Rock It Grill

Written by on December 17, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Alexandria, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Chris and I decided to spend the day in Alexandria. We got on the metro in Ballston, and after a transfer made our way down King Street, looking for a great brunch spot. And we found one! When Chris saw the brunch menu on the window outside, he could not be turned away from Rock It Grill.

Type of cuisine: “Daily food specials, great burgers and steaks, MD style crabcakes, steamed clams, hand cut fries and crunchy hand breaded onion rings.” They run the with everything from soups and chili to salads (Asian Chicken, Cajun Shrimp, Blackened Salmon and Grilled Chicken Caesar, Chef, Garden, Tortilla Salad with Grilled Chicken or Spicy Ground Beef), from seafood appetizers, to deep-fried everything (Mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, fried pickles, wings and buffalo tenders), from flat-bread pizzas to potato skins, from quesadillas and crabcakes to spinach & artichoke dip, from South of the Border fajitas, tacos, burritos and chimichangas to Orange-Glazed Salmon, Rib-Eye Steak, Fried Oysters and Jerk Chicken. Not to mention their Burgers and Sandwiches, Chocolate Cake, Fruit Pie and Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie, their menu also includes Daily Specials such as Nightly Karaoke (from 9:30 – 1:30), Happy Hour (from 3:00 – 7:00), Monday 1/2 priced sandwiches, Tuesday 1/2 priced burgers, Thursday 50-cent wings (minimum of 10) and weekend brunch (from 11:00 – 3:00).

Ambiance: Walking by Rock It, Chris was immediately excited by the sign. It took me a minute, having only seen the 1970s decor – or lack of – through the windows facing King Street. Being at the far end, away from the water, I was skeptical. Walking through the wooden door, with two, rectangular wooden cutouts, I was hesitant. Seeing the bland foyer with cream-colored walls, painted over and over again, like Tammy Faye LaValley Bakker Messner’s make-up made me cringe. I was still iffy when Chris had made it all the way inside, and I was still lingering in the foyer doorway, wondering about the three bright-colored Smart Art posters of their specials in no particular order of relevance or organized layout, next to a framed piece of 1980s style artwork boasting a dozen full martini glasses (complete with olives) gradually getting smaller through the piece. This set over a brown wood laminate table holding stacks of local newspapers. I followed the rust-red tiled floor to the first room of booths against the windows and mismatched chairs by light wooden laminate tables, the smells of a pool hall lingering in the air. One pillar and a small wall with a hollow window hole look out from this indoor patio space onto the adjacent blue carpeted dining area. Hanging inside the windows are four stockings in red and white, steering your eyes into the Christmas light-ed bar, where a sole, female bartender meandered back and forth, serving three, elderly, male patrons. At least six flat-screen televisions allowed for sporting views throughout the establishment. Half-walls separated the bar from the restaurant floor, and the dining area from the two pool tables at the far back of the hall. Immediately inside and to the right, three vertical, lengthwise guitar paintings hung over the stage where one can only imagine the karaoke sounds that stir each evening.

What I ordered: Chris was tempted by the lunch menu, but soon returned to the egg dishes he was craving before we left home this morning. Being a cold (45-degree) day, he wanted a bowl of Clam Chowder to start and was only slightly disappointed when the daily soup special did not include it. Instead, having been intrigued by Gary’s Homemade Chili ($3.50 Cup / $7 Crock), a mostly beef with red kidney bean chili, topped with shredded cheddar cheese, and served alongside tortilla chips, we went for a small cup to share before our meals arrived.

Chili for Breakfast

For breakfast, I selected the Rock It Scramble ($8): two eggs scrambled with bacon, onions, mushrooms and shredded cheddar, served with homefries and toast (rye).

Rock-It Scramble

Chris took my recommendation and went with the S.O.C. ($8): a maple sausauge, onion and cheddar cheese omelette served with homefries and wheat toast, accompanied by two small packets of grape jelly. His usual: a side of bacon ($2.50), a cup of coffee ($2.08) and a glass of orange juice ($2.08) for Chris and we were all set for a big meal with which to start our day.


What I loved: I loved that the first thing I noticed on the brunch menu, under Super Combos was Asghar’s Big Breakfast Combo. Asghar. Awesome!

My favorite part of the meal was, in fact, the small portion of chili we enjoyed on a whim. The bacon, while cheap, was crisped to perfection, full of salty, greasy goodness.

Why I loved it: Large portions. Friendly staff. Simple diner-style food.

Cost: Low ($7-$10 per brunch entree)

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