So, in the past three months, I’ve been in 5 states and three countries, and had two mailing addresses: in other words, I’ve moved and traveled a LOT. Thus, not so many reviews because, to be honest, I’ve been eating out everywhere BUT Cincinnati, and when I have been home, I’ve been eating places I’ve already reviewed.
Not so good for a food blogger, right?
So, right before we went on Christmas vacation, Terry and I were hungry for lunch and exploring our new neighborhood. Okay, sure, our neighborhood just moved two blocks west, but we realized that, in the three years I’d lived in Over-the-Rhine, neither Terry nor I had eaten at Venice on Vine. As we had no groceries and were hungry for lunch before our evening flight, we walked there for a quick lunch.
Venice on Vine is a restaurant with a great story. They serve pizza and hoagies and a few other items– all of them nice for a quick lunch. They’re not extraordinary or gourmet. The people who work there, however, are pretty special.
Venice on Vine is basically a “teaching restaurant”. All of the employees are involved in on-the-job training provided by the nonprofit “Power Inspires Progress”, run by two Catholic nuns. The employees are all inner city residents who are trying to better themselves and provide for their families, and they work here to learn the ins and outs of restaurant life.
The prices are reasonable– $5.50 for a hoagy, $1.50 for a slice of pizza– and they also cater their pizzas and some other items (breakfast and baked goods, most notably) to local businesses. Their food is good quality, has a good price, and most importantly, they pay a living wage and train people to move up in life. Pretty neat.
It’s also pretty delicious. It’s not a place to go if you are in a hurry– the signs all say that food takes a bit longer since it’s prepared to order and people are learning how to do a job as they serve you– but if you have a bit of time to spare, it’s a great choice on Vine Street. It’s always nice to feel good about where your money goes when you eat, isn’t it?
Terry got a hoagy, with the cheese and mushroom sauce. It was crispy and hot, but he would probably order the pizza sauce next time.
I had a piece of cheese pizza. The sauce was just spicy enough, with a good layer of cheese and a crispy crust. I probably could have eaten two slices, as I ended up nibbling a bit on Terry’s hoagie.
Venice on Vine also offers salads, vegetarian and vegan entrees, and can provide whole pizzas. Their hours are limited– I understand why they might not be able to be open late– but it’s a great choice for lunch or dinner (before 8 PM).