Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >
Jan 10, 2010 12:26 PM

Famoso Pizza coming to Calgary

They are going to open at the My Marvin's Deli location on 2303 4 Street SW.

Good news for fans of thin crust, Napoli style Pizza

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is great news! Thin crust pizza done in a wood fired oven. Ingredients are imported from Italy and they have some really tasty salads as well. Check out their menu

    A very welcome addition to the neighborhood! They manage to be a bit more economic than say a Pulcinella because you order at the til and have limited reliance on servers. Cant wait for them to open!

    I havent heard much more about UNA...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Larry33

      ...well I just checked out the UNA site and it appears they will open on January 22. Similar style of pie to Famoso, but it looks like it will be a bit more swanky. Regardless, they both look great!

      1. re: Larry33

        I recommend the famoso salad- absolutely delicious:
        "Crisp romaine lettuce, spicy sopressata, fire-roasted
        chicken breast, prosciutto crisps, matchstick carrots,
        chopped cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, tossed
        in Dijon-balsamic vinaigrette."
        Went with a large group at the downtown location- was very zoo-ey. I live on the south side, so was delighted when they opened two locations near us in Mcgrath and South Common.
        Love the mozza balls too. They had a great temporary special of a duck pizza that was very tasty.

      2. I find Famosa really inconsistent in Edmonton. We've had good experiences and really soggy pizzas.

        It has a fairly decent reputation in Edmonton but the best pizza I've had there still doesn't rival my experiences at Pulcinella's. I do agree though that it is a bit more economic than Pulcinella and more self-serve.

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodkarma

          I don't find them inconsistent - they are always soggy. And I find the toppings a bit minimal, such as asking for anchovies and getting just 4 little strips. Overall, I prefer Pulcinella too, but Famoso may be the best fast food here in Edmonton

          1. re: Dan G

            i've been making pizza for years, and a soggy pie is usually the result of using 1) uncooked/unsweated veggies and shrooms, and/or 2) very high moisture content cheese. maybe with time, they'll be able to correct the sogginess problems.

        2. I got a flyer in the mail a few days ago. They're not open yet but someone answered the phone and said they will be open on the 18th. Menu looks good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hsk

            I have been to the edmonton location a few times and yes they tend to be soggy pizzas.

          2. Did anyone else from chow go tonight? What happened with Justins post from a few days ago?

            Well I've been to Famoso several times in Etown, last visit being just a couple weeks ago. We ordered the mozza balls, capri and bella with mushroom pizzas. I always get the mozza balls and they were great as usual. The pizzas came out 10 minutes later and were done perfect imho. A little soggy in the middle but nicely charred on the outside and that works great for me. I've had lots of pizzas in italy and it's nice to have something local that compares!!!

            The room with very tall ceilings is nice and during the summer should be more comfortable since the heat from the pizza ovens will rise. It gets hot in the Jasper Ave etown location with a full crowd.

            Service was very friendly and professional at the same time. Wehn I arrived at 5:10 there were 2-3 tables open and shortly after a line started to form. They already had some takeout business so it looks like either word of mouth or good marketing has started them of on the right foot.

            Pizzas cost $11-15 and are 11" with very nice ingredients so I see value here. I thought prices in Calgary may be slightly higher then etown but was happy to see they are the exact same.

            I welcome Famoso and wish them success in Calgary. Lastly to the first person who compares this pizza to Una please give me the chance to buy a pie from each place and blindly test people walking by on Stephan Ave for a random taste test! You will have to witness the results :)

            15 Replies
            1. re: hclass

              My understanding is that this is nothing like Una- the proper comparison would be with Pulcinella.

              1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

              1. re: John Manzo

                No doubt. UNA as a whole (not just their kitchen) is a totally different concept from FAMOSO.

              2. re: hclass

                It's not at all like UNA, other than the skimpy toppings :).

