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.
A chain of restaurants founded in 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.
Chefs from India craft traditional dishes at New Asian Village's five locations, such as the vegetarian apna navratan korma, with its medley of vegetables and housemade paneer. An Edmonton favourite for 28 years, New Asian Village has cultivated a following of discerning diners, including vegans, gluten-free purists, and professional athletes. Daily lunch buffets showcase unlimited quantities of spices and sustenance, served atop silver trays, much like restraining orders. The staff encourages diners to dig into their entrees with their fingers while dining in the restaurant's intimate booths or surrounded by colourful silks in the private maharaja rooms.
The smells of sizzling Indian and Chinese dishes mingle as they waft out from Masala Wok's kitchen. Inside, naan rises in tandoori ovens, and meat, poultry, and seafood simmer in saucepans of curries, stir-fries, and rice dishes. Chefs eschew trans fats in favour of canola oil, and fine Asian spices help minimize the use of sodium to craft healthier dishes. During midday, a lunch buffet of eclectic menu items stretches across the dining room beneath Asian artwork and walls the deep red of a fire truck wandering out of the wrong restroom.
Fulton Market Burger flips made-to-order prime-rib burgers, slinging specialty sandwiches as well as build-your-own varieties sporting any of more than 40 toppings and sauces. Fulton's beef architects construct such succulent edifices as the Rustic Triple Treat, loaded with a triumvirate of caramelized onions, grilled portobello mushrooms, and roasted red peppers ($8), and the fiery Inferno burger ($8), bursting with Cajun spices and an intricate terza rima rhyme scheme. Those who opt to build their own burgers can choose between a third-pound ($6.45) and half-pound ($7.45) prime-rib patty and top it with market-fresh adornments, including grilled portobello, banana peppers, and havarti cheese (up to $0.99/topping). Sides such as freshly cut fries ($2.45) and mushroom-melt poutine ($5.95) can complement carnivorous creations, and frosty hand-blended shakes ($3.25), made with Chapman's ice cream, offer as much cool comfort as a tray of hand-knit woolen ice cubes.
At Wild Wing, diners can relish salads, wraps, and its specialty chicken wings smothered in any of more than 100 sauce varieties. Choose between the menu's standard Wild wings ($9.99 for nine pieces) or a boneless version ($10.49 for 10 pieces) coated in a sauce smorgasbord rivalling the famed buffalo-wing-fests of Valhalla. Options cover the entire spectrum of connoisseur drizzlings, including tangy, barbecue, honey-tinged, creamy, and fruity variants, each one rated on a spice scale ranging from no-heat and palate-scorching to magma-approved. The kitchen also whips up nonavian edibles such as a veggie wrap of crisp greens, red onions, and shredded cheese encased in a white or whole-wheat tortilla ($7.49). Crunchy Wild fries made from skin-on potatoes can arrive unadorned or bedecked with seasonings such as hickory or mango chipotle ($4.99, $.99 for seasoning).