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Rocky Rococo Party Pizzeria

In a word: Goes the distance and loses on decision.

The specs: #0552  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon, Yelp, The Culinary Adventures of Jahboh and Tossy, Slice; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Facebook.

Latest Rocky Rococo news and reviews

Andrea ate the #2 combo with salad, breadsticks and a soda.
Beth ate at the salad bar.
Chuck ate the sausage and pepperoni Super Slice.
JM ate the sausage and pepperoni Super Slice.
John R. ate the pepperoni pizza with a trip to the salad bar.
John S. ate the [sausage and pepperoni Super Slice, breadsticks with cheese and a fountain drink -- added after posting.]
Kami ate the #1 combo with a sausage and mushroom slice.
Kim ate the sausage and mushroom slice with a trip to the salad bar.
Lorraine ate a slice of garden pizza with a trip to the salad bar.
Nichole ate at the salad bar.
Rose ate the pepperoni pizza with breadsticks and a trip to the salad bar.
Ryan N. ate the garden pizza.
Steve ate the pepperoni and sausage pizza with a trip to the salad bar.
The bill was $6-8 per person.
Kami gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria an A; Andrea, Beth P., John R., and Lorraine gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria an A-; Ryan N. gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria a B+; Chuck, Kim, Rose, and Steve gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria a B; JM gave Rocky Rococo's a B-; Nichole gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria a C; Steve also gave Rocky Rococo's Party Pizzeria an F for "fun" (see our grading rubric).

We were a lucky 13 again for this, JM's sixth annual A to Z birthday work lunch partyfest-o-rama. A good time was had by all.

The draw of Rocky's is not really the food, at least at this one. It's the party part. At first glance, Ryan N. (on his first-ever trip to a Rocky's) wasn't sure if it was supposed to look more like a family fun restaurant a la  Chuck E. Cheese or more of a sit down restaurant, but despite the slight identity confusion, the interior was clean, colorful and interesting. Chuck said he was 'offended by the Italian stereotypes until Saverio stopped calling him Chucky'. (We don't get it either.) The ordering process was chaotic and crowded, but the counter service was reasonably fast.

Rocky's salad (from the bar)Group consensus was that the salad bar was clean but not fresh, with slightly wilted lettuce mix and Romaine with a bit of an "iron luster" to it. The AYCE option got you a plate; if you ordered a single trip, you got a bowl, and Andrea noted that she wished she'd sprung for the plate just so her various piles didn't have to touch. That's understandable - the bar offered a wide, conventional (or exotic, depending on your point of view) selection of items: peas, chickpeas, raisins, mushrooms, cucumbers, black olives, broccoli, sunflower seeds, alarmingly rubbery hard boiled eggs, macaroni salad, et cetera, with Italian, French or ranch dressings. 

The pizza here is made in great baking-sheet-sized swaths. With that comes a thick, doughy crust and plenty of salt and fat (but that's how they get all that flavor in, after all). If you get a vegetable slice, be prepared to have the veggies overwhelmed by the bulk underneath, as Ryan N. observed. Steve called the sausage the star of the pizza, and surprisingly tasty for a chain restaurant. JM, too, thinks Rocky's sausage is the best of its standard meats, especially since they rarely offer anything that would be outside traditional pizza guidelines. Those who got breadsticks reported that they were good, though the marinara is blah. Get the cheez sauce for the upcharge if you must dip your dunkers.

Rocky's slice

After lunch we all played enough skeeball to win JM a mini-football set for his desk, and pet Rocky Rocowcow on the way out.

Rocky Rocowcow

Comments

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I have to admit a very guilty-pleasure love of Rocky's. There's no pizza place like it. No one else has the guts to be this good/bad. The crust is always a soggy mess, their breadsticks weigh like 2 pounds and have no nutritional value, and their pepperoni pizzas are literally bathing in grease. But there's something completely delicious and endearing about the uniqueness and, indeed, tastiness of their 'pizzuh' (I hesitate to give what they serve a proper title). Breadsticks with cheez sauce is better than any (non-fried) junkfood anywhere. I'd bet on it. Their 'motherlode' with cheese in the crust is almost unctuous. I don't know how they came up with their recipes or approach but they're my favorite junkfood in town.

Laura and I get Rocky's about once a year. Always the Motherlode. Their crust is very sweet, but it's redeemed by the smoked mozzarella in the Motherlode's crust.

John S. ate the ???

Been to Rocky Rococo a couple times, average, but good. Any pizza crust with "built in" cheese ranks a notch higher by itself and I have a guilty pleasure for greasy pan style pizza, so need to try that sometime

It’s the only place that I know of in town other than Ginos that does Sicilian style, so it gets points for that alone in my book.

Their Garden of Eatin' veggie slice is a wonderful blend of 1)healthful veggies and 2)soggy, sweet, soft, greasy, AMAZING dough. Chalk me up as another who enjoys this guilty pleasure from time to tome!

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