Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Food Truck - Bella BBQ @ Various Locations

Bella BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
If you follow any foodies on social media, attend any of the Thank Truck its Thursday events or frequent Rocklea markets you would be hard pressed to have not heard of or at least seen the delicious and huge portions of BBQ goodness being pumped out by Bella BBQ.

But on the off chance that you haven't heard of them then this food porn filled post should get you excited.

Bella uses an old trailer that has been painted bright red and packed with a functioning kitchen and a huge Yoder smoker to pump out it's tasty treats.

The menu varies from event to event but you can expect to see a wide array of burgers with different meats and sides like buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers and even a smoked hotdog!

It's difficult to say what the signature dish would be because everything is pretty darn tasty but there is several equally impressive burgers being made that will leave you salivating when you see them.

The Mega burger which is a 600 gram patty stuffed with cheese and jalapenos and a variation stuffed with peanut butter and jelly, both are wrapped in bacon and smoked until juicy and tender and a nice little pink smoke ring has formed on the meat.

As you can see above, the Mega is just that, absolutely huge... 

You will struggle to close the lid of the container it comes in and when you bite into it expect to have it's gooey filling going everywhere. Definitely one to eat outside or with a pile of napkins at your disposal!

If you love Mac N Cheese you will love the next two burgers with the classic Brisket with Mac and Cheese often being one of the first to sell out at Bella.

Slow cooked briskett on a bun with a pile of creamy, cheesy, ooey gooey Mac N Cheese sitting on top which is then drizzled with BBQ sauce leaving the whole thing exploding from the bun.

The second burger containing Mac N Cheese is really their largest offering, it is a behemoth of a burger with tomato, lettuce, brisket, pulled pork shaped into a patty and topped with Mac N Cheese and BBQ sauce.

The third and final burger is not far from being just as big as the previous, The Double Angus has two huge patties, red onion, pickles, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce and cheese making it more than just a big brother to the humble cheese burger!

It was great to be able to get in and get photos of all these burgers and taste some of them too, I really enjoyed the Buffalo wings they do so if you get a chance to try them I can highly recommend them but it's hard to go past any of the burgers.

I should note that they do also do an impressive pulled pork burger but I did not get a photo of that.

You might look at some of the prices at first glance and think that it seems expensive to pay $14-$20 for a burger but believe me you will wish you'd shared it, these are meals within themselves and you will not need anything else after eating one especially the mega or double.

You can find Bella BBQ's locations on their social media pages and on their iphone\Android App which also has competitions and can notify you when your burger is ready meaning you don't have to stand around listening for someone to yell out your name.

Try Bella out if you see them around or if the photos made you hungry go track them down!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bloodhound Bar @ Fortitude Valley

Bloodhound on Urbanspoon
With the ever growing amount of new craft beer bars and kitchens popping up around Brisbane you might be struggling to keep up and wondering just what sets one apart from another?
Well with Bloodhound Bar its rather simple, ample taps of good Australian beer and a rather unique menu of rather authentic and well priced South American Food, so how can you go wrong?

The decor is is as you'd expect with exposed brick, high tables, bar seating and a series of booths in the back area for larger groups and it is all tied together with some wicked looking chalk murals.

I've now visited Bloodhound two Saturday's in a row for lunch and it's difficult to fault with such a tasty menu and a daily lunch special (currently) of 3 taco's for $15.

So far I've tried the Taco Del Perro (Braised beef cheek), Taco Envenenado (Chorizo), Chicharron (Fried pork - so tasty!) and the Tequenos De Queso (Haloumi filled Wonton pastry) and whilst it may be hard to pronounce for a QLD born, generic white guy like me it is all super delicious.
The Fried wonton pastry stuffed with Haloumi is amazing and worth a visit for it's own, stringy, gooey cheese oozing out everywhere with the crispy wonton making a crunchy pocket to stuff to the avocado salsa into.

The Chicharron (fried pork) is also up there with it's fried porky goodness and for a tiny bit of balance (like you want it with fried pork) just squeeze a lime wedge over the top!

The taco's themselves are all pretty good too although I am yet to try the Pork taco or the fish one and the second time we had the beef it was slightly inconsistent with an astringent herb dressing on top that was rather bitter and unpleasant but the meat has been delicious both times.

That said the chorizo taco with re-fried beans and jalapenos is my favourite and I've had it enough now to know that I'd easily enjoy 3 of them without trying the others. Skinless chorizo fried in a lump and folded into a taco with re-fried beans and jalapenos? Yes please! and chuck in some avocado or salsa and it's doesn't get any better.

Why haven't you talked about the beer though?  Well it's a pretty good range of beer with 10 taps as well as bottles and wine, cider and some cocktails on offer.

It is a mostly Australian tap affair but a few imported beers (NZ, USA) have popped up since the launch just over 2 weeks ago and this isn't a bad thing as Australia is producing so many good beers now you can almost drink local and national and leave imported beers alone at the moment.

You can get pot, schooner or pint and the prices seem a little high especially for pints of Australian beer but it's only by a dollar or so and it's not the only bar in Brisbane that seems to be increasing prices so this is probably a change we will more of as 2015 rolls on.

