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Rocklands Barbecue and Grilling Company - Local Grilling Company In Several Area Locations


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Rocklands is opening a new location in Wintergreen Plaza on Rockville Pike. Any reason for me to get excited about this, or should we continue to get our 'cue from Urban?

The only Rocklands we're tried was the Glover Park location and that was at least 7-8 years ago. I remember nothing about the meat, but their corn salad was pretty good.

The new Rocklands would be about 3 minutes from our house, rather than a trek down the Pike.

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I have not been to Urban, but I can say that there is nothing to get excited about at Rocklands. All of the times I have been there I have found that the Que has promising smoky smell, with no smoky flavor. Also they seem to rely on sauce for moisture, because their meat sure does not have any. It is quite sad to say, but I would rather go to Red, Hot and Blue, than Rocklands, and I would rather go without Que than go to Red, Hot, and Blue.

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Their Arlington location inside Carpool closed over the weekend.  Seems they're opening up a new location soon...

i was there recently and it beared a vague resemblance to what i recalled was a cool joint with decent service and good que. i am not shedding any tears over thier closing.

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Jenny, we go to the same gym! No wonder we are both such fans of Max's :lol:

So, my latest beef with Rockland's is that the last two times, some of my BBQ has been raw. Yes, raw meat. The first time, I had a pulled pork sandwich and tried to remove the uncooked parts, but still didn't feel so good later on that night. The last time I ordered a minced chicken sandwich and the exact same thing happened.

I keep giving Rockland's chances because it is so convenient, but I may have to move on to other options.

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The new Rocklands (Wintergreen Plaza on Rockville Pike) is now open.

Anyone from the Rockville Pike lunch crew interested in a foray?

Since I moved down into DC, I haven't been keeping up with the openings and closings on Rockville Pike; so exactly which storefront did Rocklands take over in Wintergreen Plaza (i.e. what was there before)?

I hope Ten Ren is still there for bubble tea. Also, fyi - the Oriental Market there has the best prepared foods, imho, of any of the local chinese grocery stores. The smoked chicken is almost as good as A&J's. the rest of the market is pricier and has less selection than Maxim and Kam San.

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Since I moved down into DC, I haven't been keeping up with the openings and closings on Rockville Pike; so exactly which storefront did Rocklands take over in Wintergreen Plaza (i.e. what was there before)?

I hope Ten Ren is still there for bubble tea.  Also, fyi - the Oriental Market there has the best prepared foods, imho, of any of the local chinese grocery stores.  The smoked chicken is almost as good as A&J's.  the rest of the market is pricier and has less selection than Maxim and Kam San.

Rocklands moved into the space formerly occupied by i.Cream - which also served bubble tea (not as good as Ten Ren's) and Asian-style shaved ice. It's more or less next to Oriental Market.

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Tried out the brand spanking new Rockville Rocklands tonight. Tonight's carryout order:

Half rack of pork ribs Dried out and tough, smothered in a too sweet sauce. Red Hot & Blue may be soulless corporate 'cue, but at least the pork is tender. These were not, NOT good.

Hot Wings I was expecting something like Buffalo wings. These were cooked, then drowned in a slightly spicier version of the rib sauce and grilled until the sauce turned black.

Mustard Greens were tender but oddly flavorless, with a watery pot liquor. They had chunks of leftover shredded pork in them instead of bacon or fatback.

Mashed Potatoes not notable in any way. Needed butter, cream and seasoning.

Macaroni & cheese was indistguishable from the Velveeta shells & cheese an old roommate of mine always whipped up for himself when stoned. They would probably taste better in that state of mind.

Grilled catfish Ordered for the kids. This was on the specials board, but they failed to note that it was a sandwich instead of an entree, so there was not quite enough to split between the two little Shorters.

Total bill = $44.00. Despite being 2 minutes from my house I doubt we will be back. I'd rather go to Urban or R,H & B. The food sucked and there's no kid's menu or portions offered.

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Hmmm...and I was all excited to have another Q place in Mont. County.

I've had Rocklands near GTown, thought their ribs were similarly dried out. Hoped that was an abberation, makes me think there might be a trend.

Been hearing good things about Smokey Hollow BBQ in N. Laurel [off 29 I think] from a co-worker. Maybe a Saturday trek is in order?:

 

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I feel I should update my previous post. Anne Chapman from Rocklands contacted Don with an offer for me because I was dissatisfied. I don't want to take her up on it now, but the offer is appreciated and perhaps we will give them another chance down the road.

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Thanks for the feedback, Everybody! Based on the responses, I've decided to get carryout and some checkered tablecloths and throw a little ribs buffet (his building has a roofdeck). Probably be Rib Pit, although Rocklands is pretty close to his apartment...

And one weekend, we'll definitely trek out in search of the good stuff.

