City Desk

The Needle: More Chili Edition

Ben's H Street Chili Bowl: When the Ali family, which owns Ben's Chili Bowl, bought property on H Street NE, they played coy about what kind of establishment they'd open there. Would it be a second outpost of the original on U Street NW? Or would it be some other restaurant altogether? The answer: More chili! There will be a bar upstairs and a half-smoke joint on the main floor. No word on how that will cut down on late-night cab runs from H Street to U Street for post-last-call chili cheese fries. +2

Auditor Burgled: With all the various investigations going on into aspects of D.C. government, the city auditor's office is a busy place. Which is why a break-in at the office Monday afternoon and the theft of two laptops from inside is alarming—the auditor's office is working on two dozen separate investigations right now into wrongdoing. Might some target of the office's watchdog work be trying to emulate Richard Nixon's worst impulses? -2

Taxation Without E-Representation: The District government's websites are pretty helpful for things like renewing a driver's license, nosily looking up how much someone paid for their house, or getting stats about the city. Except when hackers have attacked it in order to protest the U.S. government. What, exactly, dc.gov has to do with federal policy is unclear to us, but maybe that's why we keep having to reboot our computer to make it work properly. -2

Getting Crabby: What will you be eating a lot of this summer? Maryland blue crabs. The harvest from the Chesapeake Bay is set to be the largest in two decades, Virginia and Maryland officials say. Look for crab specials on menus of local restaurants, discounts on crabcakes at the grocery store, and low prices per bushel at the beach. Will residents accustomed to hoarding bread, milk, and toilet paper ahead of snow storms begin hoarding Old Bay? +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 45 Today's score: -1 Today's Needle rating: 44

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