No offense Roadfooders, but I wonder more and more how many recommendations are made based upon the food actually tasting good, rather than on tradition, history, quirkiness etc&
I enjoy Ben’s a lot. Especially breakfast.
half smokes are good, and is sort of an acquired taste. My wife doesn’t like half smokes, and I eat them when in the mood.
But if you left Ben’s chili bowl without trying the Chili, you need to go back.
Sure, it’s not the world’s greatest chili, but the world’s greatest is debatable. It’s got it’s own distinct flavor. On a hotdog, or even half smoke, it’s great.
I highly recommend Ben’s for breakfast.
I was quite taken by the story of how Ben’s was not destroyed by the 1968 revolt and anchored a neighborhood in transistion. The nearby memorial to African-American Civil War soldiers was also an opportunity to educate my son. And I liked the historical markers around the area about the neighborhood’s past. The dogs were pretty good but the restaurant’s history is what impressed me the most.
I wasn’t overwhelmed by the food, but was pleased nonetheless. The half smoke was quite enjoyable (and unique to me), we skipped the fries (didn’t know [:(] ) and had a nice piece of cake. A 7 of 10 is about right for the food, but the atmosphere and legacy add points. Friendly people, late night racial harmony and an inner city success story with good food that I can’t get at home…that’s why I’d recommend Ben’s.
Sometimes it’s just getting there to see what all the fuss is about…to walk where illustrious Roadfooders before you strode, to fill in that big dance card of all the great places you hope to visit.
I thought with the chains relegated to their own forum we would not have to put up with this anti-chain drivel.
1. The story about this man
2. His fortitude
3. Has good food
4. IT IS NOT A DAMN CHAIN!!![:o)][:o)][:o)][:o)][:o)][:o)]
I liked Ben’s but i wondered what the fuss was about.
Publicity sure can bring a company business… More I hear about Bens, the more I think Yesterdog can smoke their half smokes! 🙂
Well, I finally got to DC and went straight to Ben’s to try the infamous Half-Smokes I had read so much about. I would give it about a 7 on a scale of 10. A bit more expensive and not as good as I had expected. I also tried the fries as recommended on this board and was not thrilled with them also they were as good as the average fry you get here and there.
The best thing I can say about the visit is I can now get some sleep and stop laying awake all night wondering if I am ever going to get to Ben’s before I croak! <grin>
Good point, TheEdge. I think ben continues to business on "marketing". The last time I went my half smoke was burnt and clearly old. Not going back. The place is just not that great. Not even average for the $ they charge you.
DC is screaming for a great hotdog/half smoke place.
I was in Baltimore. Had a power dog next to the hard rock cafe. pretty good.
I agree with ChezKatie on Ben’s food quality.
Also, when in DC, be sure to hit these other family run and one of a kind places: (neighborhood in parenthesis)
Old Glory – BBQ. They make many styles, all "authentic." (Georgetown) All BBQ joints that aren’t a chain should be mentioned in roadfood.com.
Tony Chen’s Mongolian BBQ and Seafood Restaurant. THE Chinese restaurant to go to when in DC. (Chinatown). The place to stop at when travelling to DC. I wonder where Tony Chen is these days?
Harry’s Pub – pub food, great prices on both food and drink in the heart of downtown. Many locals go here for happy hour. I haven’t been disappointed yet. (Downtown) Locally owned, sole location. It would be a diner, if it wasn’t for the full bar.
Full Nee – another great chinese restaurant still in Chinatown. Not many of these good ones left. A DC Cheap Eats favorite. (Chinatown) Cheap ethic
Cafe Divan – Turkish food (Mediterranian) great food, reasonable prices, nice service. This was my choice of restaurants for my graduate graduation dinner. I still go there. (Georgetown) Locally owned and operated. Just this one location.
Max’s Best – Super Yummy ice-cream made by Max on site (Glover Park) Family run – the one and only.
Bob and Edith’s Diner – this should be reviewed in Roadfood! Great food, long history, locally known.(Arlington, VA) Classic roadfood establishment.
Mr. Chen’s Organic Chinese – it’s take out, but it would be one of the best area Chinese restaurants if they had a dining room – and it’s inexpensive to boot. (Woodley Park) Family run.
Ugly Mug – the best darn little burgers you’ll ever eat. Good salads too! (Barracks Row) Well known D.C. chef opened his own place.
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar: Cuban and Puerto Rican food. Sizzlin’! and be sure to catch Chuck Smith singing in the piano bar on Friday nights. (Barracks Row) One of a kind restaurant.
Georgetown Cafe. This place has that mom and pop, unpretentious look. Along with cheap prices, and a mixed menu of classics, this cafe is a bit of an oddball for Georgetown. Not very Georgetownonian – that’s a good thing. (Georgetown) Classic Roadfood place.
Horace and Dickie’s – take out seafood. The fish sandwich is to die for. (Cap Hill/H Street Corridor) Has to be roadfood, you can’t eat there!
Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe – cheap eats! Poy boy’s, crawfish, etc. Very cosy joint. Be sure to get the beignets! (Adams Morgan)
Tryst: Down to earth diner food, with trendy atmosphere. Weird mix, but great food (Adams Morgan) Roadfood with a "tryst."
The Market Lunch – there’s only one city market left, and this lunch stand still serves up a great breakfast and lunch diner menu with some seafood choices. (Eastern Market) Classic Roadfood place
Kavanaughs Pizza Pub. Kevin bought this Faccia Luna restaurant location from his Penn State buddies. No longer a part of the small Faccia Luna chain, the pizza is still the best brick oven pizza in DC. The improved entrees and appetizers ALL very resonably priced, makes this a very popular neighborhood restaurant. (Glover Park) Kevin, the owner, works on-site. You occasionally see his new baby checking on dad’s work.
Mama Ayesha’s – middle eastern food. Since Lebanese Taverna, though family owned, is a small chain, you may want to try this little cafe instead. The food is equally as good, if not better, and the owner’s family is always greeting you at the door and serving your meal. (Woodley Park/Adams Morgan)
If you will read my post above, I stated that the food at Ben’s is good…………..in fact, it is great! So much better if there is tradition, history, and quirkiness.[8D]
Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC
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