Rocklands usually makes the short list for most locals when it comes to answering the all important question of “what restaurant serves the best BBQ in DC?” Although Rocklands may not be the best around, I agree that it definitely belongs in the top five conversation and it sure has built a loyal following since its doors opened in 1990. The interesting thing is that I have been to many of the DC BBQ places that seem to make it on these lists and frankly, almost all of them are just ok and some aren’t good at all. Grilling fanatics concede that Rocklands is good but advise that you need to get out into the suburbs if you really want some serious BBQ. Suburbs here I come…
Cost – $$
Service – B
The staff doesn’t come off as being overly warm but they do a good job of keeping things moving and are quite prompt when responding to needs. As most know, Rocklands can get packed but the food comes out pretty quickly and in order.
Food – B+
I love BBQ and although I have had better, when I need a fix Rocklands is a reliable spot. The pulled pork, brisket, pork ribs and chicken are tasty. The baby backs are also good but may be a little fatty at times. All in all, the BBQ is pretty damn delicious. As far as sides go, I am a fan of the mac and cheese and corn pudding. The variety on the menu is good (and includes a veggie sandwich) and experimenting with the array of sauces just adds to the entertainment.
Decor – C
When you walk into Rocklands, the no frills decor lets you know that it’s all about BBQ. It’s mostly carry out so there is limited seating around a medium size community table and along the front window. The wall of sauces for sale and use seems to be the color in the place which suits me just fine. When it comes to BBQ, I am ok as long as the place is clean (and sometimes that is only a mild concern).
Feel – B
There is a strong neighborhood feel to Rocklands which is the way BBQ joints usually are and should be. The patrons range from locals reading their papers on Sunday mornings to out of towners which reinforces that Rocklands is for everyone looking to taste perhaps some of the best BBQ in DC. I think not having more seating is a flaw (especially since my friends and I tend to pig out when we go there and take up half the community table with our racks of ribs and overabundance of sides) but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Rocklands is good eats and this slight inconvenience is worth it.
Rocklands is located at 2418 Wisconsin Ave. NW. They can be reached at (202) 333-2558.
What’s the Buzz:
August 14, 2008 – Rocklands Barbecue (Beltway BBQ) – Forest Gump once said that “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” The same could be said when visiting Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. Rocklands is a local chain that has built a reputation as one of the go-to “Q” restaurants in the D.C. area. We have been to three of its four locations. The one common factor among all the restaurants we have tried is inconsistency. Full Article…