Wound up eating at the DC Rocklands and the Arlington Rocklands recently for a chopped sandwich at each place. Sauce on the side, as always. The difference was astounding.
In DC, the portion was small. Taken from a steam table, it was room temperature and kinda wet. A small, wet lump of gray meat with a few flecks of brown, also wet.
In Arlington, the meat was also taken from a steam table, but it was drier, hotter, fresher: an over generous pile with plenty of good char on it and some nice wood smoke 'bite' to it. Still not the 'dry on the outside/moist on the inside' meat as I have come to expect over the years. My last trip there, it was chopped to order - this might have been pure lucky timing on my part. Often a line at this location.
Why don't places chop to order any more? Don't they know any better? The saddest part of the Post's recent BBQ survey was that only one place of thirty chopped to order. Steam tables are the curse of BBQ.