Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ben's chili bowl

ben's chili bowl
1213 u street NW (between 12th street & 13th street), washington, DC 20009
tel: 202) 667-0909
hours: monday-thursday 6am-2am, friday-saturday 6am-4am, sunday 11am-8pm
what was consumed: original chili half-smoke with cheese, chili cheese fries
ben's is a DC institution. i've heard stories about how, in the midst of the riots here in DC in the past, ben's was the only thing still standing time and time again. you walk in and you see all of the paraphanelia that has accumulated and has been collected over time. you see so much history there! just sitting there and seeing all of those things makes visiting ben's totally worth it.
but of course, there's also the food.
if it's the first time you go to ben's, be sure to get the original chili half-smoke. the original chili half-smoke with cheese comes with onions and mustard. again, if it's the first time you go, i suggest you get it the way that they make it, with all of the fixin's. after that, feel free to fight with the people behind the counter not to have onions on your half-smoke (oh, wait, that's just me). this is apparently the way you're supposed to eat it, the way that bill cosby eats it, the way that president obama eats it! nice~
ben's, being located in one of the, now, hip parts of town, is a great place to visit for a quick bite, a regular meal, or a late-night snack. they are open really late (except sundays) on a general basis and even later on friday/saturday night (though, mind you, those late nights are often when they are the most busy ... oh, and you often have to fight off drunk people). seriously, i never thought a "hot dog" could taste so delicious.
a couple of downsides ... ben's is also cash only. they have an atm at the location for convenience. and then, there are the lines. the line is way way way long all the time. the people behind the counter (as i've mentioned before) are not necessarily the most reliable in terms of taking your order. sometimes, you'll get your food and you'll have to wait to pay for it. there is usually seating in the back, but if you don't look for it (and you don't stake your spot), you make lose it to other, more aggressive, people.
but no matter - all of these things, however, have never prevented me from going to ben's for delicious half-smokes. YUM.

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