Darth Taters at Spud's Subs & Soups
Darth Taters Credit: Spud's Subs & Soups

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If potatoes are your love language, listen up. A pop-up launched in Shaw this morning with tots, chips, latkes, mashed potatoes, and loaded potato soup. “Sometimes food is taken a little too seriously and I wanted to make delicious food you can have fun with,” says Chef Mykie Moll on his new venture. He has Polish and Russian roots, and the cuisines of both cultures rely on the versatility of the humble potato.

Spud’s Subs & Soups is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A trio of breakfast dishes is available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and lunch is offered all day. Moll is operating his long-term pop-out out of Qui Qui DC, on the second floor of 1539 7th St. NW. Spud’s functions like a ghost restaurant in that food can be ordered online for pick-up and delivery only. Dine-in is possible down the line. So is a collaborative brunch from both restaurants. 

Having attended the same culinary school and worked in the same D.C. restaurants, Moll and Qui Qui DC chef and owner Ismael Mendez have a bond that made this partnership possible. Moll most recently led the kitchen at Crazy Aunt Helen’s on Capitol Hill. Before that, he cooked at Pom Pom, which didn’t reopen following the initial closures necessitated by the pandemic. 

Moll, who carries himself with a bit of a surfer vibe, modeled Spud’s Subs & Soups after the relaxed, colorful sub shops he frequents in beach towns. The menu is packed with puns, like the “A Turn for the Wurst,” sandwich with house-smoked kielbasa from Logan’s Sausage, caramelized onions, peppers, and Bavarian sweet mustard ($10).

“The Plot Chickens,” will be popular, Moll predicts. He brines chicken in a little pickle juice, encrusts it with ranch dressing, and fries it before loading up the sandwich with a Brussels sprout slaw made with bacon ($12). He’s also trying his hand at a “Care-Philly Curated” cheesesteak that uses prime ribeye ($17). 

Let’s talk taters. Moll spent the most time perfecting his “pillow tots.” He starts with more of a mashed potato base as opposed to shredded potatoes. The result is a gnocchi-like tot that’s creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Try them plain for $7 or loaded up for breakfast with pickled onions, herbs, and an egg for $10. Add bacon or fried tofu for $3 more. 

See the full menu below, which includes the option to donate $10. Spud’s will put that money toward a meal for a neighbor in need. Moll will change the dishes seasonally, depending on what he can get from Miller Farms in Clinton.  

“It’s dark and scary times right now,” Moll says. “Everyone is leaning more towards feeding themselves with food that makes them feel good. They’re looking for a few minutes of comfort. Yes, I can and have cooked a lot of cuisines and fancier things, but this is honestly the stuff that I eat. Spud’s lets me really put my heart and soul out here and make some delicious, feel-good food.”

Orders can be placed on Toast or on Grubhub.

Spud’s Subs & Soups, 1539 7th St. NW, second floor; instagram.com/spudsdc

Menu courtesy of Spud’s