This is a blast from the pizza past. 

So the hypothetical I'll put before you is this. A magical pizza genie comes to you and says you can bring one of these franchises back to Rockford. You must choose one and death is not an option. Who do you pick?

Let's take a look at the candidates.

Rocky Rococo's:

I probably went to the Rocky Rococo's on State Street, where the Popeye's is now, no less than 100 times. It was one of my grandma's favorite places to go, so in turn it became one of my favorite places to go.

I never actually ordered a pizza from there, not even the Valentine's Day heart-shaped one. It was just slices upon slices. Breadsticks of course were always part of the order. Those breadsticks. These had so much parmesan on them, they made Little Ceasar's Crazy Bread taste bland. So good.

I don't have many memories of a specific time when I felt like I "grew up" during my childhood. But the day my parents let me order a Super Slice instead of a regular slice was definitely one of the times I felt like I was really growing up.

There was also a salad bar involved. I do not know if that was any good. My grandma seemed to enjoy it.


Like Rocky Rococo's, I never actually ordered a pizza from them, but instead of slices, Godfather's was all about the buffet.

There were essentially 2 pizza buffets in town when I was growing up. You had Pizza Hut or Godfather's and honestly, in my mind there really wasn't a question which one was better.

It was Godfathers by a mile.

I'll be honest with you, I can't really remember what the pizza tasted like. It's not because I didn't eat a lot of it, because I definitely did, but I just have no recollection of what the pizza actually tasted like. There was something on that buffet that I can close my eyes and remember EXACTLY what it tasted like, and that was the dessert pizza.

They had two kinds of dessert pizza, apple and cinnamon. Both were very good but the cinnamon was spectacular. I'd have 3 slices minimum. My healthy eating habits definitely started young.

My preference:

If this hypothetical magical pizza genie came to my door, I have to give the nod to Rocky Rococo. I have fond memories of Godfather's, but I think my days of pizza buffets are behind me. The idea of being able to indulge in a super slice and a cup of breadsticks for lunch once a month sounds pretty great, if we're being honest here.

If you want to still go to Rocky Rococo's you can still find some in Wisconsin, no more than an hour from Rockford. Hankering for some Godfather's? You'll have to drive a little farther. It looks like the closest one is in the Dakotas.

Note: I'm too young to ever have gone to Shakey's. I've heard great things.


Apparently, I don't know how to properly Google things because I received an email saying that there are a few Godfathers considerably closer.

Just wanted to inform you that Godfathers with actual buffets and not just the gas station godfather locations can be found in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Pekin Illinois likely being the closest to Rockford with a buffet. The pizza is still fantastic and yes the dessert pizza is amazing. If you want dessert pizza that taste identical to godfathers hit up Pizza Ranch in roscoe as it appears they have reopened now! Just thought I’d give you some help if you wanted to indulge on some of those childhood cravings!

Good to know. Looks like a road trip will be planned soon.

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