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Rockland - Rocks Again in Arlington

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We always loved the ribs in Georgetown, but after a bad experience with fatty ribs at their Alexandria store we hadn't had Rocklands for about a year. On friday night we gave the new store, on Wash Blvd a chance to redeem. This one has seating, a full bar and big screen tv's -but we got our food to go. The place was very busy. We ordered a full rack of ribs and large coleslaw to go. This was plenty for three adults. The ribs were meaty, smoked perfectly and the extra sauce on the sides was tangy and not too sweet. The coleslaw was really good, too. Rocklands is back on our rotation.

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  1. Went there yesterday for lunch. Not very busy at 1PM on Sunday afternoon. Got a chopped pork sandwich and 1/2 rack of baby back ribs. Pretty good stuff. Need to pour a ton of sauce on the sandwich or else it gets dry. Didn't find the ribs too fatty. Will return.

    P.S. The place smelled fantastic with the woodburning and all.

    1. Rockland's was my favorite BBQ place when it was in Carpool. I was glad to see it re-open nearby and stopped for lunch a week ago last Saturday. I had the pulled chicken BBQ sandwich and it was awful. I mean really awful. Like I would never go back awful. The cole slaw wasn't very good either but maybe that's just my taste [peas in cole slaw??]. But it had just opened and I''ll chalk that one up to new staff. I 'll give it one more try in a week or so and I am really hoping it will improve.

      5 Replies
        1. re: keithdcil

          I bought a full rack of the baby back ribs last night and was extremely disappointed. Perhaps my BBQ expectations are too high, but the ribs lacked any kind of distinct flavor and, what was most perplexing, were in firm need of salt/seasoning--they were just very bland.

        2. re: Dakota Guy

          I, also considered Rocklands the best place for BBQ when it was at Carpool, particulary the wings. However, in ordering the chicken and "hot and spicy" wings at the new Rocklands in Arlington, it was horrible. Not even edible, and the chicken was still pink on the inside. The supposedly "hot and spicy" wings were just bleh, no flavor, and no spice. Very disappointing, considering the old Rocklands was so good. Also, our order was messed up by the staff and they had no water pitchers available.

          1. re: Callisto

            Well, for chicken in the neighborhood, go to El Pollo Rico.

            I, tool, liked Rocklands at the Car Pool. Went to the new place last week and had a pulled pork sandwich. It was OK but not as good as I remembered and as jaydreb said, it needed a good dose of sauce. I had the potato salad with it, and that was OK. I'll probably go back again. One of these days I'll be hungry enough to try the ribs.

            Not much private seating there, just a few big tables and the bar, so you'll probably have company at your table. I imposed on someone else, but they're friendly.
            I used to prefer Car Pool Rocklands over Red Hot and Blue, but now I'm not sure. Haven't been to RH&B for a while and they were in transition last time I was there, during the summer,

            1. re: MikeR

              The last time--and I do mean the LAST time--we were at Red Hot and Blue, it was awful. This was near the end of the summer.

        3. I used to consider (Glover Park) Rocklands to be among the best BBQ in the area. Now that I'm lucky enough to live in the neighborhood, I haven't had a single good meal from there, and I've tried about once a month for a year now -- the wood smoke smell keeps drawing me in. The pulled pork was bland and gristly, the ribs were tough, and most of the sides have been dull (mustard greens), gummy (mac & cheese) or blah (red beans and rice). The only thing that I still enjoy is the grilled salmon sandwich. I've now transferred my allegiance to Urban BBQ in Rockville.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jumpingjack

            I haven't been in for a while, but I believe they you can still order the pork sandwich sliced instead of chopped. It's been refrigerated, and they have to heat it up on the grill, but I'd say this is the only way to approximate how good Rocklands used to be.