A couple of years ago, I was talking with one of my friends from the Rockford area in northern Illinois about the seemingly large number of good pizza joints that are in and around Rockford. He was telling me of a little hole in the wall place that he and his wife favored over all of them - Primo's Pizza. After a meeting in Rockford one evening and before I drove on to Chicago for the night, I sought out Primo's for a pizza.
Dominic Loria was born in Sicily and as a young boy he immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1953. He ended up in Rockford and eventually met his wife, Anna, who also was born in Sicily and immigrated to the U.S. in 1969. In 1990, the husband and wife team opened Primo's Pizza in an unassuming spot in a small strip mall near the intersection of N. Guilford Road, N. Prospect and Rural streets north and east of downtown Rockford. (see map)
It was around 6:15 when I walked into Primo's that evening. It was not a large place - it sat possibly 35 people maximum. Bright red and green accent trim - the main colors on the Italian flag - were prevalent throughout the place. It wasn't posh, but it was certainly cozy in the dining room. This was your quintessential neighborhood pizza joint.
I took a spot at a booth along the wall. A young lady came out and gave me a menu. They don't serve beer at Primo's Pizza, so I just had a water with my meal.
They do a large amount of carry-out pizza business at Primo's. While I was in there, at least a half-dozen people came in to get pizza to go. I understand that they also have delivery at Primo's.
In addition to pizza, they have a number of pasta dishes - lasagna, mostaccioli, spaghetti, tortellini - as well as chicken and veal parmigiana. Appetizers, salads, and sandwiches rounded out the menu at Primo's. They have three different types of pizzas to choose from - thin crust, pan or stuffed. Sizes range from a 10" (small) to a 16" (X-large).
I ordered my standard Italian sausage, pepperoni and mushroom thin crust pizza in the small size. My young lady server brought it out and set it on a pizza rack on top of my table. The crust was thin, but it was light and airy, almost sort of fluffy around the edges. The toppings were plentiful with large slices of pepperoni, a good amount of sliced mushrooms and some good sized chunks of sausage on top of the pizza. The pizza wasn't overly flowing with mozzarella and sauce, but it was enough to make an edible impact with each bite. This was simply a very good pizza.
One thing to take note - Primo's is closed on Mondays. Also, they don't have beer or wine in the place. I don't know if you can bring your own in, but it wouldn't hurt to call ahead to see if that would be all right with them before you go. I can't say enough about the pizza I had - it was superb for a thin crust pizza. The crust was light and airy, the toppings were plentiful, the sauce was tangy, and it had just about the right amount of mozzarella to help compliment every bite of the pizza. My friend didn't steer me wrong on the pizza at Primo's. While it's far to say this was an elegant or classy place, Primo's certainly served up a killer pizza.