If you're from Rockford you probably have some strong opinions on Beef-A-Roo.

I, personally love Beef-A-Roo. I've been going to them ever since they had a salad bar. It's a local favorite and I would advise that we keep it local.

Just a word of warning, don't recommend Beef-A-Roo to out-of-towners. They don't get it. They weren't raised on cheese fries and roast beef sandwiches. Beef-A-Roo is more than a dinner choice for Rockford residents, it's part of the social fabric.

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If an out-of-town visitor happens to try Beef-A-Roo by chance, that's fine, but it will never live up to the expectations that you, a local person, will place on it.

And that's especially true now.

Here are my top 5 favorite things at Beef-A-Roo:

5. Pork Tenderloin sandwich - A comically large pork schnitzel on a bun. I get mine with no pickles or ketchup because those are gross and slather it with bbq sauce. A great sandwich.

4. Harvest Chicken Salad - The salads at Beef-A-Roo are a hidden gem. They're all great but this is the best. I'll mix in a chopped salad or southwest from time to time, but the harvest chicken salad is consumed at least twice a month.

3. Root Beer Milkshake - They have a ton of shake flavors but this one is the best. Blue Raspberry is a close second. They also have some new ones that I haven't tried. You can't go wrong with any shake choice at Beef-A-Roo.

2. Wild West Beef - An amazing sandwich. Roast beef, bacon, bbq sauce, and onion straws. My mouth is watering thinking about it. If you want to mix it up you can go with the wild west burger and swap out the protein but the beef is where it's at.

1. French Fries - Growing up Beef-A-Roo had the best french fries in the game. This is going to be controversial but I don't really like the cheese fries. It's a bit too much. The soggy ones on the bottom are pretty gross and the cheese masks one of the best flavors in the fast food business, their seasoned salt. The seasoned salt at Beef-A-Roo might have some illegal substances in it, it's so good.

And this is where I think Beef-A-Roo has slipped a little in the last couple of years. There's just something different about the fries. Either they stopped using as much seasoning or they are using different fries that don't hold the seasoning as well. I'm not sure but I do know that it's been about a year since I had really good fries at Beef-A-Roo.

To be clear, this will not keep me away. I'm a SOLID once-a-week Beef-A-Roo guy. I'm just a once-a-week Beef-A-Roo guy that wants his fries the way they were 20 years ago.

Now I'm sounding old. Could you please get off my lawn while putting too much seasoning on my fries? Appreciate it.

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