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Archive for the ‘Barbecue’ Category

I finally got the chance to try out Rocklands in Arlington, VA. It has been calling my name for a long time. My girlfriend and I headed over on a Sunday afternoon to grab some food for the Redskins game.

As we approached, we were hit with the intoxicating smell of barbecue. That’s always a good sign. Upon entering, we were both immediately struck with how nice it is on the inside. They had a full bar with a couple of bar stools, a few TV’s showing the Redskins game, a counter for ordering and pickup, and a couple of tables for dining-in. They also had a few stools with high tables that were perfect for waiting for your food. They even have a wall of hot sauce and beer for sale. It’s a very comfortable place.

We ordered the pulled pork sandwich with mashed potatoes and baked beans, and the beef brisket sandwich with greens and mac and cheese. We found the pulled pork to be pretty good, although we didn’t realize you need to put your own sauce on top. It did not come with much BBQ sauce, but now we realized that you are supposed to add your own from the wall of sauces. Portion wasn’t huge, but I was pleased with the sandwich. The mashed potatoes were delicious and buttery. The baked beans were good and had a nice smoky flavor.

The beef brisket was also really good, but again, we wished we had put some more BBQ sauce on it. However, the quality of the meat was good and it was cooked well. The greens were tasty, but we were not crazy about the mac and cheese. Next time I’ll probably try something different, but overall we really liked this place.

I’d love to come back and grab a beer and a plate of BBQ.

Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company on Urbanspoon

In other news:

I ordered Chicken Parmesan from Pines of Florence in Arlington, VA. Not the best I’ve ever had, but it sure did hit the spot. Nothing to go out of your way for, but it’s still pretty good.

Last week, I grabbed a Flying Dog variety pack from Elbe’s and really enjoyed it. The pack included:

Doggie Style Pale Ale
Old Scratch Amber Lager
Tire Bite Golden Ale
Snake Dog IPA
Road Dog Porter
In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen

My favorites were the Snake Dog IPA, the Road Dog Porter, and the In-Heat Wheat. However, all of these beers are excellent. The only one that wasn’t all that exciting to me was the Old Scratch Amber.

Last week, I also got a chance to try the Smuttynose Winter Ale.

I’m a big fan of Smuttynose, so I was excited to try this beer. This particular beer is a Belgian dubbel, and really goes down smooth. If you see this at your beer store, pick it up and give it a try. Very tasty.

I also got a chance to try another beer from Baying Hound Alewerks. Baying Hound is brewed in Rockville, MD, so it doesn’t get much more local then that. I picked up a bomber of the Baying Hound Sarvara Black IPA.

The commercial description is as follows:

“The Śarvara were four-eyed, two-headed dogs guarding the gates of hell for Yama, Lord of Death. These bloodthirsty hellhounds could devour an entire cow in one or two bites. And their baying was so loud, the Banshees (in Ireland) had to cover their ears. No kidding. These dogs were wicked mean. Śarvara Black India Pale Ale is appropriately fierce, devilishly hopped at over 80 IBUs, black as night and ready to be devoured.”

This is an excellent beer, very dark and hoppy. My Dad and I shared it and both really enjoyed it. We are planning to tour the brewery as soon as possible.

This weekend, my family had a German themed party and I was responsible for getting the beer. I went over to Gilly’s in Rockville and was really happy with what I found. I picked up:

Löwenbräu Original
Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold
Wolters Fest-Bier

Let’s start with the Löwenbräu Original. This beer used to be huge in the US, and at the time it was brewed by Miller with an altered recipe. Today, they have reverted to the old recipe and is no longer brewed by Miller. This is a very neutral, middle of the road beer. It doesn’t make much impression on you one way or another. This would be great to drink out of Das Boot because it goes down smooth and is pretty light.

The Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold was far and away my favorite of the bunch.

This is an excellent Helles lager, goes down smooth, perfect to accompany a meal or to just drink with friends. Very crisp and refreshing.

Last but not least is the Wolters Fest-Bier .

This is an Oktoberfest-style beer. Pretty good, very drinkable. I’d probably try something different next time.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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I am a huge D.C. United fan, and have been going to games since the league began in 1996. At that point I was 11 years old, so I wasn’t too concerned with eating and drinking well at the match.

Now that I am older (and hungrier), I’ve learned a lot about the best way to experience a match at RFK Stadium.

Going to see D.C. United is one of my absolute favorite things to do. If you go about it the right way, you can have the time of your life.

I suggest taking the metro, because that way you can avoid the $15 parking fee. The stadium is a short walk from the orange/blue line stop called Stadium Armory. However, if you drive a VW, the first 50 people driving a VW get free parking in Lot 4.

Come to the game early so that you can experience the tailgate in Lot 8.

This is where the supporter groups tailgate before the matches. The gates open about four hours prior to the start of the game. I am a member of the supporter groups called Barra Brava.

Their website is here.

