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.
New Asian Village feels like a palace, and it's not only the lofty two-story ceilings, long, elegant tables, or impressive columns flanking the entrance that give that impression. Silk curtains surround guests in individual areas, imparting privacy, a sense of luxury, and an appreciation for the cultivation of silk fields that goes into making a silk curtain. But the true sign of decadence is the food. An intricate tiled backsplash surrounds chefs as they create curries using traditional East Indians recipes, crafting each fiery bowl of lamb curry with fresh ingredients. Pillowy pieces of naan accompany meals, and guests are encouraged to scoop up chunks of chicken or vegetables hot from the tandoori oven with the flavorful bread while listening to sitar music.
At more than 10 locations throughout Canada, Badass Jack's satisfies appetites for tasty and nutritious subs and wraps. The menu is populated with more than 20 items under 400 calories. That includes the small Singapore chicken wrap weighing in at a mere 187 calories and the 329-calorie small club sub. Heartier appetites aren't left wanting, either, with Badass Jack's cheesy grilled Philly wrap and large beef club. Adding a spice of variety to the sandwich mix, they also let customers build their own Asian-style boxes with a choice of protein such as meatballs or falafel, along with a selection of veggies, sauces, and noodles. They serve plenty of gluten-free options, too.
In 1961, Larry Campbell took his grade-school pal Jack Clarke to a neighbourhood corner store to show him the seemingly endless line of customers waiting for ice cream. Soon thereafter, the duo opened Jack's Drive-In, which has remained in the same spot for more than five decades. The public?s passion for ice cream has stayed just as steadfast, and, as a result, the drive-in?s menu has changed little since the '60s. Visitors can satiate their sweet teeth with 20 milkshake flavours?including pineapple and licorice?or soft-serve ice cream with optional candy mix-ins. On the savoury side, cooks whip up corn fritters, craft Mexican-style poutine, and crown buffalo burgers with fried onions and barbecue sauce.
Eschewing the dainty portions that some steak houses try to pass off as meals, Campbell’s Restaurant and Steakhouse prides itself on pairing hearty plates of steak-house and comfort fare with a low-key, neighbourly vibe. Though the restaurant’s all-day menu harbours dishes that range from omelettes to full racks of ribs, these generous portions serve as the common thread that unites the diverse elements and keeps guests returning throughout the day for more. After the sun sets on breakfast and lunch, soft lights illuminate the expansive dining room, where families and groups share platters of dry ribs and sizzling cheese toast and lone fishermen dangle baited hooks over plates of salmon salad.
Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen was founded in 2004 in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, and has successfully expanded to 60 locations throughout Canada by offering fast pan-Asian cuisine full of nutritious ingredients. The menu ornaments chopsticks with Thai, Indian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine, and some of its options follow the Health Check program guidelines put together by the Heart and Stroke Foundation's registered dietitians. At every location, patrons delight in chicken, beef, and vegetables clinging to jasmine rice and noodles while watching flat-screen TVs and celebrating this Chinese New Year, the Year of the Heffalump.