Monical’s Pizza of Bloomington – Veterans Parkway
Friday was a pretty tough day for me. I started out in Mackinaw City, MI at 7:00 AM and by 6:00 PM, I was 520 miles further south in Bloomington, IL. I’ll just give you the short story here. My grandma was in the hospital at OSF St. Joseph in Bloomington and her prospect of recovery was very, very slim.
I picked J and L up on my way south then we picked my mom up for the last leg of the trip. After spending a couple hours with my grandma, we left my mom at the hospital then we headed to find food and a hotel.
Well, the hotel part was easy. I Pricelined a craptastic hotel not too far away in Normal, but food was the option we still had to figure out for ourselves.
Bloomington/Normal is not uncharted territory for J and I. We worked in the area for several years and spent many days in the Twin Cities. Still, it’s been over five years and things change…and we sort of drew a blank.
I drew a blank anyway, J popped in right away with her choice. She noticed a Monical’s Pizza on the way in to town and that’s where she wanted to eat.
I’ve blogged about Monical’s Pizza in the past. Most recently was their shop in Kankakee, IL. It’s the pizza I grew up on and I introduced to J several years ago.
There are multiple Monical’s locations in the Bloomington/Normal area. We passed the one on Veterans Parkway near College Avenue in the City of Bloomington.
This location is in a strip mall across the street from The Shoppes at College Hills. The restaurant looks pretty small from the outside, but inside, the dining room is incredibly large. There are three or four separate dining rooms that stretch the length of the building.
We were a little worried that trying to get pizza on a Friday night wouldn’t be very easy, but we were shown to a table right away when we walked in. We opened the menus, but didn’t really need to look. I ran it by J first, but I just ordered what my family has always ordered at Monical’s….The Family Pleaser.
The Family Pleaser is Monical’s most recognizable menu item. It consists of a large pizza, a family salad, and a pitcher of pop. I was happy to see that the pop was Pepsi and J was willing to drink it with me. I was really jonesing for a Pepsi at that point.
The salad came out first. It’s really nothing special….just iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and carrots…, but the dressing is what makes the salad worth ordering.
The dressing is their own Sweet ‘n Tart that people actually used to steal from the restaurant. Several years ago, they got smart and started selling it. It’s one of the few times that you will actually see me eating salad at a restaurant.
A little while later, L got really excited when our waitress came over with our pizza. She screeched “PIZZA” when she noticed it was coming our way. We got pepperoni on half of the pizza and kept the other half plain cheese for L and J.
The pizza at Monical’s is a very, very thin cracker crust and it’s cut in to tiny squares. You can easily eat a “slice” in one bite. Heck, even L only needed a couple bites to put each piece away and she really went to town. She probably ate at least half of the cheese half of the pizza. J filled up on salad, so there were still a few pieces left when they got done. I had eaten my half of the pizza and just couldn’t bring myself to finish up the last remaining squares.
Monical’s Pizza is always a winner for us. Our bill was was right around $30 and all three of us left stuffed. All that was left was for us to get to our hotel to put this day behind us. After nine hours on the road, I was happy to end the day with something familiar.