Editor’s Note: As of 2018, this restaurant has closed.
180 E Freedom Way
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Opened by the owners of next-door Holy Grail at Cincy’s upscale The Banks development, Santo Graal is an Italian concept with one very cool idea: Pizza by the slice at The Banks — it’s novel, especially with all of the bars that bring people out en masse to this area. It’s hard to get out of most of the restaurants here without paying a pretty penny, if you can manage the crowds especially on the weekends when just about every venue is shoulder-to-shoulder. In that context, $5 for a slice of pizza seems like a pretty good deal. The pizza here isn’t going to blow your mind away, but it’s another take on the “drunk food” business model for a different city.
The pizza here is that heavy-crust, heavy-cheese variety that fills stomachs and makes for a good solid late-night snack. It comes in a few different toppings, top it with pepperoni, or extra cheese, or whatever you like for a few upcharges. But if there’s one thing to take away from the place, it’s the topping you put on that slice when you’re done ordering: a shaker with parmesan cheese, garlic and oregano. Put some of it on. Put a lot of it on. It adds a nice dimension.
The spot is a walk-up, no seats, and more often than not you’ll find yourself among the revelers who have come to the banks to celebrate. Of course there isn’t a ton else to experience here, it’s a pretty simple place, with a pretty simple business model and a product that is designed for one pretty simple purpose. But it is an experience unique at The Banks, and definitely a little bit of a fun thing to add to your night. The price point is pretty simple, and the service at the walk-up window is courteous and adds to the fun of the night. That’s an experience that speaks for itself.