Saturday, October 16, 2010

Restaurant: Venice on Vine

I have a backlog of restaurant posts, but I’m actually going to start with the most recent one I have as I was there last night and again today for lunch.

Venice on Vine is a pizza shop that is a part of Power Inspires Progress, or PIP. PIP operates small businesses in inner city Cincinnati to provide positive, meaningful work opportunities for adults with employment barriers. They stress academic learning, life skills and responsibility so that trainees gain the skills, attitudes, education and experience to be successful in the workforce. Yes, that is straight from their mission statement.


Good food for a good cause. As advertised. Venice on Vine is a regular pizza shop, selling whole pies, slices, and hoagies, but the good news is they sell vegan pizza! However, like many downtown Cincinnati businesses they focus on the lunch crowd, so they’re closed early in the evening and on weekends. I’d been meaning to get there, but the hours were never convenient. Excuses, excuses.

I heard they were having a fundraiser pizza party last night and would be open until 9:00 p.m., so I asked Alex if he wanted to go to the $15 pizza buffet. Initially, he scoffed at the price but was easily persuaded that his money was going to a good cause. I had also heard that their vegan pizza would be on the buffet; only a few places in town currently offer a vegan pizza. They had the vegan pizza on the buffet, as well as a really good tossed salad, and Alex (my vegetarian partner) enjoyed several varieties of gourmet pizza including Greek, three cheese, and caramelized onions that were sweet enough to be a dessert.

024 Vegan pizza with Daiya, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Also some Greek pizza with lots of olives and spinach. And some tasty, veggie-ful, salad with balsamic dressing.


Music for the night was provided by The Dialtones, a Motown band that had everyone’s foot tapping.

I ended up back there for lunch today, during a Give Back Cincinnati Event where we learned about poverty and homelessness in the city and spent time talking to residents and learning about the organizations that are trying to help. I was really impressed with some idealistic high school boys who are working to change legislation about discrimination in hiring ex-cons who have served their time. I could tell a personal story here: one of the few times I interviewed potential employees, I explained to my then-boss that this interviewee was misunderstood in a gun fight and we should hire him. He served his time, his brother (an employee of the company) visited him every weekend, and we should hire him. Instead, he had the interviewee hired at Wendy's and we did not hire him. There goes my naievete.

I actually brought my own lunch, anticipating the vegetarian option being cheese pizza:


They didn’t have vegan pizza at the event; I brought a sandwich with maple-walnut pesto, lettuce, and tomato on Ezekiel bread. My teammates laughed at me for photographing my half-eaten sandwich, so I explained the blog.


Can you see that this mentions vegan pizza? Not only do they have a vegan hoagie, but they have vegan pizza on their menu now. Go get some, at a great location that is truly great pizza for a great cause.


  1. Wow, you are so lucky to have a variety of good, vegan-friendly restaurants in town. I also admire you for all the activism you do.

  2. The vegan pizza looks delish & what cool events they're hosting!

  3. Those sound like great events for wonderful causes. V. cool about the vegan pizza too, looks fab. But I'm especially interested in that maple walnut pesto...

  4. I know - the pesto sounds great. Funny imagining their reactions to you photographing your sandwich - I've been there.

  5. $15 buffet sound pretty reasonable unless you're going to Shoney's. I'd be willing to pay big bucks for a buffet w/vegan 'za.

  6. Sounds like a great event. I love things like that for a good cause. I think the half eaten sandwich pic was cute. Nice light on that pic too. ;-)


  7. Pizza...yum! I would have had to eaten there was for a good cause! That's cool what they are doing!
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets laughed at for photographing their

  8. The pesto is really good! I used the recipe from Veganomicon but I eyeballed the measurements. Give it a try!

  9. Hey Jessica:
    Thanks for the nice comments about Venice on Vine! I want you to know that we are now open on Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30 p.m. to serve your Vegan pizza needs on the weekend.
    We also have a vegan hoagie- it is veggies and pizza sauce on vegan wheat rounds.

    Also, we're having another of those all you can eat live music pizza parties on Friday May 6! So come for lunch, come for dinner, come for the party, and thanks for your support!
    Rina from Venice on Vine