Beaver, alligator, snakehead: Rocklands debuts wild menu

Rocklands employees work to plate the beaver sausage sandwich and snakehead tacos on Monday, March 4. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A good look at the beaver sausage sandwich that one customer described tasting a lot like German sausage. It is served with sauerkraut and potato salad. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Beyond its creative menu, Rocklands offers new blends of barbeque and hot sauces that line the entrance to the restaurant. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A diner holds a blackened snakehead taco served during a promotion at Rocklands Barbeque in Glover Park. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Rocklands employees Alex Rodriguez and Joel Vincente show off their Grills Gone Wild T- shirts at the restaurant in Glover Park. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
The week-long promotional menu is posted just to the left of the cash register to try and grab customers' attention and curiosity. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Megan Cloherty,

WASHINGTON – There’s some extra bite on the Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company menu in Glover Park, and it’s taking customers by surprise.

Alongside the pulled pork and rack of ribs, hungry diners also can order a beaver sausage sandwich — one of four wild items on the menu for this week only as part of the restaurant’s “Grills Gone Wild” promotion.

“It came from, as you can imagine, ‘Girls Gone Wild,'” says Rocklands owner John Snedden.

His wife had the idea for the wild menu that some are brave enough to try.

The dark beaver meat is locally sourced and served on a roll with sauerkraut and potato salad.

“We turned it into sausages. So it’s like a sweet Italian sausage,” Snedden says.

Also on the temporary menu: alligator Brunswick stew and wild Alaskan halibut served over caramelized onion rice with mango salsa.

The more controversial item on the menu is the last, blackened snakehead tacos.

Customer Tony Moreland hails from Southern Maryland, where he says he eats snakehead often. He’s not surprised to see it on a local menu.

“It’s a very pleasant-tasting fish. It tastes like a freshwater perch,” Moreland says.

While Moreland wasn’t up for trying the beaver sausage, customer Dara Darashan took the culinary leap.

“It’s good. It tastes like a spicy German sausage,” Darashan says.

This isn’t the first departure Rocklands has taken from the traditional barbecue menu.

“We did a promotion called ‘Dead Stuff Cooked Good’ and that was our roadkill promotion, where we did opossum, raccoon and venison. Stuff you’d see on the road,” Snedden says.

The current promotion runs through the weekend at all four Rocklands locations.

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