The restaurant industry has seen tremendous growth in Red Deer lately and as residents and patrons of these restaurants, we stand to benefit. Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is a chain that opened up its first restaurant in Red Deer a little while ago. According to the official web site, there are chains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. I believe the original location was in Alberta.
When they first opened, they distributed coupons for Red Deerians to give them a try. I got one and it kept them in the back of my mind.
The Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria in Red Deer is located in downtown, in the same parking lot as the Real Canadian Superstore.
The interior benefited from the floor to ceiling glass, allowing plenty of sunlight in especially during the summer. The atmosphere was similar to a Tony Roma’s where it wasn’t too bright, but had a family dining room vibe to it.
The process of ordering is a little different at Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria. You are first shown to a table and instructed that when you are ready to order, we should get up and place your order at the cashier. Menus are readily available at each table with a booklet of order forms for you to check off what you want. However, oddly enough, you don’t actually need to use the order form as orders are placed verbally at the cashier. From what I gathered, you use the order form to remember what you want to order when you are at the cashier. This process gave me the impression that Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is right between a Chipotle Mexican Grill and a Tony Roma’s.
Drink orders, however, are taken by the wait staff so my wife ordered a Red Sangria. It is described as a “delicious, fresh fruit-based Italian wine punch spiked with blackcurrant liqueur and orange Italian soda”.
We decided to start with the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls(3) which were baked in Campania (famous for macaroni, pizza, and tomato sauce) tomato sauce with basil and percorino romano (sheep milk cheese). Flatbread accompanied the dish.
The Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls were a little burnt on top, likely due to the fire oven, but thanks to the high impact flavor players in the dish, there was no noticeable burnt taste.
This was a very savory dish. It was like having a deconstructed pizza which meant that all the ingredients naturally complimented each other. The Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls were filling and more importantly, flavorful.
The flatbread that accompanied the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls were perfect in completing the deconstructed pizza. Light leoparding was present which with my first bite confirmed a slightly crispy exterior with a soft pillowy interior. The flatbread was the ideal medium to support the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls.
Sitting in a Neapolitan Pizzeria demands one to order pizza so we chose the Siciliana which was a Neapolitan pizza topped with oven-roasted Italian sausage, Italian ham, baked prosciutto, and percorino romano.
The first thing that stood out when the Siciliana pizza arrived was the leoparding on the crust. Having a full view of the pizza oven and seeing the leoparding on the crust confirmed that Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria certainly takes pizza traditions seriously. Beyond the crust, the toppings looked amazing, fresh, and plenty.
I have to admit that ever since I had my first taste of prosciutto, I tend to gravitate to dishes involving that delicious Italian ham. It’s honestly why we ordered the Siciliana pizza here. The prosciutto did not disappoint and provided the usual salty, meaty flavors. The Italian sausage and ham further satisfied the carnivore in me.
With such generous toppings, there was an unfortunate setback. The pie base was not crispy, but rather limpy and soggy (the crust was crispy though). It was properly baked in a made-in-Italy fire oven, but may have been impossible to achieve or, perhaps, maintain a crispy bottom given the sheer amounts of toppings.
Other than the pie base, it was a delectable pizza with honest-to-goodness quality ingredients. You do get what you pay for. Still, maybe it was the atmosphere or the setting, but we have yet to find a pizza to match the ones that we enjoyed in Rome.
My wife wanted to try the Affogato which was a shot of expresso on top with a scoop of gelato.
She stated that the expresso was rich while the ice cream was smooth and delicate.
Not being a fan of coffee, I went with a Mango Sorbetto which was made with pure Alphonso mangoes.
The Mango Sorbetto was smooth without any ice particles, just what I expect from Italian Sorbetto. I definitely would drop by for gelato/sorbetto during the hot days of summer.
We definitely appreciated having a “fancy” pizzeria in the city and the opportunity to go on different culinary adventures in our backyard.