Editor’s Note: Nebraska is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2017. As the state observes its sesquicentennial, we are revisiting some of the state’s attractions. Today, we take a look at Stella’s in Bellevue…
Hungry? Hungry enough to devour six burger patties, 12 pieces of bacon, six slices of cheese and six fried eggs between a bun? Wait. Don’t answer yet. Let’s top it off with lettuce, tomato, fried onions, jalapenos, peanut butter and pickles. Add a side of French fries. How about now? Eat it in 45 minutes, it’s free. And you get your picture put on a wall of fame, along with taking home a T-shirt of your accomplishment.
Hundreds of people have tried to eat the Stellanator at Stella’s in Bellevue, Nebraska. Only about a dozen have succeeded. The winners include a world class professional competitive eater (she did it twice, once in less than 4 minutes). Those who fail have their pictures put on a wall of shame.
No one in our family has even thought of trying that challenge. But, it’s fun to see the pictures of those who try. I give them props. Though, I think the challenge should include a cardiologist’s business card.
My daughter Steph and I have made Stella’s an annual event. We each get a single burger, topped with bacon and peanut butter. Peanut butter and bacon? You betcha! The sweet and salty flavors team for a delicious combo. Add the cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato, and you get an out of this world treat.
Lisa has joined us on occasion. She’s not as adventurous, and avoids the peanut butter. She usually goes for a regular cheeseburger.
We split orders of fries and onion rings. The rings are my favorite. I’m not an onion fan, but I do like onion rings sometimes. Stella’s is one of those places.
Forget plates and silverware. Lay napkins on the table ad get your fingers messy in eating some of the best food you will ever taste.
Stella’s is a local favorite. You can count on a line when you arrive. However, the wait is usually quick and worth it. Stella’s has been voted as the top burger seven consecutive years in Omaha Magazine’s “Best of” series. It’ also been named the top burger in Nebraska twice by the Nebraska Beef Council.
Stella’s has been a Bellevue stalwart since it opened in 1936. It’s changed names and buildings over the years, but has been known as Stella’s since 1949 after having the tavern building moved to its current location.
Stella passed away in 1985. The family business is now owned by Stephanie Francois, Stella’s great-great niece.
Stella’s is a must when visiting the Omaha metro. The restaurant is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Omaha. Grab a burger and fries or onion rings and enjoy. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, try the Stellanator. Either way, you’ll have a great time.
For more information on Stella’s, check out its website at www.stellasbarandgrill.com.