Rocklands Arlington (Re)Opens

Barbeque. It’s a controversial subject in these parts, and you need to look no further than Wikipedia’s entry on regional barbeque to see all manner of subtle protest of one state’s traditions over another. Some people prefer St. Louis-style ribs with a heavy tomato-based sauce. Others prefer North Carolina-style ribs with a good solid dry rub followed by thin vinegar-based sauce. Which one you choose specifies the kind of personal preference usually reserved for Religion, Politics or Sports Teams. It’s not a small deal.

When my friend Jonathan told me about the Rocklands re-opening on Lee Hwy in Virginia Square, I couldn’t have been more excited. For a long time, Rocklands shared a space with the pool-bar Carpool right off the Metro. But, apparently, the management agree expired in 2005, and since then Arlington has been left largely rib-less. Sure, tons of places served the dish, but none really gave it the deep and abiding respect and love that good ribs deserve. Four of us went over that way last night, the new location is next to the Georgetown Valet (and the Ron Paul Revolution World Headquarters) where Pica Deli used to be.

When you open the door, the sweet, tangy smell of barbeque wafts gentle out into the outside, followed by the hickory smoke that makes their food so good. Rocklands is an order-then-sit type of restaurant, with both family-style and individual-sized meals. Tiff and I had sandwiches (Lamb, Brisket) and some of their spicy onion rings, while our friends had a full slab of smoked ribs. As we ordered, they were moving full-sized briskets and pork shoulder from the smoker to the carving platform, and they were huge cuts of meat, steaming from the heat, and smelling like heaven to any barbeque lover.

Rocklands will be a favorite of ours, I’m sure. Welcome back, guys, we missed you.

3471 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 528-9663

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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