Monical’s Pizza is a small chain located primarily in Central Illinois with a few locations in Indiana and one in Wisconsin. I grew up eating at locations in Bradley, IL and Watseka, IL. Monical’s was always the hang out after football games and where we went with large groups before hitting the movies. While in Champaign for the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track Championships, I got reacquainted with this childhood memory.
Monical’s actually got it’s start in nearby Tolono, IL. The restaurant on Kriby Ave. is one of the new Big Tomato locations which has a bigger menu than just the pizza Monical’s has served since the late 1950’s. I didn’t actually get to eat in the store. The manager on my job ordered a bunch of pizza for dinner one night since we weren’t able to get a real dinner break.
Monical’s is a super-thin crust and crispy pizza. There are actually spices added to the crust which give the pizza an interesting flavor. Usually on thin crust pizza, you get a pretty bland crust. With Monical’s, you actually have to wipe your hands clean because you end up with spices on them. Instead of being cut into wedges, the pizza is cut in tiny squares. Just something elset that makes them stand out above the usual pizza pie. The sauce is a thin red sauce with a little bit of a kick then cheese and toppings are piled on. Where I’m from, Monical’s pizza can’t be eaten without their signature sweet and tart salad dressing. I always thought it was wierd, but people actually have the waitress keep the salad dressing on the table when the pizza came, but people just love this stuff. You can actually buy bottles of the dressing on their website.
Over the years, it kind of seems like the pizza has changed and not in the good way. The location I always used to go to in Bradley is now closed and the other locations just don’t have the same feel to them as this one did, so I’ve kind of been turned off to their pizza. I’ve eaten at many of the locations and every now and then it’s just good to go back to an old favorite. That’s how this weekend felt when I was unintentionally scarfing down a whole pizza. It’s not usually my first choice any more, but when it’s put in front of me, I can’t help but wolf it down.