We visited Famoso on Whyte Ave for dinner and it was a rather odd experience, in that, the service model is set up as a "part-full-service" restaurant experience. What I mean is, when you walk in, you are greeted with a sign that explains the particulars: seat yourself, make your order at a counter, and the food is delivered to your table.
The issues I observed with this model are a peculiar method of getting your food, while an arsenal of servers are, more often than not, twiddling their thumbs waiting to take away empty plates or bring food from the kitchen.
When we walked in, a server was waiting at the front and let us know that there was a patio out back, had she not informed us, we would have ended up at bar-type seating since the patio entrance is not obvious to a customer new to the restaurant. (So I was happy she let us know!)
The ordering experience was a weird game of telephone, where each of us in at our table would take a pad and paper and write down what they would like to eat and drink and then a designated person from the table would walk up to the ordering counter (this time it was me). The restaurant was loud, so I was having issues telling the girl behind the counter our order, I ended up giving the paper to her and us trying to decipher the various writing styles of each person's order. So all in all, the order info, passed from the individual person, to a designated ordering person from each table, to the lady at the counter and then to the kitchen. Inevitably, the message got crossed at one point or another when someone's pizza arrived with onions when they requested that they hold them. So our table server (another participant in the restaurant telephone game), corrected the order and resent the pizza, this time without onions. They comp'd the pizza which is good, but this whole model seemed a little unnecessary when there were perfectly abled-bodied servers that could take everyone's order and then they, themselves, could ensure that the order is made as specified, not an army of people, which as most know, is a recipe for information to get mixed up or omitted entirely.
This also brings up the issue about tipping, there is an option to pay when ordering at the counter or paying at the end with a server. How much do you tip a server who doesn't perform a portion of their "normal" duties? I don't really know the correct answer, but their portable credit card machines had "pre-determined" tipping rates of 20%, 15% and 10% (don't quote me on the exact rates, but they are within this ballpark) so I thought this was a little presumptuous to indicate suggested rates, but what if I paid at the counter when ordering? I wouldn't tip then, I haven't even gotten any food at that point. This service model poses questions that I haven't really considered up until I went to pay and started wondering. Maybe someone else has some ideas, who knows?
So I don't know if this appeals to hipsters or something, because it is odd and different, but it was rather distracting to the food, which was good, but ended up as a peculiar game of "Restaurant Telephone".
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.