                It has the ambience of a cafeteria - you have to go up to the counter to order everything (drinks and food). They bring it to the table, but for example the bottle of wine was already opened, It was fine but I'm not sure what they would have done if it were bad, it was just plunked onto the table with the stemware.

                We had three pizzas and all were soggy although to be fair the server did say that was the style and suggested we fold it to eat. I thought it might be the crust is too thin in the middle, but it might be authenice but not what I look for in a pizza.

                Gorgonzola and walnut salad was great. The anchovies were seriously fishy, I love anchovies but not from a can opened several days ago. It was pretty crowded, I hope they do well but I think it's not so great value for an order-at-the-counter type of place, the prices were the same as what you'd pay in a restaurant where you'd get a lot more service.

                1. re: hsk

                  It's possible to make Neapolitan pizza without a soggy middle - I've had it in Paris, and it was delicious. Maybe it's inauthentic, but I'd love to be able to have it here.

                  1. re: 23skidoo

                    yea, i don't know what that guy means by "this is the style." that is utter BS. hsk, what toppings were on your pies? i can pretty much assure you that the extra water was from too many or improperly prepared veggies and shrooms, and/or cheese with an incorrect moisture content. watery pizza is a very common problem for beginning pizza makers.

                    1. re: nonlinear

                      neither the veggies or the cheese are the problem with Famoso pizzas being soggy - the toppings are so minimal they aren't going to make a difference.

                      But, yes that is their style... might not be a traditional style, but it is what they are trying to do.

                      1. re: Dan G

                        if not the cheese or veggies (including tomatoes), where do you propose the water is coming from? maybe they are adding water to make it soggy since "that's the style." LOL.

                        1. re: nonlinear

                          I think we havea different definition of extra water, it is just undercooked...

                          1. re: nonlinear

                            Assuming the oven is at the proper temperature and there's not too many toppings, soggy crust usually results from the pizza sitting out too long before it goes into the oven.

                            1. re: Shazam

                              so that excess water (from sauce, tomatoes, whatever) is soaking into the crust?

                              (i've never had that problem as I make my pies immediately before putting them in the oven).

                              1. re: nonlinear

                                Yup. A few places cheat and put sauce on the crusts ahead of time. This is a huge no-no but there you go.

                                1. re: Shazam

                                  I found it soggy too. Foldability (if that's a word) should not be confused with sogginess and should not be partners in pizza.

                                  When I went, I was with a big fan of the place, but was polite and did not want to announce that the emperor has no clothes. Thanks for stepping up, Chowhounds!

                        2. re: nonlinear

                          I had a margherita with anchovies, a smoked salmon and a pepperoni and mushroom. I don't think there was extra water from the toppings, I've only experienced that kind of soggy from pub-style pies that are overloaded with toppings (which I don't care for) and cut too soon before the crust absorbs the water. The water bleeds out when the pie is cut and the bottom of the crust gets wet. This wasn't like that, the bottom of the crust was dry. Maybe soggy isn't a good description, I got it from a previous poster.

                          I like thin-crust pies with skimpy toppings but I prefer them to stay relatively flat when I pick them up to eat (like they do at UNA, although I prefer the taste of the crust at Famoso). These were limp so had to be folded if you wanted to eat it with your hands, but I ended up using a fork and knife (lame, I know).

                          1. re: hsk

                            Italians eat pizza with knife and fork. Nothing lame about it.

                          2. re: nonlinear

                            I never had a 'crispy' crust pizza while in Naples. They were always very soft and eaten with knife and fork (or folded if in a hurry). Much like what you get at Pulcinella in Ctown.

                            I think the entire point is a soft crust in Napli. As with many North American pizza places, there was lots of differences in pizza across the coutnry.

                            1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

                    2. I found this article in the Canadian Pizza Magazine; " Dave Housman won a trip to Las Vegas, $1,000 and a finalist’s spot in the International Pizza Challenge for his Dolce Vesta pizza entry that earned him the title Chef of the Year. " (he is one of the owners of Famoso)