In a post about where to eat in DC, a photo was taken of the lines outside Ben's Chili Bowl, famous for their half-smoke and chili, plus the rule that the only person who eats free at Ben's is Bill Cosby. He was joined recently on that list by the new President and his family. The 50+ year old institution in the heart of U St. district hosted Mr. Obama a few weeks back; he was overheard asking one of the diners what a half-smoke was. Mr. Cosby jokingly complained that the new President dropped the ball on that issue and shouldn't be allowed the free dogs!
Last September, I was staying with friends who live near Adams Morgan, and the U St/Cardozo Metro was one of the easiest stations to get to from their place. On one of our walks around the neighborhood, J recommended I stop by Ben's for a half-smoke when I had free time. There are several places to get the half-smoke in DC, and it is rather amusing that some bloggers think that the only "indigenous" food to the DC area is the half-smoke. Since Ben's is rather famous for their dogs and chili, I was loathe not to try it, being in the neighborhood and all. After a long day out and about, I did go in for a half-smoke with chili, and then had myself a chocolate milkshake. I think it might have been my nostalgic act of always having a shake with my burgers at in-n-out that made me go with the somewhat disastrous combination of hotdog, chilli, and milkshake. Children, listen up. Don't do what I did. It's not good for the tummy, even though flavorwise it sure tasted great. The place was not full, I didn't have any lines to fight my way through, and the server was a nice young woman who helped me figure out what I wanted. I'm glad I don't have to go to DC anytime soon to get a half-smoke, those lines are ridiculous! But if I ever go back to DC, there are some interesting Eritrean restaurants I must go back to try!