That sounds like a great idea. I've found Rockland's to be hit or miss. Usually I find their ribs too chewy.

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First time poster, long time voyeur. The family went to Rockland's in Rockville last night because we wanted to try something new (we usually go to Urban BBQ) and had a coupon for a free bottle of citrus bbq saude (still unopened). The good news: the Texas corn pudding was quite good. The okay news: the potato salad and mustard greens were acceptable, if a bit under-salted (and i like things under-salted). The bad news: that's some of the worst chopped pork I've ever had. I don't claim to be an expert, but I went to school in North Carolina and have smoked my share of pork butts. We ordered a pound a pork to go and the abovementioned sides because with only stools in the restaurant , there was no way we could eat there with a two-half year old and a 11-month old. The pork came unsauced, which is normally a good thing because you can taste the quality of the bbq. The pork was an unappealing gray color with no hint of a pink smoke ring. Some bits were a little gristly. The worst part was the smokey taste. I don't mind smoke, but this was almost acrid. My mouth still feels like I've smoked a cigarette, and I don't even smoke. We ended up putting their tangy-sweet tomate bbq sauce, which helped make it at least palatable. Oddly, enough my youngest was the one who enjoyed it most. I hope they get their act together with someone more experienced at smoking, but for now I won't be returning until I hear better reports.

Ignacio

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Well ICD, I'd like to tell you something good, but I can't bring myself to do it particularly in light of the prices there.
DH picked up some take out on his way home from work yesterday. I thought it would be a nice switch up from our usual Chinese and since we've only tried Rocklands once before ( to wit I totally agree with your assessment of the chopped pork) I thought we'd give it another try. My tasters were ready for some 'cue as well.

We got the pork ribs, which were so chewey my jaw hurt after 4 or 5 ribs. The slaw is fresh and crunchy, yet lacking flavor from the too thin dressing. The beans were OK actually. The greens were limp and wadded up. I can't tell you exactly what it is that was "off" about the flavor, but lets just say I can ingest a week's worth of sodium by eating a pint or two of good greens or even canned greens. I love them that much. I ate about 2 bites of thier greens and told DH to just toss the rest.

 
For $41, it was a costly misadventure.

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Jenny, we go to the same gym! No wonder we are both such fans of Max's biggrin.gif

So, my latest beef with Rockland's is that the last two times, some of my BBQ has been raw. Yes, raw meat. The first time, I had a pulled pork sandwich and tried to remove the uncooked parts, but still didn't feel so good later on that night. The last time I ordered a minced chicken sandwich and the exact same thing happened.

I keep giving Rockland's chances because it is so convenient, but I may have to move on to other options.

TinDC--it's interesting that you say that about uncooked food. My husband usually goes to Urban when he wants barbecue but we were running short on time one day over the summer so I convinced him to try Rocklands. I don't remember exactly what he had, but I had the salmon sandwich and found it completely raw when I got to the middle. We brought it to the staff's attention and they threw the (half-eaten) salmon back on the grill to cook it all the way through. If I had wanted sushi I would have gone to Niwano Hana wink.gif

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Looks like the new location on Washington Blvd will be opening soon after a long delay ( thanks to the county). It is located in the old Pica Deli location. Looking forward to having it back in the area. Hopefull the food will be a bit more consistient.

The website says the Arlington store opened yesterday.

ARLINGTON STORE UPDATES

WE WILL BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5 FOR LUNCH!
Monday - Thursday 11-10
Friday - Saturday 11-11
Sunday 11-9
We have big screen TV's!

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Rocklands is so inconsistent that I really never care if I go back again. The only rdeeming option they have is that some of them carry Berger Chocolate Cookies from Baltimore....SO Frikin Good wink.gif

I was never a big fan of Rocklands at Carpool. But where can I go for takeout BBQ in North Arlington that is not Red, Hot and Blue? I am hoping this new Rocklands will be better.

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I was never a big fan of Rocklands at Carpool.

Not even the corn pudding? I admit to having liked their grilled fish sandwich (often salmon) with that little spring onion draped across the top.

What I don't like is the name Carpool!

But I can, in fact, kick everyone's ass here in 9-ball. You too, Danny Boylen. So there!

ETA: In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't had Rocklands in several years now.

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If we decided not to go to places that were deemed inconsistient there are a few board fav's that would not have business. I think it only fair to check the new place out, like we do when new chef show up to wash away past sins. I do agree they have had issues, but this is a different location.

But if experiences at the other locations have also all been reported as crappy, how many chances do you give?

No more, IMO.

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I think it only fair to check the new place out, like we do when new chef show up to wash away past sins. I do agree they have had issues, but this is a different location.

If a chain of restaurants produces horrible food (and I have never had anything that was not gag worthy at Rocklands) why would anyone assume that adding another location improves the quality of food? If a new Burger King opens down the street from me I am not heading to see if the Whopper sucks less at the new shop than at one of their existing crapholes? Yes, fine Rocklands is a much smaller chain than Burger King, but frankly I find the food to be just as soulless and as bad but for quite a bit more money.

