Young and Hungry

Vox Populi: Restaurant Rater RR on Hall of Famer, Ben’s Chili Bowl


File this under You Can't Please Everyone.

Just a day after winning the debut D.C. Dish Hall of Fame contest, Ben's Chili Bowl gets cold water splashed on its face from Restaurant Rater RR, who writes about a recent experience:

Nothing great about the food or chili. Its a DC landmark but way over priced! 11 dollars for a halfsmoke with chili and a medium fruit punch? That's crazy. Go to 7-11 and get the same thing for 4 dollars its a block away and you can still see the place.

I'm sure you have plenty to say in response to RR's brief slap. Head to the Restaurant Raters page and get a-commentin'!


  1. #1

    A half-smoke with Chili at Ben's is listed at $5.20. With a large fruit-punch you're up to $7.60. I have no idea where the the $11 comes from other than exaggeration.

    I'll pay the extra $3.60 (pre-tax) for authentic BCB to the ranter's heat lamped 7-11 combo.

    This reminds me of the yelper who complained that Taylor Gourmet cost more than Subway.

  2. #2

    God forbid that tasting better comes with a higher price tag!

    I'm calling for vigilante justice against any comments, reviews, Yelp-crap, etc. that complain about "high" prices for food that is clearly of higher quality than the baseline alternative. Drop that half-smoke and go stuff your stingy pie-hole at the Costco food court or Old Country Buffet.

  3. #3

    But is Ben's really good? I mean really good? That cheese glows with it's own fluorescence and the half-smoke? Sometimes I think they're pretty gross. Certainly I've gone an indulged on occasion. At 3 am it's your only choice and I love the story that accompanies the place... but.

    It's like Pat's and Gino's in Philly. It's not really a GOOD cheese steak right? It's a story. A phantom. A piece of a cities history. You're paying for nostalgia... not a quality product.

    or am I an asshole?

  4. #4

    I dunno. Five Guys is really good, though. No doubt.

  5. #5

    I don't know if you're an asshole or not but Geno's (note the spelling) is the real deal. Nostalgia doesn't get it done; you must deliver the goods - BCB delivers.

  6. #6

    The reality: The half smokes that Ben's was famous for are no longer made from the B-More company (Briggs I believe) that used to handmake them. Once the company was sold, the name was retained but inferior products were used and Ben's had to go elsewhere for their meats.

    It's a great legendary place but for a great halfsmoke, go to Michigan Ave. and Eastern right across from Union Wesley AME church to the little hole-in-the-wall carryout and see the Black lady that cooks there...she makes the best grissle free halfsmokes in town. She dips them in the french fry grease, then grills it...the best

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