Stick a fork into thrice-cooked potato at Varsity’s new Street Food Cartel
We’re pretty fond of potatoes in all of their different configurations – mashed, roasted and our personal favourite, in chip form. If you too have a penchant for the pillowy parcels, then you need to know about Street Food Cartel in Varsity Lakes. The cafe is combining all three into one glorious creation called the Loaded C.P.S, or Crunch Potato Squares. The thrice-cooked cubes are topped with seasoned ground beef, pulled chipotle pork or veg, and drenched in smoky barbecue sauce. If your mouth is watering, you need to seek out Street Food Cartel, stat.
Okay, let’s back it up a step. Street Food Cartel is hidden from plain sight among the factories and offices along Scottsdale Drive in Varsity Lakes. Those who dare to venture off the main thoroughfare will spy a striking matte-black industrial building with a couple of Harley Davidson motorcycles parked out the front. Those who make it down the end of the driveway and through the roller doors will be greeted with eye-popping murals of flying eyeballs shooting lasers, classic rock posters and a lowrider bicycle suspended from the ceiling. Taking pride of place in the centre of the room is an actual (useable) quarter pipe. Street Food Cartel doesn’t look or feel like a regular cafe – and that’s because it’s not. The quirky space is the brainchild of Hardi Ellaz, who also owns The Oak in Mudgeeraba and the roving restaurant that rolls into Burleigh Brewing every weekend to feed the hungry hoards. As demand for the food truck side of the business continued to grow, Hardi acquired a commercial kitchen to handle all of the food prep, and since he was spending a lot of time there, he decided to give it a little spruce and make it reflective of the things he likes – bikes, boards and bands. Envisioned as an extension of the food truck, Street Food Cartel’s mission is to deliver a mouth-watering range of international street eats rather than say, just Mexican or just burgers. Instead, Street Food Cartel offers a variety of global eats including traditional felafels (made from Hardi’s dad’s recipe), soft-shell tacos topped with avocado salsa and chipotle and traditional Greek yiros, to name a few. There are a couple of stools to perch yourself on whilst you wait, but it’s primarily directed towards takeaway.
Whilst Street Food Cartel is casual in its demeanor, the crew take the food and coffee pretty seriously. Originally from Melbourne, Hardi has been around hospitality his whole life and has grown up with an appreciation for good food and good coffee, so it’s only fitting he’s advocating for only the best for his businesses. Speaking of, Street Food Cartel pours The Cat’s Pyjamas by Seven Miles Coffee Roasters, the same blend that Mudgeeraba locals have come to know and love at The Oak. The menu is concise but satisfying with breakfast options such as the ever-popular three-cheese toastie and B&E roll alongside a selection of street food such as the NY Rueben and the SFC beef burger. Do yourself a favour, try the Loaded C.P.S, because life’s too short to pass up thrice-cooked potato.
Keen to find Street Food Cartel? Skip over to our Stumble Guide for details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.