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Rocco’s not-so-modern pizzeria

Observer Scene | Monday, November 15, 2004

For the college student, pizza is a cheap, fast and easy way to satisfy your cravings. Sometimes quality just doesn’t matter these days. Goofy commercials of muppets, stringing cheese and a man claiming to be your father try to sell poor quality, non-authentic, Italian disappointments (no we’re not talking about Armani knockoffs). Wouldn’t you rather come to place where everybody knows your name? We’re not talking about some trashy Boston bar, but Rocco’s on St. Louis Ave. It’s a little hometown pizzeria that’s been servin’ it up since 1951. We gave the atmosphere at Rocco’s four sporks out of five. The eclectic environment not only gives a sense of the 70’s, but it also provides wonderful topics for conversation. From a curious painting we’d like to call “lady wedged in dirt with camel” to the hanging lanterns from 1972, there was never a dull moment in our burgundy pleather booth. You could also tell Rocco’s was a family establishment by all of the employees strangely resembling one another and also by several photos of little Tony’s first communion adorning the entrance. If that’s not enough to entice your interests, they have an employee who outdates the décor. Cash register Betty and her ancient cash register have been “chi chingin” together at Rocco’s for decades. You can tell that Rocco’s is a good friend of the Notre Dame community by all of the memorabilia and signed photographs of Regis Philbin (you’d think one would be enough). Many Notre Dame fans have made Rocco’s a football-weekend tradition. Next we’d like to give the culinary pleasures at Rocco’s three and a half sporks. The pizza is warm, delicious and an olfactory sensation. Although it’s a little crispy, the ingredients were natural, plentiful and tastetastical. When asked about the pizza, student Erica Valdez replied, “It lacks that plastic appearance of most dining hall pizza pies, and I believe it’s simply fabulous.” Also, if you order more than one pizza, the pizza is delivered in a tower shaped form with one pizza on top of another – brilliant. Unfortunately, we only ordered one pizza, but later thought we decided that next time we’d order an imaginary pizza to get the pizza tower.The service at Rocco’s was worthy of three sporks. The waitress was in tune with our pizza needs for the first half of our dining experience, but after the pizza arrived, we were neglected in our booth for a good half hour. Since we’re not great at carrying on in-depth conversations with one another, this proved near fatal when a raging game of “catch this utensil” broke out. After wounds were mended and our waitress returned from Eastern Siberia, the check arrived at our table. The price was a few bucks more than your average pizza, but the taste was well worth the extra investment. Shockingly, Rocco’s doesn’t accept credit cards or checks – maybe because its cash register is from the dawn of time, but I’m just guessing. From the classy décor and the great pizza to the warm friendly environment, Rocco’s pizzeria seemed to be a winner. If you’re looking for a great hometown classic and a football weekend event, Rocco’s is the place to go.