Back when I took the spy tour, as we walked along Wisconsin Avenue, GFD and I were overwhelmed by the loveliest smell of smokey, grilling meats. It smelled like summer and the 4th of July, like when I grill out on my tiny charcoal grill, only smokier, more intense and on a grander scale. The smoke of the wood charcoal was pouring out of Rocklands BBQ, and I wanted to go in right then and there and eat everything on the menu.
It took a couple weeks, but I did in fact make it back. The most important thing to know going in: Rocklands is not a sit down restaurant. I hadn't known that. The Boyfriend and I had planned on sitting down and being waited on, and were forced to alter our plan to take the food home and eat it while watching a little Arrested Development Season 1 DVD. Rocklands is a one room affair -- order at the counter, pick up about 10 minutes later further down the counter, with one communal table if you feel like eating in, and a four seat counter facing the window that looks out on Wisconsin.
Huge grills are visible behind the counter, finishing up the meat that is smoked in the wood-burning smoker in the back of the restaurant. Side dishes are on display in a cold case next the register. One wall is lined with hot sauces of all intensities and originations, as well as Rocklands' sauces and pickles for purchase. A community notice board holds announcements on the wall near the front door. This is a casual, neighborhood joint serving every kind of BBQ'ed meat you could ever hope for.
And the food? The Boyfriend ordered a pulled pork sandwich, and I ordered a grilled leg of lamb sandwich and a side of minted cucumber salad (the recipe for which is available this month on the the website). We unpacked them when we got to my place and dug into the heaps of smokey meat. My lamb was rich and tender, slightly charred and incredibly flavorful. The Boyfriend wouldn't hand over any of his pork, but it sure looked good spilling out of the potato bread bun.
And the best part about taking it home was that when we were done, in our BBQ induced haze, we were already in a position to recline on the couch with our bellies distended, and relax over the misunderstandings of the Bluth family.