased a BEAST of a smoker on a trailer, named Daisy, and started on his BBQ journey. After cooking locally sourced pulled pork, brisket, beef ribs, etc for the masses he decided to take it up a notch. 

Jalapeno Poppers

So Steve sadly said goodbye to Daisy and purchased the big, rustic red van which has been roaming the streets of Brisbane & Logan for a month now after receiving a huge makeover (It was a wreck…).

A part from upgrading his ride, Steve also upgraded his gear purchasing a competition grade, automated pellet Yoder Smoker! The Bella BBQ crew are giving traditional American BBQ a “Bella Twist”. The menu is truly inspired and guaranteed to get your mouthwatering. Pork Ribs, INSANELY GOOD Mac N Cheese, Brisket, Poppers, Buffalo Wings…Oh and the burgers!!!...

I’m sure you’ve heard about the now famous Mega Burger but did you know Bella BBQ also does premium inside out burgers! I’m talking burger patties filled with cheese y’all…

This pattie is wrapped in bacon and filled with cheesy goodness

To sum things up, Bella BBQ is a small business that is passionate about bringing damn good food to the people of Brisbane! 

Buffalo Wings and Homemade Blue Cheese Sauce

Bella BBQ will be at the Rocklea Markets on Sunday so grab your mates and have a burger date! To find out Bella BBQ's next destination download the app - Bella BBQ’ APP.

Our favourite - Mac N Cheese, Brisket Burger

Want to win tickets to the Exclusive Bella BBQ Launch Party??? Follow @BellaBBQ on Instagram for details.

Know of an awesome food van that deserves a feature? Tell us in the comments below.

Why You Should Plan Your Next Trip To The Southern Downs

What would you do if you had one day in the Southern Downs? 

The picturesque Southern Down Regions lies along Queensland's boundary with New South Wales. It encompasses the city of Warwick, Shires of Allora, Glengallan, and Rosenthal. This tranquil, and naturally stunning farming region is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to travel destinations...

Happy little pig in the mud!

I think the reason the Southern Downs has remained relatively undiscovered is that people are simply clueless! Clueless to all this magnificent region has to offer! So...what would you do if you had 1 day in the Southern Downs? I'll admit we struggled to answer this question as well but luckily Warwick Tourism & Events came to our rescue. Their team kindly planned an action packed day for us showcasing the best of the region!

And now we are going to take you on a Behind The Scenes tour of our day in the Southern Downs. We hope it will inspire you to hop in the car and start your own Southern Downs adventure. 

Stop 1: Meet The Producers - Eggcetera

One of the benefits of buying fresh, local produce (a part from superior quality) is that you can actually shake hands with the people who produced it!! On our first stop we visited the farm of Tim & Toni Somes who are the lovely owners of Eggcetera. Eggcetera is a small, open range egg business that started production back in June 2014.

Tim Somes and "The Girls"

The venture began small with 80 hens providing eggs to a businesses in Brisbane but the overwhelming reception the eggs received prompted the Somes to expand. In fact, you've probably eaten their eggs before! They supply to popular Brisbane cafes like Wild Canary, Espresso Republic, Shucked, and Plenty Cafe. They also supply their eggs to Jocelyn Hancock and a growing number of household customers based in Brisbane.

The Somes are also testing out duck eggs!

During our visit we got to roam the paddock with "The Girls" (Hens) who are truly free range. The Somes have recently launched a new venture...Pastured Pork! And they are sticking to their free range and sustainable farming practices, all cuts of their pigs are available for sale - nose to tail!

We got to get up close to the happy piggies who were enjoying a nice mud bath on a warm day. If you are interested in purchasing free range eggs, or pastured pork email or for more details. 

Stop 2: Morning Tea at Frog & Swallow Cafe

For Stop 2 in our Southern Downs adventure we headed to Allora for a snack at Frog & Swallow Cafe and a chat with the owners John & Jackie Robertson. Frog & Swallow began as a small business selling homemade preserves. The popularity of these preserves prompted the Robertson's to expand and open a cafe in Allora. You can purchase their delicious preserves at the cafe. Featuring inspired flavours like Black Jack Jam, Strawberry - Chilli Jam, and Raspberry - Vanilla Jam.

