Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria – Edmonton, Alberta

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (South Edmonton Common)
1417 99 St
780.468.0000
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria - South Edmonton Common on Urbanspoon

You’d think that with its proximity to the homestead, I’d be eating my share of Famoso pizza at their south side location. Yet for whatever reason, that’s actually as far from the truth as possible. Call me old fashion, but with so many memories created at the downtown location, my plans to enjoy this 900 degree thin crust style pizza has always led me back to the original location.

As most traditions eventually evolve, I suppose it’s no surprise that my pizza cravings have finally forced me out of my zone. I should defend my roots though, and say the change of location was partly do to the situation. With one of Sarah’s friends, Astro, craving pizza and some quality hangout time, it only made sense to meet at the nearest location.

Looking larger, and maybe a little more modern than the downtown location, the initial vibe seemed similar to what I was use to. If you are unfamiliar with the Famoso ordering system, it might seem a little strange as it’s more of a 50/50 service kind of situation. Instead of a wait staff member taking your order, you’ll place your order at the counter, grab your drinks, plates, cutlery, and napkins before waiting for someone to call your name or bring your pizza. You can choose to pay for your order right away or leave the tab open if you think you might order more. Of course, this can make for an interesting tip situation, as you might wonder; do I tip when I order? do I tip at the table? I’ll leave that decision up to you though, as it’ll probably depend on the level of service you actually receive.

Astro went with the Bella pizza (pictured above). The pizza went over well, but there were some points worth mentioning. The spicy capicolla was not spicy, and the actual size and thickness of the meat, meant that each of the slices first bite brought all of the toppings with it. I couldn’t help but laugh as Astro would attempt to get better at eating the slice only to pull just about every gram of topping off each time. The pizza also seemed to be quite moist, and after conquering half of the pizza, there was a clear pool of moisture on the serving plate which was making the crust soggy.

Sarah and I decided to share a full size salad and pizza. Going with the classic Maragahrita for our pizza selection, we decided the Spinach Salad would compliment the carby goodness nicely. The pizza was good, with a light crust that was slightly chewy and topped with a generous portion of fior-di-latte mozzarella. The biggest complaint, and something I noticed with Astro’s pizza when I pulled my pictures, was the depressing amount of basil. As such an integral, and flavour enhancing part of this pizza, the tiny pieces wilted away and left barely any sign that they were ever there.

If you consider that Famoso is by all accounts, a pizza joint, I’d have to say the salad was fantastic. In fact, the quality and choice of ingredients in this salad makes it good no matter the type of restaurant; and means your carb avoiding friends can tag along and easily find something tasty. This salad, made by Top Chef Nate Henry, includes sliced strawberries, roasted almonds, prosciutto crisps and comes paired with a housemade strawberry poppyseed vinaigrette. Neither Sarah or I are fans of the dressing, but that’s not to take away from the great base on which this salad is formed. Plus, those damn prosciutto crisps are pretty addictive.

I’m not sure if this location did enough to take over as my go-to spot, but I’m glad to see that the pizza quality and ‘in-house’ regulations have been maintained during the growth. With 4 locations in Edmonton now (along with 1 in Calgary), I don’t see how it wouldn’t be fair to give Famoso some serious thought the next time you are hit with a pizza pie urge.

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12 thoughts on “Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria – Edmonton, Alberta

  1. Ah, FAMOSO!

    Now that we have one in YYC, I am going there once a week, sometimes twice.
    I do like the basic pie but always order Anchovies as well as I tell them to add teh basil AFTER baking my Pizza.
    Big difference.

    • Good call on the post-cooking basil, and for something I do at home so often, I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention it here. I guess that just means a return trip! 🙂

  2. It’s funny to me that you review this place so soon after I visit for the first time (Hi, I’m Maggie, long time reader, first time commenter… lol) I loved the pizza (as much as I could, I don’t like pizza very much.) We had the pollo, which, without a tomato base, I really enjoyed. However, the service was some of the absolute worst I’ve ever seen. It took them 10 minutes to take our order (yes, at the till) and once they finally got it, the waitress prepared our drinks, set them on a tray, and promptly lost us… we were sitting at the bar, exactly where we told her we were. Directly behind her.

    The pizza came fast, and was, like I said, delicious.

    Other people sitting at the bar got much better service, most of them even ordered their food while sitting. Maybe we were just unlucky.

    We’ll be going back, but I’m definitely trying the downtown location as a comparison.

    • Thanks for finally commenting Maggie! With a pizza that’s made in 90 seconds, it’s not a surprise to find the food coming out fast and tasting great. But like you experienced, the service can be hit or miss depending on the staff. If you are downtown, I definitely suggest stopping in, as the cozier atmosphere seems to allow for better service.

  3. Yum! I want pizza now! I have been wondering about the quality of food at Famoso — sadly, had an inkling about the quality of service, knowing full well they’ve taken Starbucks “rejects”. 😦 Too bad. Poor service can ruin an entire food experience, at least in my books. I’ve walked out of many a restaurant for bad service — if they can’t master something as simple as a hello, what other GIANT piece are they missing?

  4. Yum, I am craving Famoso again now! I totally agree about potential sogginess and lack of basil … and thanks for the idea about adding basil after baking!

  5. Just as an update:

    I thought that the pizza might be easier to eat when it was cold, I tried and it was just as hard to eat cold; the toppings just didn’t want to stay on! I believe it was due to the toughness of the skin on the capicolla.

    It was still delicious though!

  6. Once again, why you are envious of Vancouver, when you have places like this! I mean, if you come here, most of the pizza joints are $1.50/slice places!

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