Saturday, April 16, 2011

Best Place in DC for Root Beer & Chili Dogs - Ben's Chili Bowl

Located in the bustling Shaw neighborhood of Northwest D.C. is this landmark diner that has been serving the best chili in town since 1958. Beyond the amazing chili this small eatery has been at the very heart of the best and worst days this city has seen.

In 1968 during the infamous riots, Ben's remained opened to serve both law enforcement officers and activists alike. A decade before that, Jazz greats like Miles Davis and Nat King Cole would stop in after their late-night shows on U Street. In more recent times Bill Cosby has been known to not only grab a chili dog but even serve some to unsuspecting customers. But the most wondrous event at Ben's occurred when newly elected, President Barack Obama stopped in during his initial tour of his new resident city.

Ray and I found ourselves in Ben's during the lunch rush and enjoyed watching the courteous and quick staff running around to ensure everyone was served and well fed. I was very happy to see that Barq's was on the menu which greatly complimented the slightly spicy chili dogs that I quickly enjoyed. I always find it surreal to sit in such historic places and watch the hustle of all the people while I enjoy a nice cold root beer. It goes without saying that Ray enjoyed his chili dogs as well, with an ice tea of course!!


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