If you haven't been to Bloodhound and you are reading this I hope I've done enough to convince or at least make you crave the amazing food on offer here because it's totally refreshing to me as a cuisine style (for Brisbane) and delicious to boot.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Impressions: The Stables - Craft Beer Bar @ Ascot

Click to add a blog post for The Stables Craft Bar & Kitchen on Zomato
When I think about craft beer and high quality gastro pub food I usually think of venues in and around the CBD but there is starting to be some change as the craft beer and re-imaged pub food makes its way a bit further from the City. 

Stables is located in the middle of busy Racecourse road in Ascot which is really quite a nice spot as you can enjoy the sometimes busy going's on on the outside (especially on market and race days)  or just enjoy the great looking exposed brick, dark wood and metal interior of The Stables whilst sipping on a brew or three.

Speaking of beer, there is a nice array of local and national Australian craft on tap and in bottles all displayed a neat little beer menu that sorts them by alcohol % which is pretty great if you aren't sure what to have but you know you are driving.

My only (minor) issue with the tap list is that because it's printed it may not always be 100% up to date, possibly a chalk board would make it easier to maintain a list of current taps.

Stables seems to primarily be for groups of people from 2+ to share and enjoy food and a few drinks rather than catering to hardcore beer nerds and this is perfect for the location where a heavy handed craft bar may not be frequented as much as one with a lighter approach.

Food ranges from olives to sliders to pork belly and even breakfast on the weekends and there really is a good amount to choose from so much so that we went with quite a few dishes to share.

The logistics of sharing them can be a little difficult but once we targeted what we wanted we simply split up the plates so everyone had something to eat from, we went with.. 

Hop Hog Battered Onion Rings w/ Chipotle Aioli
Chunky Popcorn Chicken
Triple Cream Brie Croquettes w/ Chipotle Salsa
Bourbon Glazed Porkbelly Paddle Pops w/ Peppered Sour Cream and Chives
Szechuan Peppered Squid w/ Asian slaw and Nam Jim
Wagyu Beef Sliders w/ Bacon, Swiss Cheese and Caramelised Onion

After sipping on a glass of Feral's Hop Hog I dug into the tasty treats we had ordered. Starting with what I'm going to say was the highlight for me, the Brie Croquettes! Creamy, crunchy and almost too much of a mouthful but totally delicious.

Then onto the popcorn chicken which was juicy and tender with a light crunch and presented with a BBQ sauce and garnished with greens and red radish.

Onion rings were fluffy and crunchy and some pieces were huge! whilst the Pork was soft and tender although the skin could have been crunchier.

The sliders were tasty but needed a little bit more sauce to make them perfect as the bun was a tiny bit dry, the squid however was just delicious and tender with a nice hit of chilli.

The only thing that was really missing from our table was a good aioli or mayo to cut through BBQ sauce and chilli.

Really the food is the standout at Stables with a little bit of something for everyone, at a glance some things seem a bit pricey but when sharing a few things they do become deceptively filling which makes the value stand out.

Pricing ranges from $9 for hand cut chips up to $16 for the slides.

I really quite enjoyed my experience at Stables, it's a good spot for a few quiet drinks and a nice session of snacking or a quiet lunch and the fact that it's in a location that is for the most part pretty easy to get to and park in just adds to the appeal.

If you want a satisfying meal it's worth checking out especially if you are on the north side of the city where we seem to often be forgotten about!

I took way too many food photos so I'll leave a bunch below.

Friday, May 1, 2015

First Impressions: The Oxford Tap House

Click to add a blog post for Oxford Tap House on Zomato

The Oxford, sister to The Mill on Constance opened last year in the trendy suburb of Bulimba and is in a great little spot on the corner of a hill surrounded by some nice old trees with a decked area.

High tables, high chairs, dark wood, dark metal and industrial looking lights create a familiar but inviting bar that I now wish I'd visited earlier!

After watching the Avenger's at a near by cinema we were pretty hungry so an early dinner was in store and The Ox delivered with a share-centric menu of sliders, fries, wings and some less common choices like fried white bait or popcorn duck!

There is also a specials bored with routine specials being chicken wings on Monday's and beef ribs on Tuesday's.

We went with pork slider's, fries and smoked cheddar croquettes and this was enough for 2 people but if you were really hungry you would get 1 or two more choices to share as the portions whilst decent are not as big as some places but still fairly well priced ranging from $6.50 for fries to $15 for the duck.

The croquettes were totally delicious, deep fried with a crunchy coating and super silky, soft and smokey inside that oozes as out as you bite into it. They don't come with any mayo or sauce but you really don't need it, super tasty and moreish little bites!

Slider's were interesting with Asian style marinated pork, creamy slaw and house made pickle finished with some crunch in the form of what seemed to be corn chips, sounds weird but all of this on a soft little brioche made for a tasty treat.
There is 5 taps (and a bottle selection) with a focus on Australian craft featuring largely local options like Fortitude, Green Beacon and Newstead but at the time of my visit they had the delicious IPA from Rock's Brewing in Sydney on tap so I had a couple of those with our food.

For the non-beer drinker there is a decent selection of wines, a tap cider/ginger beer and a range of bottled cider's too.

Overall this is a pretty nice little spot for a few drinks or a meal especially if you have 2 or more friends to share it with.

If you are local or near Bulimba I can strongly recommend you check it out!