Tenure: Ann Addis and her husband, Craig, opened Metropulos in 2004, inspired by their culinary journeys. Celebrating their 12th anniversary this year, the beloved Funk Zone eatery is the byproduct of market trips to Spain, Italy, Greece, and beyond, which inform their hand-selected imports.
Résumé: Addis is constantly reinventing the wheel on family recipes, inspired by her Italian and Greek heritage. Named after her Greek father, Metropulos, the marketplace offers a culinary sampling of her favorites, from housemade baklava to Greek pastitsio and their infamous gyros. “Food is passion and love and art and memories … it evokes so many things,” said Addis. “My art is my food; that’s where the simple art of eating came from.”
Dish she digs: Their stellar empanadas are wrapped in a flaky pastry crust with housemade chimichurri sauce. Created by Chef Roberto Soria, the beef and chicken include sautéed fresh ground beef or chicken breast, with minced onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, and chili flakes. Or try the veggie empanada with sautéed spinach, eggplant, and red and green bell peppers. “I couldn’t do what I do without Roberto,” she said. “He takes my ideas and turns them into amazing dishes.”
The scoop: As a former executive at EF International School, Addis was inspired to create a community marketplace, highlighting daily specials and imports from around the world. From tofu noodle salad and bánh mì to moussaka and Chicago beef sandwiches, the restaurant offers a passport of flavors. “If you are a good cook, you can learn any cuisine,” said Addis. To eat well, it doesn’t need to be complicated.”
216 East Yanonali Street; (805) 899-2300; metrofinefoods.com