Spicy Feta replaces The Naughty Greek

By Janet Wight

Spicy Feta, a new Mediterranean-style restaurant on University Avenue in south St. Anthony Park, opened its doors this past June in space previously occupied by The Naughty Greek.  

The new eatery has also replaced two other Naughty Greek locations– one on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul and the other in Capella Tower in Minneapolis.

         Local entrepreneurs Yamah Sadozai (CEO) and Chris Amundson (COO) are the owners of Spicy Fita. Sadozai is from the Shakopee/Prior Lake area while Amundson grew up in Edina.

         After meeting six years ago at a mixed martial arts gym in Eden Prairie, they became training partners and fast friends despite their different professional backgrounds.

         Sadozai brings a wealth of restaurant expertise to Spicy Feta. He and his family have owned Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro in St. Louis Park for the past 10 years.

         Meanwhile, Amundson built his career in the race car industry, focusing on manufacturing standards and creating efficiencies through process automation.

         Sadozai said he had been wanting to expand into a new brand and share his passion for Mediterranean fare. He had always admired The Naughty Greek and learned a great deal about cuisine and branding from it,

         Since Amundson already proved himself as a hard-working restaurant employee and strategic thinker, Sadozai felt that Amundson would be the right person to help him build this vision.

         Angelo Giovanis, owner of The Naughty Greek, built and nurtured a close-knit team during his seven years in business. Growing up in Greece around his parents’ restaurants, he was happy to finally fulfill his dream of bringing authentic Greek recipes to the United States, he said.

         “My parents are getting older and I wanted to spend more time in Greece. Running restaurants was becoming a lot more difficult coming out of the pandemic,” Giovanis said. “The support we received over the past 7 seven years was amazing and I am truly grateful for being able to serve this community.”

         The new owners appreciate the family atmosphere created by Giovanis, which is rare in the restaurant industry, Amundson said. They want to provide a professional environment so that employees can grow their careers. Most of the 35 to 40 employees from The Naughty Greek are now employed by Spicy Feta.

         Sadozai and Amundson were able to quickly launch their new restaurants with knowledgeable and dedicated staff members making the rapid turnaround possible, they said.

         Spicy Fita’s featured dishes include: brown butter lebneh (a yogurt dip with seasonal fruit, honey, spices, pistachios and molasses), doner wraps (fresh Lebanese flatbread with choice of protein, French fries and assorted toppings) and loukoumades (Greek doughnuts with whipped feta mousse, honey, feta, pistachios and cinnamon).

         Signature or build-your-own custom bowls are also available. These contain Greek orzo pasta, pickled vegetables, an array of toppings and choice of house-made sauce.

The restaurants can also accommodate diners with dietary restrictions. The menu includes a selection of vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Further, all of the locations are fully Halal. No pork or alcohol is served.

         Since Spicy Feta is a quick serve restaurant, customers place their orders at the counter. However, staff members are always nearby to assist with kiosk ordering and provide menu suggestions, Amundson said.

         Manufacturing processes are often lacking in the restaurant industry, he added. By setting quality standards, food is treated like other manufactured products. This method is designed to enable the restaurant to achieve consistent quality as well as efficiency.

         Looking ahead, Amundson and Sadozai hope to open more restaurants. Eagan or Apple Valley would be a prime spots for another location due to the lack of Mediterranean cuisine in that area, Sadozai said.

         To learn more about Spicy Feta, visit http://eatspicyfeta.com or @spicyfetamn on Instagram.

Janet Wight is a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.

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