Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chain-O-Rama: Monical's Pizza

I have some trepidation about reviewing pizza. Some people take it very, very seriously. Some have very strong biases towards regional styles (Chicago, California, New York, Colorado, Mississippi.... okay, maybe not Mississippi).

Me, I just like pizza. I prefer Giordanos over Uno's. I like various versions of NY Style, both locally and stuff I've tried on trips to NYC. And, I love Beau Jo's out in Colorado (and the honey that is served for the crust). But, I also like chain locations like Pizza Hut and Donatos. Anyhow... over the long weekend we stopped in at the Monical's at Glendale Mall. This place is tucked on the backside (east) of the mall, and I'm not sure how many people actually see it as they shoot up or down Keystone (there are at least 2 other locations in town). Anyhow, we've picked it up at various times, and since I ultimately prefer thin crust, we do like Monical's. We had the Italian Special this time, as that is the Better Half's choice. It has sausage, onions, green olives, mushrooms and banana peppers. It's tasty, but maybe a bit too heavy on the green olives for my liking.

Anyhow, I like it. It's tasty, its satisfying. No, nothing exceptional, though. Verdict - 3 belly rubs.

What I find pretty interesting about pizza places is that so many seem to have a background of some humble beginnings from a college campus. Up at Purdue, we used to have a Garcia's Pizza by the Slice, and the lore was that two Illini students took their tuition and opened it up and were now fabulous wealthy. This inspired me to... well, do nothing, really, other than to brain storm. This was back in the very late 80s, and New York Seltzer was big. I would tell my roommate we needed to start up a soda line. I wanted to call it Purple Mountain Majesty, and we'd play off patriotic themes. This could then have been spun off into Amber Waves of Grain bread. Instead, he decided to pursue a PhD in the stickiness of polymers or something like that. My friend, Dr. Lew Zer......

Anyhow, Monical's was founded near Olivet Nazarene University. Mellow Mushroom was founded near Georgia Tech University. Papa John's was founded by a former Ball State student who appears to have learned the trade from Greek's Pizzeria, which started in Muncie (by the way - I've not tried it... is Greek's any good?).

I don't really know if the guys that started Garcia's actually got fantastically wealthy. But, I like to hope they did. Maybe they're down near Zihuatanejo, Mexico living off the spoils of their pizza slinging days. Cheers, mates....

Slice is also a fun site to bounce out to for pizza-related information.


Anonymous said...

Greeks is very good. If you're ever around Muncie you should try it out. It's more or less the only non-chain pizza place in Muncie.

Anonymous said...

haha nice - love the new york seltzer reference! that's a dusty ol memory.

I feel the same way about pizza as I do about beer--- passionate about the best-crafted examples, but not at all above something ordinary and mass-market.

Best pizza I've ever had was from an Italian ex-pat in Cahuita, Costa Rice. 'Corleone's'

Tom H

Tucan Samantha said...

I love Greek's, but hate to break it to the poster above that they've branched out- there is a Greek's in Fishers and on the SOuthside. If you like Hawaiian, I think theirs is the best.

Have you tried Brozinni's yet?! BEST of the best:

On the college note, I went to University of Evansville where everyone loved their potato pizza... I mostly just liked dollar beer night.

Angela said...

Monical's has a good BBQ Chicken pizza if you like that kind of thing.

Monical's Pizza said...

Thanks for the review!

Monical's Pizza started in Tolono, IL (just south of Champaign, IL and University of Illinois) in 1959.

Leslie said...

I am not a big fan of their pizza. My husband loves it and so that is what I got him for his birthday party.