The range changes seasonally to ensure their customers only receive quality, fresh preserves! For more info on Frog & Swallow visit their website (Here) and check them out on Facebook (Here).

Stop 3: A Visit To The Iconic Melrose Station

Next up, we visited the iconic local property Melrose Station, just outside Killarney which has been restored to it's former glory by owner Peter Lindores!  Peter has a passion for producing quality, specialty beef. He is one of the first Australians to produce and breed "Ultra Black" cattle.

The Ultra Black Cattle

The Ultra Black cattle produce the most flavorful, beautiful beef you are likely ever to eat. This is top shelf beef, right up their with Waygu!

Ultra Black peeking at us through the picket fence

If you would like to sample this fine meat check out the Southern Downs Harvest Lunch which is held regularly at Melrose Station. The lunch feast is prepared by none other than popular Queensland food personality, Jocelyn Hancock, and features tons of quality Southern Downs produce. Check out the website (Here) for more info.

Stop 4: A Shared Table with Jocelyn Hancock

As you know, eating is a passion of ours so you can imagine our excitement when we learned Jocelyn Hancock would be preparing our lunch at her STUNNING farm and home with breath taking views near Killarney.

The sensational lunch Jocelyn prepared for us featured produce from the producer we had met thus far in our Southern Downs Adventures, like eggs from Eggcetera and Ultra Black Beef from Melrose Station! 

It was a very memorable and special experience getting to dine with the farmers who had produced the main components of our meal. 

We also got the opportunity to taste the innovative wines of local boutique wine producers Le Petit Mort. After lunch Jocelyn was kind enough to give us a tour of her orchard which definitely inspired us to start growing some of our own!

Stop 5: Sweet Treats & A View at Spring Creek Mountain Cafe

All good things must come to an end and what a magnificent ending it was!! We wrapped up our Southern Downs adventure at the exquisite Spring Creek Mountain Cafe. Now we saw some pretty mesmerizing views thus far in our Southern Downs Adventure... But our guide kept saying the best was yet to come....

We couldn't fathom how any view could top the stunning scenery we had seen today...but alas we were wrong. The views at Spring Creek Mountain Cafe put all the others to shame! This place is a MUST VISIT if you are in the Southern Downs. I firmly believe it's as close to paradise that you're likely to get on Earth. Aside from serving up delicious hot meals Spring Creek Mountain Cafe also provides guest with a lovely place to rest their heads in their well kept cottages. For more information on Spring Creek Mountain Cafe & Cottages click (Here). 

As you can see, Queenslanders are so incredibly fortunate to have beautiful spots like the Southern Downs at our fingertips. There's no need to spend a fortune on a trip half way around the world...

Hop in the car and start your Southern Downs adventure this weekend!

*Special thanks to Tim Somes and Warick Tourism & Events for organizing a fantastic day for us in the Southern Downs. 

A Taste of the Big Apple | 5 Boroughs Opens in Stones Corner

There's nothing like a classic New York cheeseburger! 

Gooey American Cheddar Cheese, Juicy Meat Patties, all under a Soft, Warm Sesame Seed Bun....Doesn't get much better than that folks!

Well, Brisbanites rejoice because a new NY inspired burger joint has recently opened it's doors! 5 Boroughs in Stones Corner is bringing all your American food fantasies to life.

The killer menu features a full range of juicy burgers, sliders, ribs... and also a number of great snack options like karage wings, gyozas, and fish tacos which pair nicely with a crafty or NY style cocktail!

There's so much deliciousness on this menu you are bound to find something to satisfy the rumble!

Top Picks: Karage wings, 5B Double, and Pork Riblets
Tip: The burgers are on the smaller side so we recommend grabbing a side or two!

5 Boroughs on Urbanspoon

Recipe | Tempura Soft Shell Crab Burger by Geoff's Kitchen

Geoff Barker from Geoff's Kitchen is back and he has a DROOLWORTHY burger recipe to share!

There are so many burger joints opening up around Brisbane....

Unfortunately, a good burger doesn't come cheap nowadays... We don't always have the cash to hit up the newest burger joint on the block.

But with this kick ass Tempura Soft shell Crab Burger Geoff is proving you can create quality burgers from the comfort of your home AND save a few dollars !!!

