Restaurant Review: Monical’s Pizza

April 25, 2009

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First, I’d like to welcome the new readers who came here via The Digerati Life. Read the current articles, explore the archives, and consider becoming a subscriber. We’ve been pretty sports-heavy in the last week – if you look through the archives, you’ll see that we’re usually a lot more eclectic.

Second, I am happy to announce the release of my new eBook – Selling Yourself Short – An Introduction to Short Story Writing. Selling Yourself Short is a 2500 word introduction to the process of short story writing – from creating your writing environment to developing the plot. In an effort to keep this handy guide affordable to all of our readers, the everyday price is just $1.49. However, for the next week, the price is just 99 cents. Don’t like it? There’s a money back guarantee! Buy it today at the Hyrax Publications store.

And now, on to this vintage article – a review of my favorite restaurant in the whole world.


I find myself in the situation of living several hours away from my favorite restaurant, the result of a move six years ago.  If you ever find yourself in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin, look up Monical’s Pizza.  You’ll be glad you did.

I travel into Monical’s country exactly once a year on a business trip.  After checking into my hotel, I always make a beeline for Monicals.  I also try to hit it at least one other time during the trip.  On my most recent trip, I ate there three times.

The menu at Monical’s features pizza, of course.  You can also get pasta and sandwiches.  I almost always get the pizza, but I’ve also had the spaghetti and meatballs, which are quite good.

Over the years, I have refined my order and have it down to a science.  I get the Individual Pleaser (a combo meal that includes a pizza, salad, and soft drink).  I choose the 8″ thin crust pizza topped with bacon, ham, hamburger, steak, green peppers, and premium blend cheese (a mozzarella/cheddar mix).  I get the salad sans tomatoes and carrots due to an intolerance of vegetables.

The salad comes out immediately.  In my case, simply lettuce topped with shredded cheese.  I’m not a big fan of salads, but the Monical’s salads are always good.  The lettuce is always quite fresh.  The best part of the salad, however, is the french dressing.  Monical’s has quite simply the best french dressing in the world.  If you don’t believe me, go to their web site and order a few bottles.  Unlike a lot of restaurants which give you only a small bit of dressing, Monical’s brings a bottle to the table and lets you use as much as you want.

The construction of my salad is an art.  First, I picked up the entire salad with one hand and hold the bottle in the other hand, laying down a solid base layer of dressing.  Then I drop 1/3 of the lettuce into the bowl and put down another layer of dressing.  By the time I am finished, the lettuce is swimming in the dressing – just as God intended.

When the pizza comes out, it is hot and crispy.  It isn’t burnt, but it’s just on the brink – at the exact level of crispiness that gives the crust a perfect taste.  My particular pizza presents a small problem.  I have a lot of meat toppings, and this gives to toppings a slickness that makes is difficult for the toppings to adhere to the crust.  I fight a small war against the pizza, attempting to take bites that contain equal bits of crust and topping.  Overall, I win the war, but I do lose a few battles, and some of the toppings slide off the crust just as I take a bite.

So the food is great, but what about the people?  Honestly, I’m not sure where they find their employees.  In the overall retail world, it seems that employees have become fairly rude.  This has never been the case when I have eaten at Monicals.  I have always found their employees to be extremely polite and friendly.

OK, but surely the high quality food and good service come at a price, right?  Yep.  I spend the incredible sum of $8.82 on my meal – a pizza with 6 toppings, salad, and soft drink.  I could spend almost that much on a burger at a fast food joint and get only a fraction of the enjoyment.

Is there a regional chain in you’re area that you’re a big fan of?  Tell me about it.

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