It is really hard to put into words how good this pizza actually is. No disrespect to Casey's General Store whatsoever, but you're not what was expected.

Illinois is the Pizza Capital of the World

That is not too far of a stretch, that statement above. There are some incredible pizzas all over the state.

Where you grew up plays a big role in the kind(s) of pizza you love.

I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, not a city well known for its pizza. But, it is a state well known for its cheese. A mediocre cheese can wreck any pizza right from the start.

There were two pizza joints I grew up enjoying, Pizza Pit and Rocky Rococos. They each make a unique pizza. Pizza Pit was a thinner crust with a vary savory sauce, cheese and seasoning. Rocky's was a saucier deep dish-style pizza (and the largest pieces of Italian sausage that I'd ever seen).

When I fell in love with Illinois pizza

Since moving to Rockford in 1995, I've had the good fortune to know how truly blessed pizza lovers are in the Stateline area.

I've lived in many places in between Madison and Rockford, and only one thing about pizza was the same no matter where I was living...

Gas station pizza was never very good. Like NEVER!

Eating pizza from the place where you filled your gas tank was always as a last resort. That all changed the first time I ate a slice of pizza from Casey's General Store.

Casey's via Facebook
Casey's via Facebook
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Open Letter to Casey's: Why is Your Pizza That Ridiculously Good?

Dear Casey's,

I still remember exactly when I had my first slice of Casey's pepperoni pizza. It was at the Rockton Road store in Rockton, Illinois, May 24, 2016. I was on my way to a concert in Milwaukee and had stopped to get some gas. My friend said we should grab some pizza, so while I pumped the gas, he went inside and got us an entire pizza.

I took that first bite right there in the front seat before pulling away from the pump and just about lost my mind.

How could a gas station pizza possibly taste the damn good!?!

Casey's via Facebook
Casey's via Facebook
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Seriously, Casey's. I'm sure I am not the only one that wonders how your pizza is so amazing?

What are you doing in that kitchen?

No disrespect to any crackheads, but I'm addicted to this pizza, like it might have some crack in it.

There's something about that dough you're making in that kitchen, that just lights up all my pleasure centers. Light, airy, and tastes like it's homemade. That cheese was touched by something divine and the sauce is as near perfect as I've ever had.

Casey's via Facebook
Casey's via Facebook
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What's your pizza secret, Casey's?

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It was mid-June, just a few weeks after that first taste, when I returned to that same Casey's one morning for a cup of coffee and some more gas. When I walked inside to get that coffee I smelled something else really good, but it was different than the pizza I was accustomed to smelling.

That was the day I tried Casey's breakfast pizza. And again, HOW DOES A GAS STATION HAVE PIZZA THIS RIDICULOUSLY GOOD!?

Casey's via Facebook
Casey's via Facebook
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I couldn't agree with you more, Micah.

Seriously, can someone let me in on the secret?

Love,

Steve Shannon

Even Food & Wine agrees with me, writing in June of 2018, 'This Gas Station Pizza Is the Unlikely Hero of Your Next Midwest Road Trip.'

"Pizza in convenience stores is hardly unique, but for the most part, it will tend to be the stuff of last resort. There's something, however, about the pizza at Casey's that gets people talking. Some Midwesterners will tell you that Casey's makes the greatest pizza around; others can't believe that people are so excited by pizza from a gas station. Either way, so closely linked is Casey's to its pizza, you'll see many stores classified as Pizza Restaurants in certain popular map searches."

What is it about this pizza that makes it so good, any idea? Please share.

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