Last night we were invited to the Grand Opening of the first Famoso Pizzeria in BC. They started in 2005 with many locations in Edmonton and Calgary. Beipas, myself, and Erin Gee were given a tour of the restaurant by the founder, Justin. He told us about his trip to Italy, and how it inspired him to start Famoso.
We were able to order anything we wanted from the menu. Most pizzas can be ordered in regular size which are about 11-inches, or you can order Pizzettas, which are about half the size. Since we wanted to try as many as we could, we decided to order 5 of the latter.
The three of us ordered the the tapenade platter to start, and then ordered the Margherita, Vesuvio, Conforto, Prosciutto Arugula, and Spicy Thai pizzettas.
The tapenade trio came with Kalamata olive tapenade, artichoke tapenade, and bruschetta served with flatbread. I found the flatbreads a bit tough to eat with a fork and knife, so just slather the tapenades on top, and pick it up with your hands and bite into it. My favourite of the three was the artichoke – it was garlicky, and not too salty. The bruschetta was nice too, which was tomatoes, onions, and some basil. Nice and fresh. The olive tapenade was a bit too salty for me.
The Margherita, Vesuvio, and Conforto were tomato sauce based pizzas. The Margherita was delicious, and I think this is due to the fact that the ingredients were really good. It’s the simplest of pizzas – Fior di Latte mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. If a pizza joint can make this really good, most of their pizzas should be good. With this pizza, you let the ingredients and the dough really stand out. Here it was really good. I thought the tomato sauce was amazing, and the dough was crisp, but soft in the inside. Many people agreed that this was their favourite. The Vesuvio was a spicy pizza, but really good. The sopressata was awesome and added some spice and saltiness. It also had some cracked chilli peppers on top. Some bites were spicier than others, but I really enjoyed. My choice was the Conforto, but I didn’t enjoy it as much. It was topped with Italian sausage, roasted mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. I’m not sure it works well with this style of pizza. It’s more like a regular take out place (which this place definitely is not). There was too much topping on it, and it took away from the overall pizza. It wasn’t bad, but I definitely enjoyed the other flavours more.
The Prosicutto Arugula was a Pizza Bianco, or pizza with a white sauce made from olive oil, garlic, and oregano. I really enjoyed this pizza too. The pizza was baked, and then topped with prosciutto and arugula. They also provided a lemon to squeeze on top to add to the freshness. It was really delicious. The prosciutto was so silky, and could almost melt in your mouth. The fresh arugula leaves added a nice peppery flavour.
The Spicy Thai was considered a New World Pizza. They used a peanut sauce (so I wasn’t able to try it), and topped it with chicken, mozzarella, carrots, beansprouts, cilantro, and crushed peanuts. There was also a lime that they squeezed on. Beipas and Erin said this pizza was really good too, and even spicier than the Vesuvio.
Although, already quite full, we needed to try some dessert, so we ordered the Tirimisu, and Nutella Banana Pizza. The tirimisu was light and airy and pretty good. Not a strong coffee liqueur flavour in it which is good. I enjoyed the Nutella pizza more. It was actually served calzone style, with nutella in the inside, and we added some banana. It was delicious, though the bread was a bit tough to cut into again.
They also have serve gelato from one of the most famous gelatterias in Alberta. We got to sample some flavours, and they were really nice. The blueberry basil flavour was amazing. It was smooth, light, and creamy. To me, it kind of had a lychee flavour in it, which I love.
Famoso really wants to bring the Naples experience to Vancouver, and really focus on using the right ingredients from the right places direct from Italy. I’d have this pizza over your typical delivery pizza any day, and I hope they open a location closer to me. The prices are pretty decent, and aren’t as carb-heavy as regular pizzas so you won’t feel so full. At this location they also have a TV so you can watch sports. We had a really good time at this event, and got to see Ange, Diana, Erin, Tess, and Sean. Sherman even showed up for the second seating at 8:30. Best of luck to the Famoso team!
1380 Commercial Dr