The tailgates are amazing. The tailgates are open to members and non-members, and there is tons of delicious food and drinks. They do ask that if you will be eating and drinking the provided food that you bring something to share. All contributions are welcome, no matter how big or small. In the past, I’ve brought popcorn, chips, doughnuts, etc.

The food varies depending on which game you go to. The best tailgates are the ones on the weekends. My favorite thing to eat is the carne asada, which they make on the grill. At one tailgate, a few of the members came together and spit-roasted an entire lamb for hours in the parking lot. They made pita and home made tzatziki sauce. Even the owner of the team, Will Chang, comes out to the tailgates to eat and drink with the fans.

There are usually one or two kegs at the tailgates. The members all gather around, drink some beer, kick soccer balls around, and get ready for the games.

If you can’t make it early enough for the tailgates, they have recently started hosting food trucks in the parking lot. The food trucks that I have seen there are D.C. Slices, BBQ Bandidos, Dangerously Delicious Pies, Eat Wonky, and Doug the Food Dude. There is also a stand that sells beer (Corona and PBR) and water.

I really enjoy the cajun tots from D.C. Slices and the beef brisket from BBQ Bandidos. I haven’t had a chance to try out the other trucks, but I am going to make sure I do so next season. Eat what you can outside the stadium because the food is not the strong point inside the stadium.

Once you make your way inside, your chance to eat delicious food has decreased considerably.

I made a little map to show you a couple of highlights:

While making this map, I found out that they have Starr Hill inside the stadium. I wish I had known that! I always sit on the opposite site of the stadium (what is called the loud side because of the supporter groups). The other side is called the quiet side, and is where most of the families sit.

You’ll see I didn’t list much food on the map. Most of the food is too expensive and not very good, but I am a big fan of the carne asada stand. The portion is huge and the food is delicious. As far as beer, you have to go inside the concourse to find anything other then Bud/Bud Light/Miller etc.

The season just ended, but I hope that you’ll check out a game next season. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below.

VAMOS UNITED!

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Last weekend, a buddy and I headed down to Charlotte, NC to see the Trailer Park Boys. I’ve only been to North Carolina once, and that was a trip with my family to the Outer Banks. I was really excited to get to spend some time in Charlotte.

Before our trip started on Saturday morning, I purchased a six pack of Acme IPA at Beers and Cheers in Germantown, MD. I bought it because it looked interesting and had never seen it before. I didn’t realize that it cost $16.99. I felt kind of ridiculous spending that much on a 6-pack, but I went ahead and bought it because I was in a great mood and wanted to drink something delicious.

The beer was a very tasty IPA, however I don’t think it merits the price tag. It was pretty smooth for an IPA, and had a %6.9 ABV. I would certainly drink this if offered but it’s too expensive for me.

Speaking of expensive, I finally came across the DuClaw Colossus beer. I have been dying to try this, but the $30 price tag scared me away. It comes in a 22oz bomber, and has a %21 ABV. I may buy this to treat myself for my upcoming birthday.

Later that night, we went to Taco Bell (I know) and tried the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito with steak. I hadn’t been to Taco Bell in months. This is a new item that they are selling, and we were starving so we both ordered it. It’s definitely bigger then most items at Taco Bell, but also pretty expensive. There was nothing remarkable about the taste, but it did fill me up. Overall, it was not worth the money. It also has 880 calories which is a pretty good chunk of your daily recommended calories.

We set out on our journey Saturday morning, after grabbing sandwiches from Dunkin Donuts. The ride down was fairly easy. It took about 6 and a half hours to arrive in Charlotte. We debated on stopping in Durham but decided to power through.

After arriving at our palace of luxury (Super 8), we hung out for a bit then took a taxi into the downtown area. Charlotte was a really nice city, although it was kind of touristy. In downtown Charlotte, they have the Carolina Panthers stadium and also the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It seems like a popular place for people to go for a night out. We saw a ton of weddings and bachlorette parties.

Our first stop was a cigar bar called Cutters, located in the downtown Marriott.

This place was amazing. I tried the 18 year Glenlivet and also the 10 year Cragganmore. They have leather chairs at the bar, the lights are dim, and you are surrounded by books. They play light jazz music in the background. I felt pretty classy drinking my scotch. My buddy ordered a Manhattan. He told me that it was heavier on the whisky then he has had at other places, but that’s not a bad thing.

On our way to the show, we desperately needed something quick to eat. We stopped at Fuel Pizza Cafe which was on the way.

Nothing too amazing here. I grabbed two slices of their Hawaiian pizza. It was good for a quick meal.

The show was at the McGlohon Theater. It was a beautiful place with stained glass windows. The staff were very friendly, they had a full bar, the seats were comfortable, and our view from the balcony was great.

The place was sold out, and the Trailer Park Boys delivered a hilarious show. It’s amazing that a show like Trailer Park Boys can sell out venues all across the United States. Had it not been for Netflix, I probably would have never seen it.

