The menu is a starch contrast to your typical Surry Hills fare. There’s a lot more to the humble spud than you’ve probably ever imagined. It can be safely assumed that not many have imagined a spud’s various incarnations more than Mad Spuds café owner Lou Pagano.
Mad Spuds has been in Surry Hills for over seven years now. “Our original vision was to create a healthy alternative to standard café fare,” explains owner Lou, “spuds can be baked, fried, mashed, boiled, chipped – they are healthy and versatile.”
The Crown Street café has peeled away the preconception that spuds are unhealthy and embraced wholeheartedly the unsung hero of the vegetable family. The spud-centric menu also features organic, locally sourced produce, house-made preserves and pickles and the café’s take on Irish classics, like the Boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake.
Aside from being the stand out of any roast, potatoes are full of potassium, vitamin C and fibre, and are fat, gluten and sodium free. Mad Spud’s spuds are sourced from the Southern Highlands of NSW, aka the “home of the big spud.” They’re grown in rich volcanic soil and watered by natural springs throughout the highland region of Robertson, giving them a unique taste.
“We use a few different varieties of potatoes, like King Edwards, Sebago, Spunta, Desire and Pink Fir,” explains Lou.
Lou sites the light rail construction as a current challenge for the café, but sees great potential for the area once it’s complete. “When [the light rail] is complete the area will be buzzing with out-of-towners.” From the Baked Spud menu, try the Spud Power – two baked spuds with falafel, beetroot relish, avocado, sour cream, organic sprouts and olive oil.
This article originally appeared in Urban Village