Until someone I trust tells me that Rocklands has improved I don't feel any obligations to spend my time and money to find out if they have washed away their past culinary sins, no matter how many new locations they open.

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Rocklands is hardley a chain and yes with small operations, sorry to say, there could be differences. It seems all to common on this board for people to get on the compain gravy train without having either been there, or been back recently.

Well you might also consider... since when has an already tenuous restaurant's expansion ever spawned anything superior to the original. It's like making a photocopy. Each copy is a degraded version of the original. I can't think of many places where an additional branch has made it better. I don't view this as being prejudiced, but rather from experience.

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I'm with the naysayers here. No matter what size your franchise, you strive for consistency- to give the exact same product at all locations. That's the goal. I hope someone takes one for the team and checks it out. I'm sorry to say I'm just expecting the same ol' same ol'. Not good que with bad sides for too much money.

 
If it turns out to be good....well then lucky for those who are nearby. The one by me in Alexandria saw my last business over a year ago. Believe me, I so wanted it to be good because it's so close to me. I tried. I really did. And I always choose local establishments in order to support them so they stay around. But when I feel I get a poor product, I spend my money elsewhere.

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Despite all of the shitting on this franchise lately, I disagree. I'm not a BBQ expert, but I've had plenty in my life and I've eaten on several occassions at two different locations (Wintergreen and Glover Park) and usually enjoy it. I'll admit I've been less than blown away by their chicken, but I do like their beef brisket. I can't speak to the rest of their menu. Overall I'd rate the place a B, mostly because I wish their sauce was better. I just wish their wall of sauces was not mostly hot sauces, but actual BBQ sauces so you had more choice. So I say if you've read all of these rants, go try it yourself and see what you like - everyone's taste is different.

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A little over a month ago, on the way home from the hospital with my new baby, I ran into Rocklands to pick up some food while Jlock and the baby waited in the car. As I was insanely hungry, I picked up a large quantity of food of varying types thinking that we would probably appreciate having it around during the next few days. I had never been, so I had no idea what to get. So, I got brisket, ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw, baked beans, cucumber salad, cornbread and a couple other things. Jlock was fairly surprised when I returned to the car carrying over a $150 of food (for two- and, I didn't notice that the prices were high, I just had no self-control) when I said that I was going to run in for a couple sandwiches. This should teach people to never let the new mom pick up fatty food without any idea of what to get - the decision-making process becomes a bit skewed.

Anyway, the experience gave us ample opportunity to try a wide variety of the offerings, and our final determination was that the brisket is good. Not the best, but pretty good, and we plan to get it again.

Everything else was affirmatively bad (and this is from someone that had earlier that day fawned over the hospital food, determining that - once we added salt - it was the perfect reminder of simpler times). I love pulled pork, but I could only eat a bite or two. It just wasn't good. I don't remember the last time that I determined that any pulled pork was not worth the bother, but we threw most of it away. We ate all the ribs, but there was nothing interesting about them at all, and only the small ones that had a bit of char had any flavor. The sides too were bland and pointless. I had never seen a coleslaw that Jlock didn't like until he tried Rocklands' version. And, I usually love baked beans, but not these. The cornbread was so dry that I threw most of it away. The cucumber salad was, oddly enough, probably the best of the sides.

In summary, the brisket is pretty good, and the rest pretty much sucks.

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It seems that the brisket is consistently good and the corn pudding is well loved. Enough for me to give these a try.

I had the same experience. Bought ribs with lots of sides to give a good sampling. The coleslaw is SO fresh and crunchy (as I like it) but it had absolutely no flavor. Now here's a sidedish that you could really put your stamp on- really play with. No effort there. I thought the beans were pretty good. Mr. MV, a cornbread lover, was unimpressed. The collards, which I could eat by the pint, were inedible. Cooked. To. Death.

My mind is still open to what others find worthy and consistent. So far- brisket and corn pudding. Anything else?

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Hmmm, I know many on this board disagree, but I am a fan of the mac and cheese (Glover Park location). I had some tonite, in fact. I am pretty picky about mac and cheese too. I HATE bland mac and cheese. I find Rockland's version to be both creamy and cheesy and they seem to use a variety of cheeses (though I couldn't begin to distinguish which ones).

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Not even the corn pudding?

We dove in tonight. Arlington location. Take out. Pork ribs are all smoke but little flavor. Corn pudding good. Baked beans good. Potato salad OK. Service was pleasant enough. Overall rating is "fair." I would eat it again, and probably will given its proximity, but I will not be rushing back.