At the end of the show, the Trailer Park Boys said that they would be hanging out at Whisky River after the show. Whisky River is located in Epicentere, an area filled with bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Whisky River is a bar owned by Dale Earndhart Jr. It definitely wouldn’t be my first choice, but we had a fun time people watching. They played a mixture of country, 80’s, and top 40 music. There was a mechanical bull. The drinks were a little pricey, but overall we had a good time.

The next morning, we were starving so we went to Owen’s Bagel & Deli to grab some breakfast. We really liked this place.

They had a ton of different combinations of bagel sandwiches. I ordered the Hangover Helper, which was ham, egg, and smoked cheddar on an onion bagel. It was interesting that they steamed, rather then toasted their bagels. The sandwich was delicious. My friend tried Mary’s Grubby Bubby which was egg, muenster, smoked cheddar, and avocado on a bialy (a yeast roll similar to a bagel).

After breakfast, we wanted to find a place to watch the Redskins game. We tried Ducksworth Bar and Grill, but the place was deserted. We ended up at Mac’s Speed Shop, and I am so glad that we did. This place was amazing.

If only we had this place in Wheaton. They had one of the best beer selections I’d ever seen, great food, cheap prices, and all of the games showing. The staff was also very friendly. One of the employee’s was wearing a Redskins jersey, which gets major points with me.

I am a sucker for anything local, so I had to try two local beers from the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. I ordered the Mecktoberfest and also their copper ale.

The copper ale is an “alt bier”, meaning an old-style beer. They use hops from Bavaria for this beer, which is their signature ale. The Mecktoberfest was also delicious. My friend tried the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, which was very good. He also ordered a beer off of the special menu. It was a Japanese Green Tea IPA. Our waitress told us that the owner had to drive to the warehouse to get this beer for him. It had a 9.8% ABV, and only cost 5 bucks. This is the same price you’d pay for a Budweiser at places in DC. This beer was also delicious.

I highly recommend checking Charlotte out. It’s a very fun, walkable city. I know that I will be back.

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I have tasted heaven, and it’s in Petersburg, VA.

Let me preface my review with an explanation of why I was down in that part of Virginia. My sister and I signed up for Warrior Dash, a three and a half mile race/obstacle course. After eating left over El Charrito Caminante, I was ready to head out to the race. The race took place in Charles City, Virginia which is just south of Richmond, VA. It took place at Berkeley Plantation, located right along the James River.

This site is the location of the oldest three-story brick mansion in Virginia, and was the home to two U.S. Presidents: William Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. This is a very intersting historical site. It was the location of the first Thanksgiving in 1619, the first bourbon whiskey in 1621, and the first place that taps was played.

This is a map of the race:

As you run, you hit various obstacles like walls, mud pits, junked cars, etc. My favorite obstacle was when you had to get in the water and roll over a series of logs. The race was a lot of fun. It was comprised of people of all ages and abilities. People really get into it and wear different costumes. Everyone was encouraging, and if someone became stuck at an obstacle, the other participants would help out to get them through it.

After the race, they were selling turkey legs and BBQ sandwiches. However, we were covered head to toe in mud and the lines were long, so we decided to fend for ourselves.

We knew before hand that we would not be satisfied unless we found some BBQ. Living in the DC area, we have a serious lack of good BBQ. I was ready to eat an entire cow, so we looked up the closest place to the race which was K and L BBQ in Hopewell, VA. To get to K and L, you drive through an industrial area with mostly factories. We found K and L, and there were no cars out front and nobody inside:

We checked the sign on the door to find that they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s how you know you are in a factory town. The next closest place was Saucy’s Walk-Up. I did not know that I was about to be enjoying the best damn barbecue I’ve ever had.

Saucy’s is located in Petersburg, VA. We were a little unsure as we got closer. The area surrounding Saucy’s doesn’t seem like the most inviting place on earth. However, once we pulled up, we knew we made the right decision.

Saucy’s is run out of a shipping container in a warehouse district. An interview with the owner explains why he chose a shipping container.

“We bought the shipping container, because that was the idea, to get something that would fit into the neighborhood here.”

I think it’s a genius idea. We parked and headed up to the window. We were greeted by an extremely friendly guy at the window. We ordered a whole rack of ribs, two beef brisket sandwiches, a side of beans, and a couple sodas. The food was served quickly and efficiently. They have two picnic tables out front, so we grabbed one and starting feasting. The ribs were incredible. The meat was falling off of the bone, and I really liked the flavor of the sauce. The beef brisket was also delicious, topped with hot sauce. The beans were home made, and were a combination of three different types of beans. Very delicious, and had a sweet flavor.

If this place was in D.C., they could charge double the prices and there would still be a line. The guy behind us in line told us that he refused to eat anything that day because he knew he would be eating at Saucy’s later and did not want to taint his stomach with anything else.

This place has delicious food and a great, friendly staff. I will be dreaming about these ribs for years to come.

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