Tempura Soft Shell Crab Burger
2 Soft Shell Crabs
Rice Flour
1 Egg
1 Cup All Purpose Flour, sifted
1 Cup Very Cold Water
Oil for deep frying

1) Clean and prepare crabs*
2) Heat oil to 180C
3) Dust crabs with rice flour and gently shake off excess
4) Whisk egg in a bowl and add cold water
5) Add flour and gently mix together using a chop stick**
6) Gently place crabs in tempura mixture and coat well
7) Deep fry for 3 minutes and allow to drain
8) Serve on a bread roll with asian slaw and lemon pepper mayonnaise

Tips:* Visit…/how-to-clean-soft-shell-crabs.… for step by step instructions on how to clean and prepare the crabs

** With tempura batter you don't want to over-mix it as this will activate the gluten and cause the batter to be soft and chewy; gently mix the ingredients together, lumps are fine

For more awesome recipes like this check out Geoff's Kitchen on (Facebook) and (Instagram)

Our Favourite Brekky Spot: The Lazy Dog Cafe | Newstead

Okay so this cafe is so amazing we seriously considered not sharing it with you... (sorry not sorry)

In the serene surroundings of the Newstead Park sits one of our favorite cafes in Brisbane - The Lazy Dog Cafe. This place has all the characteristics we look for in a perfect brekky spot. Relaxing vibes, great food, and mint coffee!

Lazy Dog Cafe recently celebrated their first birthday and owners, Claudia & Ivan Coe, have big plans for it's future. The couple relocated from Sydney to Brisbane and decided to follow their heart and open up a cafe. We are soooo glad they did! It is a welcome addition to the Newstead brekky scene.

Oh the food... the menu at Lazy Dog has everything your brekky lovin' heart could ever desire. From breakfast platters fit for a Quinoa Porridge with Javanese Sugar Syrup. Yes, all your beloved classics are there. (From one eggs benny lover to another... the eggs benny at Lazy Dog is one of THE BEST)

There are also a few surprises that are uniquely 'Lazy Dog' like Authentic Nasi Goreng - Indonesian Chicken Fried Rice - which is perfect when you are looking for a big breakfast after a night on the town!

Just one look at our brekky spread at Lazy Dog got our IG followers in a tizzy! Check it out Here

Lazy Dog Cafe in Newstead as you may have already guessed is a dog friendly cafe. So, next time you are giving your pooch a morning walk pop in for a mouthwatering meal.

The Lazy Dog Cafe on Urbanspoon

*AmeriAus was the guest

Jupiter's Launches It's New Japanese Dining Experience | Kiyomi

By now I'm sure you've heard about Jupiter's Hotel & Casino's HUGE 300+ makeover!

The transformation includes a six star luxury hotel tower with it's own entrance from the Gold Coast Highway, new exciting restaurants and bars including outdoor dining areas and a complete renovation of the existing 592-room hotel and facilities.... It's pretty epic. 

This massive job is well underway and the first new restaurant has already opened it's doors.

Kiyomi is bringing modern, yet distinctly Japanese food to the GC! 

The kitchen is headed by the internationally recognized chef Chase Kojima. Kojima is known for his cutting edge Japanese cuisine, utilizing surprising combinations to create a very unique, and enjoyable dining experience. 

Kojima has been all over the world, heading kitchens in Las Vegas, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, and The Bahamas. He also founded Sokyo restaurant at The Star in Sydney back in 2011, and now he is bringing that wealth of experience to Jupiter's and boy are we glad for that!

If you are fan of Japanese cuisine you haven't lived until you've tried a menu crafted by the masterful, Chase Kojima. Every dish presented to us was inspired, and filled with beautiful flavours and textures.

The sushi course is what really made our heart skip a beat! Kojima's speciality, Crispy Deep Fried rice with Spicy Tuna Roll is now my favourite thing in the world.

If you haven't checked out the new dining options at Jupiter's we highly recommend that you do. Book a room and indulge in an ultimate foodie weekend!

Kiyomi on Urbanspoon

For more info on Kiyomi click Here.

*AmeriAus was the guest of Jupiter's Hotel & Casino.