.Fonda Felix

Got Empanada?

While volunteering at the Homeless Garden Project, a colleague told Mikaela Anderson that Fonda Felix’s head chef/owner, Diego, was looking for someone to help grow his business and she started the job in April. Fonda Felix as Pan-Latin cuisine focused on Argentine-style empanadas with diverse South American influences.

 Open Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-6pm, guests order at the “empanada speak-easy” vibed front door. The menu is headlined by empanadas, like Anderson’s favorite with spinach and Monterey Jack cheese. The vegan Mesóamerica is a best-seller, and other options include shredded chicken married with Peruvian spices, traditional Argentinian beef, and fish and fennel.

The Chipacitos are pleasantly chewy tapioca, cheese and egg puff balls that Anderson says are “fluffy little cheesy bites of deliciousness.” Yerba Mate is cold-brewed in-house with orange and herbs.

Tell me about Diego’s background?

MIKAELA ANDERSON: He was born and raised near Buenos Aires, and although meat is a big part of the culture there, he was brought up vegetarian in a very health-conscious family. He initially wanted to be an actor, sensibility for entertainment is a big part of who he is, so he traveled throughout Latin America in his 20’s looking for work. He ended up becoming inspired and fascinated by local indigenous food from  Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico. He then worked at and owned several restaurants throughout the Americas before he moved to Santa Cruz with his wife and kids in 2015.

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Talk to me about the catering side of the business?

MA: With our small, but passionate team, we cater occasions ranging from small private events to large corporate gatherings with hundreds of people. The menus that Diego creates are seasonal and customized to guest’s likings and dietary preferences; everything from meat-focused traditional Argentinian to fully vegan plant-based selections that feature the bounty of our local produce. What we all enjoy the most is seeing people love the food and indulge their curiosity for the cuisine and culture behind it.

402 Ingalls Street, Santa Cruz, 831-889-0653; fondafelix.com

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