Funky Monkey

. November 5, 2019.
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Monroe pizzeria provides a totally righteous retro dining experience, dude

Let’s face it… ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia is a bit overdone, as the foundation for current pop culture. Now that acid wash is back, it’s a trend that’s truly jumped the shark (pardon the 1970s throwback).

But Brass Monkey in Monroe, Michigan gets the late-20th Century retro right—a fun, comfortable mom-n-pop owned trip down memory lane of the most delicious kind. Their pizza is tubular, their soft pretzels awesome, and their drink menu is straight out of your high school years—right on down to Boone’s Farm and Bartles & Jaymes.

Pizza, pretzels, pure shenanigans

Located at the end of an unassuming strip mall, Brass Monkey looks like a Gen X/Gen Y high schoolers room, with dozens of movie posters, framed pictures of everyone from Jon Bon Jovi to Biz Markie to John Candy in “Uncle Buck,” to a beautiful print (in more ways than one) of Danica McKeller as Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years.” If you came of age during the age of Reagan or Clinton, this place is the most fun you’ll have at a pizza parlor since your parents took you to Chuck-E-Cheese for your 8th birthday.

And the made-from-scratch food is pure bliss. We started with two delicious drinks, the Orange Julius Martini (yes, it tastes just like its namesake) and the delightfully fruity and potent Blue Mother Trucker. We also ordered the garlic parmesan pretzel, which was served with a housemade cheese dip and marinara. Remember those big pretzels you used to get at the mall? Brass Monkey’s version is simply incredible—soft, chewy without being rubbery, and perfectly seasoned. And the accompanying sauces are so good you’ll need to remind everyone at the table to avoid double-dipping.

The Monkey’s wood-fired artisan 14-inch pizzas are served New Haven-style, an offshoot of foldable New York City-style pie. The crust is crispy and the center is chewy, making for a perfect slice. The pies have great retro names, such as the Purple Rain, a vegan-friendly extravaganza featuring pesto, zucchini, peppers, red onion, sweet corn, tomato, mushroom, arugula, and drizzled with beet juice. The late, great Prince, a noted vegan, would have loved this baby. For omnivores, Cruel Intentions is made with red sauce, lamb meatballs, Italian sausage, bacon, chicken, onion, and peppers. Wonderfully cheesy and hearty, you won’t go home hungry after a few slices of this one.

The ultimate test of any pizzeria is their pepperoni pizza, and the No Diggity provides the perfect take on the classic pie. Made with Brass Monkey’s fabulous cheese blend, these slices melt in your mouth.

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All about fun

And then there are the Monkey Rolls—chewy and wonderfully spicy cinnamon rolls the size of ostrich eggs. They come in orders of three or six, but trust us on this one … you will need to share. One Monkey Roll is a freakin’ meal in itself and comes caked with mounds of delicious homemade frosting.

At Brass Monkey, it’s all about fun. Fun atmosphere. Fun food. A fun, friendly staff. And fun memories. This place is radical, dude.

11am-10pm, daily.
391 N. Telegraph Rd., 734-636-5450.
facebook.com/brassmonkeypizza