As Justin Lussier traveled through Naples in 2005, he decided to stop for the city's famous pizza at a small street-side eatery bearing the sign Pizzeria Sorbillo. He loved his traditional thin-crust pie so much that he rushed to a pay phone and called his friends Christian Bullock and Jason Allard to tell them that he wanted to make that same pizza. When Justin returned to Canada, the trio travelled to confer with the culinary experts at Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) in order to uncover what truly makes a pizza Neapolitan. Two years later, the friends set out to open Famoso.
Famoso's chefs all follow strict guidelines set by the AVPN?they only use OO Caputo flour imported from Naples, and they hand mill tomatoes imported from the foot of Mount Vesuvius, where each crop is grown in soil enriched by volcanic ash and sung to daily by volcanologists. Chefs top the crust with local fior di latte mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and pecorino romano cheese. They then spread dough into wafer-thin disks, which they blast-fire at 900 degrees for 90 seconds inside imported Italian bell-shaped ovens. Pizzas are also topped with ingredients such as soppressata, oven-roasted Italian sausage, kalamata olives, and truffle oil.
Famoso Baristas can pair many of these pies, some of which are reinvented twice each year, with a mix of local and international wines?including vintages from Italy and Canada?and hand-crafted gelato. At each restaurant, they ferry dishes and drinks through rustic and inviting interiors, each of which reflects the unique style of its neighbourhood, though all are united by accents of exposed brick and wood, wine-bottle art, and sculptural pizza-box displays.
As part of a chain of restaurants that's been growing since 1952, Fatburger?s team of skilled grillsmiths tirelessly bustles about kitchens across the continent whipping up platefuls of fresh, cooked-to-order diner fare. Upon receiving each patron?s order, chefs spring into action meticulously preparing feasts from the finest of ingredients including AAA Alberta beef, hand-picked produce, and cholesterol-free oil. Frozen treat specialists plunge scoops into ice cream containers, extracting creamy orbs to be transformed into milkshakes so old fashioned that they only enter the straw after donning a set of pearls. Fostering an authentic atmosphere, each Fatburger location features retro decor and enforces a strict poodle-skirt-only dress code for all diners.
Steak Village lures in casual diners with a menu of quality strips and dishes that delight in exploring only the freshest ingredients. The 8-ounce prime rib spotlights slow-roasted Sterling Silver premium beef that has been handcut to high standards and culled from the top 12 per cent of its class to deliver a platter of juicy flavour and the answer to Fermat's Last Theorem ($23). The beef-dip wrap explores Steak Village's versatility by pulling short ribs into a blend of caramelized onions, shredded cheese, and a pimento aioli ($16). A blue-cheese-steak salad grants light lunchers a satisfaction typically received only by sitting on a sibling's face ($15). Red Seal chef Emil Yim reminds meat eaters of the merriment of saving a seat for the second stomach with decadent desserts, including the chocolate-truffles trio ($9) or the inverted peach melba ($9). A mod interior meshes white tablecloths with colorful plates and wistful aromas, infusing the space with an ambience of casual decadence.
As the University of Alberta basketball team tour bus lumbered down the highway towards Phoenix, Arizona, Scott Gordon and Gavin Fedorak’s stomachs began to grumble. Agreeing that they couldn’t stand tasteless roadside diner food or unhealthy rest-stop snacks, the two friends began to converse about what they were really craving: the freshly made sandwiches served at their favourite Arizona sandwich shop, Dilly’s Deli.
Scott and Gavin never forgot Dilly’s Deli or their experiences on the road, and several years after graduating, they decided to open their own sandwich shop back in Edmonton. Enlisting the aid of Gavin’s brother Grant and a consultant from Dilly’s Deli itself, the friends designed a lengthy menu of the imaginative sandwiches that were lauded by a reporter from the Edmonton Journal in 2010.
The trio’s team of skilled sandwich makers gets up early in the morning to bake fresh loaves of whole-wheat, focaccia, and pumpernickel-rye breads. Once a lively lunch crowd starts to queue up at their counter, they begin layering the freshly sliced bread with quality meats, premium cheeses, and fresh vegetables.
Scott, Gavin, and Grant are not only committed to serving fresh ingredients, often from local sources, but also to reducing their carbon footprint. Their progressive establishment uses environmentally friendly packaging and discourages employees from wearing cowboy boots made from the skin of endangered dragon species.
Visitors to Forza! Pasta Bar can choose their own culinary adventures, building Italian dishes from pastas such as handmade gnocchi or pappardelle and sauces that range from pesto to lamb ragu. Of course, they can also discover flavors throughout menu such as stuffed ravioli with ricotta or veal, layer panini sandwiches with prosciutto and mortadella, and bake lasagnas that one Strathcona Connect writer called "mild, extremely tender and melt-in-your-mouth." For a post-prandial pick-me-up, a sky-blue Elektra espresso machine stands at the ready, decorated with a miniature Italian flag that flutters with pride each time baristas pull a shot of rich, caffeinated brew.
The Chopped Leaf’s staff quickly whips up healthy, hearty wraps, gourmet salads, and thick chowders, along with a kids' menu. Following recipes carefully curated by their chefs or the whims of each customer, they blend traditional and ethnic flavours such as pesto, chipotle, and cranberry into their signature and custom dishes, in addition to preparing gluten-free and vegan options. Diners also have the option to create their own salads and wraps using the more than 50 fresh ingredients available to them. They also cook up catered portions of these flavourful, nutritious eats to satisfy cravings at parties, offices, and long lines at the supermarket checkout.