Ben's Chili Bowl is considered a landmark in Washington DC. It was established by newlyweds, Ben and Virginia Ali in 1958. It is a restaurant known for glorious chili and their famous sausage known as half smokes. It has survived numerous riots and has remain unchanged as the neighborhood changes. Businesses shutdown, but Ben's Chili Bowl stayed on.
This is a place where people from all walks of life converge. There's no special treatment for anyone (even the president): to get your dose of chili in your fries and their yummy sausage called half smokes -you have to line up. The service is quite fast though that by the time you reach the counter, you had already made up your mind as to how you will have your chili which in my case: in my half smoke, the fries and in a bowl for an unadulterated taste.
The chili is soooooo yummmyyyy! It's a chili unlike any other. You have the heat but the heat does not overwhelm but only enhance the taste of the dish. The half smokes are charred to perfection and the hand-cut fries are crunchy and had the "i just got out of the fryer" feel. With all the spicy goodness of the food that we had, it was good that we ordered coleslaw because it chased some of the heat away.
The food with the drinks did not break the bank. It was yummy and affordable - a real treat!!!