The Gold Coast was thoroughly spoiled with a special treat last weekend when Pitmaster Steve of Bella BBQ brought his freshly painted BBQ van down from Brisbane to cater the Gold Coast Harley 4th of July Party. There has been a lot of buzz on social media about Bella BBQ having the best burgers in Brisbane, and so when I heard he was coming down to the Goldy, I had to get in there and try it out.
Before you even see the van, the first thing that strikes you is the aroma. Steve uses one of the most advanced smokers available on the market, a Yoder YS1500, capable of smoking up to 60 kilos (132 pounds) at one time. It is plumbed out through the roof of the van so you can smell the BBQ goodness long before you’re even in the vicinity. Be warned though: you will find yourself uncontrollably screaming your order from two blocks away as your sense of smell takes over your sense of self-control!
Once you’re there, you’ll be impressed with the fully renovated and restored retro van. The entire setup is a work of art designed to create a fun experience for the whole family.
The only problem that you’re going to have is choosing what to eat. Just remember that you can always have seconds. And trust me, there will be seconds!
I went for a Mega Burger without the mac’n’cheese (infused with candied bacon!) due to a food allergy and was simply blown away. The first thing that strikes you is the serving size. These aren’t little take-away burgers that claim to be ‘big’. These really are big. The serving of meat is easily a big handful, spilling over the sides of the bun leaving delicious morsels for you to clean up later.
As you pick it up the second thing you notice is the bun. It is firm but soft like a marshmallow and unmistakably fresh. It genuinely smells like traditional bread as opposed to mass-produced flavourless bread rolls. It is little surprise to find out that these rolls are custom made just for Bella BBQ and delivered fresh each day. Steve told me that they are custom-shaped to enable him to fit more meat in there!
You will need to make sure that you grab some napkins when you grab your order as you’ll need it to clean the sauce from your chin. Steve’s own recipe, it is sweet, sticky, and tangy. It hits the pallet and lights up different areas of your tastebuds one after the other, leaving a delicious buzz across your tongue.
And finally, there is the star of the show: the meat. The Mega Burger has both pulled pork and brisket. If you’re not aware, brisket is one of the hardest cuts of meat to cook, but Steve has absolutely nailed it. Every piece of pork or brisket is cooked low’n’slow in the big Yoder for 12 to 18 hours. Combined with Steve’s competition spice rubs, the result is a tender, moist, satisfying mouthful of meaty heaven. The brisket in particular is amazing: it is so soft it’s like jelly, the mark of a properly cooked brisket. Keep an eye on Bella BBQ’s Facebook page for Steve’s Brisket Masterclasses: you can learn all the secrets to cooking these bad-boys at home!
Do you think you’ve met a burger that comes close to this? Let me know in the comments below.