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Meat Me at Rocklands BBQ – Arlington

September 11th, 2010 by Brooke

Recently, my parents were in town and my dad suggested we get some BBQ for dinner. I jumped on Yelp to find some local establishments serving savory meaty treats, and was reminded of Rocklands in Arlington, near the Virginia Square metro stop. Before my gluten-free days, and when I was in my 20s, I often enjoyed some Rocklands BBQ for a quick dinner when I was slugging beers at Carpool. (Rockland’s used to be inside of Carpool but they have since moved to their own free-standing building on Washington Boulevard.)

I wasn’t 100% sure any items on Rocklands menu were gluten free, but we ordered just about one of everything: brisket, chicken, ribs, potato salad, corn pudding, baked beans, coleslaw, apple compote, collards, beans and rice, and mac and cheese. I risked it – trying everything but the corn pudding and mac and cheese and it was all very good – the smoky flavors of the meat (particularly the brisket) had such good depth and the cool potato salad was a perfect foil to the tangy BBQ sauce. Truth be told: the coleslaw could be better.

However, even after electing to eat all the food, I remained curious about just how GF Rocklands’ food really is. I Googled a bit but didn’t find much. I did however, find a very intriguing recipe on Washingtonian’s Best Bites blog from Rocklands proprietor John Snedden…the recipe for the corn pudding; the same corn pudding I so coveted that first night we got Rocklands take-out with parents. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A recipe with no wheat flour to be sure. Too good to be true? Let’s see about the creamed corn first…

To write this post, I spoke to Rocklands directly and here’s what I learned. Turns out the Rocklands ORIGINAL BBQ sauce is gluten free and the corn pudding is made with creamed corn containing modified food starch which did not indicate any wheat ingredients. The best news? Rocklands is entertaining the thought of putting a gluten-free beer on the menu after my gentle nudging. Be sure if you go, to inquire about that – there’s strength in numbers!

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