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Had a chance to swing by this past weekend and to put it mildly the wife and I were not impressed. We ordered the pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwich with beans and potato salad, however what we got was a pulled chicken sandwich, three meats platter, large order of mac and cheese, corn pudding and corn bread. I did not notice the order was wrong until I got home. The chicken was ok, but had a strange aftertaste, like lighter fluid. The same taste was evident in the three meat sampler I had. The meats were pork, chicken and brisket. The pork had to much residual water and seemed parboiled, the chicken was ok. The brisket had potential. All the meats suffered from what I think was lighter fluid. The mac and cheese was a flavorless clump of pasta and cheese with a lot of grease. The corn bread was raw in the center. The corn pudding was good, I think it was the only redeeming part of the meal.

The build out of the space is nice; however the food was simply not good. Unless the comments and reviews change I am not going back.

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This place is actually not inconsistent. It is consistently bad. Every time I've gone I have regretted it.

I'm gonna have to come to Rockland's (res)cue. I have only been to the one in Glover Park, but the sliced brisket sandwich with a grilled scallion, Rockland's BBQ sauce, and a little extra heat has consistently - over the course of many many years - been absolutely delicious. Their baby back ribs and baked beans are also more than passable. I am thrilled to have the DC Rocklands on that convenient little strip of Wisconsin for an occasional lunch or late dinner take out, and that delicious whiff of smoking meats when I'm stopping into Pearsons. Think I'm gonna head over now.

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I'm gonna have to come to Rockland's (res)cue. I have only been to the one in Glover Park, but the sliced brisket sandwich with a grilled scallion, Rockland's BBQ sauce, and a little extra heat has consistently - over the course of many many years - been absolutely delicious. Their baby back ribs and baked beans are also more than passable. I am thrilled to have the DC Rocklands on that convenient little strip of Wisconsin for an occasional lunch or late dinner take out, and that delicious whiff of smoking meats when I'm stopping into Pearsons. Think I'm gonna head over now.

I have to defend the Glover Park Rocklands a bit as well. The sliced (not the chopped/pulled) pork sandwich, which is the only thing I get there, is usually quite tasty.

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If a chain of restaurants produces horrible food (and I have never had anything that was not gag worthy at Rocklands) why would anyone assume that adding another location improves the quality of food?

Disagree when it comes to BBQ. So much is dependent on whoever is minding the pit as well as the pit itself. Case in point is my favorite back home in KC. Arthur Bryants on Brooklyn is WORLDS better than Arthur Bryants at their other locations. Just saying...

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I have only been to the one in Glover Park, but the sliced brisket sandwich with a grilled scallion, Rockland's BBQ sauce, and a little extra heat has consistently - over the course of many many years - been absolutely delicious.

I've only been to the Glover Park location too, and I have a real problem with them reheating the brisket on the griddle, making it pick up the flavor of old food. I wish they would just give me the brisket, and I keep meaning to ask them not to re-heat it but either I forget or I just get shy.

My husband likes Rocklands' bbq much more than I do--and we're both from Texas. I'm not a fan of the mac and cheese, which he loves. He's planning on ordering some ribs for our New Year's Day football watching party, and I'm trying to come up with alternative places for us to get them from. If only we could somehow fit a big bbq pit in our condo.

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Hit up the Washington Blvd location today after collecting more hiking paraphernalia at Casual Adventure.

Ordered the chopped pork, cole slaw, and collards to go. My order was ready to go within a minute in a half, impressive for prime time pacing.

The pork almost put me to sleep. Lots of smoke flavor, but low quality meat lacking depth of anything, abhorrently boring.

The cole slaw was a borderline celebration for me--two kinds of cabbage (green and red), fresh green peas, carrots, and whole caraway seeds (and did I taste fennel seed in there, too?). Outstanding.

Collards avoided any bitterness, with heavy handed salt probably emanating from the bacon, overall OK.

Place was hopping with many happy diners at lunch time today, a wide variety of small groups on office breaks. I probably won't be back, but it looked like lots of regulars will fill my void.

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I eat at the Ballston location from time to time because it is near the house and I can meet friends with dogs there. I do like their on tap root beer- not as good as Lost Dog, but close. And I like that they give it to you in a frosted mug. I do like their red beans and rice and their mac and cheese (tastes a lot like velveeta shells and cheese in a good way, a bit better but in the same thick creamy cheese way). Their greens normally are pretty good too, although I had them once when they were way too salty. I dislike very much their BBQ chicken mainly because the sauce is terrible- way too tangy. Their ribs are so-so. I have had much better, but I will eat them and they are better than RH&B, but they are pretty fatty and again the sauce just isn't great. Their pulled pork to me is dry and therefore requires their sauce to be good to resurrect it a bit, but then again... I am not sure what they use for the pulled pork- maybe it just sits too long, but it is very dry. I think if they worked on improving their sauce they could improve a good number of things, but it is normally decently busy so what do I know!

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