This was my first Edmonton Foodie Meetup, and what a treat it was! 16 of us got together at Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria at 11750 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton. We perched ourselves on top of wobbly stools and settled in for an evening of chit-chat and food blog banter.
Since the fine people at Famoso are probably waiting to read a review, I shan’t keep them waiting any longer.
Famoso’s staff were inviting and friendly. I found the greeting and introductions to be your typical franchise “keep it consistent” script. Despite this, the information was good and useful as you need to be told how the place works otherwise you’d be sitting at your table waiting for your food and wine forever. Instead, you are happily encouraged to place your own order at the counter, and then return to your table and wait for delivery. This sort of system works well for impatient people like me.
The drinks came quickly. Michael had a Caesar, and seemed to be yum-yumming over the pickled pepper he found in it. I had a 9 oz glass of red, and I was counting on their on-line menu to provide me the name today, but alas, it is not there. It was red and quite nice, but definitely not “muscular” as the sample I was served later in the evening. It served its purpose quite nicely though and reminded me of school days when my friend Colette and I would go to Chianti’s in Calgary for an inexpensive, yet delicious Italian supper, complete with wine. We felt quite grown up and mature. Yesterday, I felt truly mature, as one would describe cheese, wine and people over the age of 40, as we were the first to leave, because Michael needed his cup of tea, and I needed my couch. No offense to the crowd. We’re just old and have a schedule for things like drinking cups of tea and resting with feet propped up on pillows.
The photo above shows my supper selection. I decided to start with a base-line, and ordered a plain Margherita pizza: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil. Michael had the same, but dressed his up with mushrooms and anchovies. Both were quite delicious, and it should be noted it was my first experience at eating an anchovy. It was nice and tasty, but clings to you, if you know what I mean. To put the pizza in perspective for size, here’s a picture of me holding a slice. You can see Famoso is very generous with their servings.
Now I’ll leave it up to you to read their corporate blurb about how the pizzas are made, but it is worth noting that these are hand-tossed. And, if you carry a list of issues like my sister does, you can be reassured that if the staff tossing the dough have hairy knuckles, they will be immaculately clean, shaved or waxed (or so said our quasi-sommerlier) to prevent knuckle hair anywhere near your pizza crust.
All the food that was ordered at our table looked yummy. A consistent theme seemed to be the chewy crusted pizza – I recall a salmon and caper model being delivered to the adorable and charming Béné across the table from us, and Michael and I both “oooohed and aahhhhed” when it was delivered. Also across from us was a pizza that had a pretty, but tangled bed of arugula in the middle of it. Although my first instinct is to be leery of people who eat beds of arugula for fun, Kelley of Cookbook Cooks http://cookbookcooks.wordpress.com/ turned out to be a very interesting and fun person to dine with! Valerie and Beavie sat on my right, and Valerie had the minestrone soup with meatballs. It looked like a bowl of pasta sauce, but who doesn’t like pasta sauce? Beavie didn’t eat, nor talk very much, but was very patient with us all, although I’m sure I heard a few impatient sighs as I poked him in his tummy a few times. Valerie is A Canadian Foodie, and can be found here: http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/. Valerie also made us homemade truffles that were sinfully rich, delicious and so perfectly satisfying I almost needed a cigarette afterwards.
Lea from XOX http://xox.lealea.net/ who has an impressive grown-ups camera, has her finger on the pulse of the Indian food scene in Edmonton, and highly recommended the Punjab Sweethouse on 34th Avenue for delicious, authentic Indian food at a very reasonable price. She also shares our disdain at eating sushi that is still frozen. We had quite the discussion about the perils of sushi eating in Alberta. But we consoled ourselves by feeling smug about our beef and feeling sorry for anybody outside of Alberta trying to find a piece of quality beef at a reasonable price.
As it is with large groups of people, I didn’t have an opportunity to chat with very many of my fellow bloggers. When I’m perched on the top of a wobbly stool, I try not to move or breathe lest the thing crashes to the floor, so was envious of the social Maki of In My Element fame http://www.inmy-element.blogspot.com/ who was able to easily maneuver through the crowd to say hello and introduce herself to everyone. Other lovely bloggers at the table were:
If I missed anyone out, I am so sorry. I’ll catch you next time!
It was an eclectic, fun and happy group of people sitting around that table last night, and I was very proud to be be considered part of the Foodie scene in Edmonton.
A huge thank you to Sharon of Only Here for the Food http://www.onlyhereforthefood.ca/ and Chris of Eating is the Hard Part http://eatingisthehardpart.com/ for organizing this event. A thank you also for Famoso staff and patrons for putting up with us and our flashing cameras! It was great fun, and Michael and I already look forward to the next Edmonton Foodie Meetup.
Until next time!