A colleague asked me, as a Howard University graduate, if I had eaten at the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl. Unfortunately, I was too broke back in the day to do Ben’s (although we got pretty decent half-smokes from Leon “Pierre” Slade on the campus).
This restaurant, a Washington DC landmark since the 1950’s, is famous not only for its classic fare but for its famous clientèle, which include:
- Dr. Cornell West
- Hillary Clinton
- Bill Cosby
- Denzel Washington
- Chris Rock
- and, Yours Truly...
Okay, so maybe I am not in the same league as the aforementioned, but everyone that hears the name of this joint experience simultaneous widening of the eyes and watering of the mouth.
Of course, I made sure to pop some chitosan, glucomannan, psyllium, oat bran, and a Lipitor® tablet when I saw the chef take the french fry basket and shake the grease from the fries onto the half-smokes.
It made me think of another favorite eatery, Dyers in Memphis. They are famous for deep-fried cheeseburgers... using the same grease (recycled, natch) that the founder used when the original restaurant opened roughly a century ago. Yum!
I enjoyed the chili half-smoke with onions and mustard... and the chili cheese fries. Sadly, the milkshake machine was busted. It saved me from deciding whether I wanted a vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, or pineapple flavored shake.
And now, I will begin my diet of bran flakes and Omega 6’s...