Okay, this week I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules: I’m going to a chain restaurant. Yes, we’re going to get pizza at Monical’s Pizza, which is a chain restaurant. One of the reasons is I really like Monical’s pizza. The second reason is that even thought it’s part of a chain, it’s got it’s own unique design with cool pictures and knick-knacks on the walls and the third reason is that there’s a tree in the middle of the front dining room. There’s only two pizza parlors with trees in them in Peoria as far as I know. Leonardo’s is one of them and we’ve already been there and so tonight we will go to the other tree pizza parlor in town. We’ll be branching out, if you will. Kind of going out on a limb. Okay, enough of these bad puns, let’s just leaf and get going already!
We are off and Monical's is just up the road ahead.
And here we are at the 35th pizza parlor of the tour, Monical's Pizza.
Let's go inside and let the saucy festivities begin!
As we enter the front area, I see it already...
The tree! It's a lot bigger than the one in Leornardo's and it's all lit up and quite the festive tree!
In addition to the lights and foliage covering the tree, there's stuffed animals hanging from it like this teddy bear hanging from a limb.
The cow goes, "moo!" That's udderly fantastic!
Adam's the assistant manager here and he told me that trees used to be in every Monical's, but they stopped that tradition and this is the last Monical's to have a tree in it. Glad we got to document it here on MBIP before some corporate weasel decides to give it the ax!
Tables are lined up on either side of the tree here in the front dining room.
Wooden booths line the walls behind the tables...hey, who's that guy in the booth over there...
Our pretty waitress for the evening is Cameron, who's very friendly and a great waitress!
Hanging over us on the wall next to our booth was a cover of the album, "Herman's Hermit's On Tour," that brought back memories of Mike Foster's Herman post and also of a Marty After Dark post where I went to Bleecker Bob's Records in Greenwich Village. Sadly Bleecker Bob's closed in 2012 and I'm not sure what's in the storefront now.
Behind the main dining room are more rooms to sit and enjoy pizza pie and other treats on the menu.
There's more tables and booths back here and the walls are loaded with cool signs, art and knick-knacks.
This Wizard of Oz poster brings back memories of a Chip Joyce post!
And this vintage Triumph ad goes out to the official MBIP Gearhead himself, "Boris!"
Here's a back party room that features a super long table for large groups.
And the walls are plastered with pictures back here as well.
Here's a cool photo of Elvis Costello in concert.
Emily was clearing off a table back here and happily posed and flashed a great smile for the MBIP camera.
Meanwhile back at the booth, I received a text from our third guest star that she was running late, so Bob and I ordered up some appetizers while we waited. The plump chicken wings were tasty and had a nice spicy flavor without being too overwhelming.
We also got an order of Pepperollies, which are fresh baked pepperoni rolls. They come with marinara sauce, but I asked for melted cheese and here's one with a healthy dollop of the cheese on top. Very tasty!
And just as we were finishing up the appetziers, the third guest star magically appeared, it's MBIP pal and somewhat frequent guest star, Clare! The pizza party can officially begin now!
And as you can see, it has begun, here's Cameron with our three pizza pies.
Bob got sausage and cheese...
Clare got mushrooms and black olives...
And before I reveal my pizza, I must show that the only hot sauce available is the ever-present and much-dreaded Frank's Red Hot Sauce. I gotta start remembering to bring the giant Ragin' RR Tabasco sauces!
Here's the MBIP pizza of the week, all sauced and peppered up. I got double cheese and steak. I've never seen steak offered as a topping, so I had to try it.
Here's two slices and I put them on the ever-important cooling plate to begin that process and I ordered up a beer. Sadly, Cameron delivered the news that because of a special liquor license, you can only drink three beers per sitting at Monical's. Well that sure was some sad and bitter news to digest, but thankfully I still had a few sips left in my bottle and decided to soldier on.
The pizza is always good and tasty here. The cheese is fresh and the sauce is tangy with just a hint of sweetness coming through. The steak was okay, but didn't really add much to the taste of the pizza. I'll probably stick with sausage on my next trip here. And I'll remember to drink a little slower and save the third beer for when the pie arrives.
And now, time for the weekly cold pizza challenge. And yes, the craft beer corner of the MBIP fridge is still empty. Kind of a sad sight, i"ll try to correct that next week.
It's delicious! We'll see you all tomorrow!
Three Chef Boyardees—The only chain restaurant recommended here on MBIP. Oh okay, full disclosure, once in a while I get chili-mac at Steak ‘n’ Shake. But for the most part, please shop local!
Related posts: YOP @ Goodfellas, Two25 In The Mark Twain Hotel, McCritter’s Bar & Grill, Firehouse Pizza Pub, Grady’s Pizza, Castle’s Patio Inn, Aurelio’s Pizza, The Pour House, No Wake Zone, Farmington Pizza Company/Acme Saloon, Tobin’s Pizza, Joe’s Sports Grille, Broken Tree, Hoops Pub & Pizza, Oliver's Pizza & Pub North, Rizzi’s on State, Bacci Pizza, Veterans Pub and Pizza, Larry’s Driftwood Pizza, Norwood Pub ‘N’ Grub, Barrister’s Pizza and Pub, Mickie’s Pizzeria, Double A’s, Lucca Grill, Avanti’s, Leonardo’s, Lou’s La Grotto, Knuckles Pizza, Davis Bros. Pizza, Kenny’s Westside Pub, Dave’s Pizza, Peoria Pizza Works, Sugar and Agatucci’s.
Bob and Marty Art by Jaws the Cabbie
Jaws the Cabbie showed what playful pizza goofs Bob and I really are! Ha! Thanks, Jaws!