When I first moved to Phoenix 14 years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to have my hair professionally styled before an important job interview. I didn’t have a relationship with a salon yet, so I picked Salon de Venus on Camelback Rd. and 20th St. mainly because I liked the 60s “modern” look of the building. Well, I got the job, but around the same time a friend graduated from cosmetology school so I didn’t continue to frequent the salon. It eventually went out of business, and I worried about what would happen to that cool building.
Much to my delight, we started seeing renovation activity at the location about two years ago. Mysterious signs went up, and eventually we discovered that a pizza parlor was opening up.
What thrilled us even more was to discover that it wasn’t just any pizza place – The Parlor Pizzeria is a high-quality but moderately priced restaurant with fresh ingredients and delicious wood-fired pizza. The first time we went there it was because we couldn’t handle the three-hour wait at Pizzeria Bianco (which also makes an awesome cheese-less pizza). They kept the beauty parlor theme of the location too – including reusing the salon chairs!
There are plenty of reviews online about how great the place is, so I’ll just focus on what I’ve found on the menu that’s vegan.
To start, order the Parlor Insalata but without the salami and feta.
It’s a pretty straight-forward salad but the dressing is light and flavorful, and the crispy chickpeas are a unique touch.
I also love their French fries – they are some of the best in the valley – but they come by default with a parmesan cheese coating. You can order them with “no cheese” without a problem though.
There are a handful of other appetizers that are possibly vegan without the cheese – but these are my standards.
One of the best features of The Parlor is the “build your own” pizza option. For vegans, the process is to cross through the protein and cheese options and write “no cheese” instead. And then, critically, ask for the marinara sauce instead of the pizza sauce, because the pizza sauce has cheese in it. From there you can select all sorts of fresh veggies and herbs. We normally have it with onions and bell peppers, and sometimes vine-ripe tomatoes.
The pizza dough is soft and thin, with just the right amount of slightly burnt crust bubbles. It’s perfect. The sauce is clearly fresh-made and delicious. They grow some of their own herbs and veggies out front, but I believe most everything is local and/or organic.
The whole meal usually costs us under $25 for two people, and although it isn’t Pizzeria Bianco, it’s darn close.
For more information on how The Parlor recycled the building, these two articles are great:
Phoenix New Times: The Parlor Pizzeria: Behind the Design with Aric Mei
Modern Phoenix: One Final Makeover For The Salon de Venus