The marketing material plastered all over Bella Q's store window certainly did not kid. "It's LOVE at first bite!" indeed. My first bite was a sample of their fettuccine carbonara pasta in the ute as we drove home. There wasn't much pasta left by the time we got home, and I don't even live that far away.
We stopped to have a short chat with Helen Quintieri, the wife of one of the proprietors to find out some more about the business. The fact their food was so good, yet they were only open on weekends; sparked my curiosity.
It turned out Bella Q's is owned by the Quintieri brothers, who started the business on the side. I don't think they were expecting much of it, and were pleasantly surprised at how popular Bella Q's became. Everyone working at Bella Q's has a full-time job elsewhere and family commitments, yet they devote a few hours every weekend night to satisfy the taste buds of Mareeba.
There is a variety of Italian style pizzas and pastas at Bella Q's – all home cooked of course. I secretly believe home cooking is the magic ingredient to any successful food venue. Actually I am drooling just thinking about home cooked Italian sauces – the basic ingredient in all of Bella Q's food. Oh, yum.
My favourite dish will probably always be that first meal – the fettuccine carbonara. However, the BBQ Chicken pizza was gorgeous. I'm not a fan of chicken pizzas ordinarily, but when my partner ordered it, I found it beyond delicious. It is a shame I can't go get some for lunch right now. I admit I was a bit thrown by the garlic bread, having been raised on the typical Eagle Boys / Dominoes garlic bread. Bella Q's garlic bread is basically a calzone with cheese, garlic and paprika. The trick is to add extra onion and bacon to it, as my partner showed me.
To date I have sampled the seafood pizza, the beef ravioli with napolitana sauce and the spinach and ricotta ravioli with bolognese sauce. All equally yum, and now I am fixated on the homemade tiramisu I saw in the fridge there last visit. Maybe next time, along with Bella Q's house pizza.
Bella Q's can be found at 64 Rankin Street, Mareeba. It is right off the roundabout on Brynes Street, and is conveniently located next to a local video store. This incidentally makes for a perfect weekend at home – Bella Q's, movies, a couple X-Box games, a yet-to-be-opened bottle of whiskey and you are set. If you're a local, give them a ring at 4092 4777. Even if you live in the next town – Atherton, Kuranda etc, it is worth a 30 minute drive to have authentic Italian pizza and pasta in Mareeba.
Deeply satisfied with my experience, I did something I rarely do. I liked Bella Q's business page on Facebook, and every weekend, I get asked "Feel like pizza tonight?". If it is Bella Q's then definitely, yes, yes I do!
Bella Q's pizza and pasta menu. Call them on 4092 4777!