Best Half-Smoke

Ben
1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 667-0909

Half the experience is just about sitting in this cramped, smoky, and noisy space, which drips as much history as grease. The other half is about the smoky, salty, spicy sausage itself, which makes a mockery of all those pretenders peddled from downtown street carts. Which half makes the half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl the best around? Hard to say. The two are inseparable, really. This year’s baseball season, of course, presents the first real test for Ben’s half-smoke; the joint’s version of D.C.’s signature snack is available at the Nats’ new stadium. Does the sausage taste as good without 50 years of history surrounding it?

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