Pizzeria to the stars

The Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is a well-known chain of Italian restaurants with franchises throughout several provinces across Canada.

The Famoso Pizzeria is atmospherically soothing and casual, incorporating modern design elements with traditional European style. Each pizzeria is adorned with a beautiful yet functional fire-breathing oven, ensuring all pizzas are freshly roasted and served to every customer. The open kitchen concept adds an entertainment value to the meal while also effectively guaranteeing that the food preparation process is visibly hygienic.

To perpetuate the casual element in the dining experience, Famoso is unconventionally different from traditional restaurants; diners are seated at their tables but made to order near a counter, while successive orders can be made at the table or back at the counter. Slightly bizarre but downright inconvenient, this method only serves to complicate the meal and contradict the original intention of being simple and casual. That being said, the service as a whole was extremely pleasant and orders were quick to come, fresh, and hot when they arrived at my table.

Being an avid lover of sangrias, I tried both the white and red sangria. Better for younger crowds, the red version is a fresh fruit-based Italian wine punch with black currant liquer and orange Italian soda. The fruit juice quickly masked any hints of alcohol and all the ingredients were blended well while retaining a smooth taste. The white version has a  Grand Marnier and apple juice base with limonata soda. This one had a substantially stronger flavor, leaving a bitter aftertaste. I can imagine the white one would be enjoyed by diners with more mature palettes.

The Neapolitan pizza crusts were soft inside and crispy on the outer layer. The thinness of the pizzas helps to evenly disperse the flavours of the toppings without being too excessively oily or heavy. The quality was consistent throughout the different pizza selections I had. All pizzas are moderately proportioned to be just enough for one person.

The vesuvio is a spicy pizza with the dry-cured ham soppressata as a topping. Similar to what a pepperoni pizza would be like, this vesuvio was slightly bland, although the dry-cured ham added a nice frangance to it.

The margherita pizza was a vegetarian pizza with fior-di-latte cheese, basil, and romano. This pizza definitely required a leap of faith due to its vegetarian status. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the strong aroma that came from the greens, while the creaminess of the pizza base made this dish a must-have for vegetarians.

The sweet barbecue chicken pizza had honey smoked barbecue chicken and mozeralla. Part of the “New World Pizzas” selection that paired traditional Neapolitan pizzas with non-traditional flavours, this pizza was uninventive and failed to impress. Though the roast of the chicken added nice flavour to an otherwise unimaginative dish.

For students on a budget, the prices of the Famoso pizzas are a borderline luxury. Don’t dismiss this restaurant as an overpriced full-service Pizza Pizza. I would suggest visiting with a larger group of friends so that you may try the interesting variety of pizzas, while enjoying the cool and comfortable ambience that adds much more value than just the flattened piece of cooked dough you would alternatively be swallowing on a cold night in Campus Pizza.