Posts Tagged ‘ben ali’

Can Ben’s Chili Bowl Expand and Keep Its Soul?

By 3:30 p.m. the day after Ben’s Chili Bowl opened its new location in Rosslyn last week, the line still stretched to the very back of the restaurant. It’d been that way, if not curving down the sidewalk, since 11 a.m., said co-owner Nizam Ali, when a crowd was already waiting for the doors to […]

Bill Cosby Joins Love Fest for Ben’s Chili Bowl’s 55th Anniversary

Only five people eat for free at Ben’s Chili Bowl: the four members of the Obama family and Bill Cosby. So it was only appropriate that Cosby, a longtime Ben’s advocate and half-smoke fanatic, joined co-founder Virginia Ali and her family to ring in Ben’s 55th anniversary today. Cosby was joined by Mayor Vince Gray, […]

Chili Relations: Anthony Holmon Takes on Ben’s Chili Bowl

Anthony Ulysses Holmon doesn’t work at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Not anymore, anyway. But he still wears the jacket. The shiny maroon hoodie emblazoned with the Ben’s logo set him back $50 when he served as the night manager at D.C.’s most famous hot dog joint, Holmon says. And he’s determined to get his money’s worth. […]

Tell the World You Eat Like the President

Y&H isn't sure why it took Ben's Chili Bowl more than a year to capitalize on Barack Obama's visit to the landmark eatery. Maybe brothers Kamal and Nizam Ali wanted to wait long enough so people forgot that, technically, Obama was only the president-elect when he dropped by in early January '09. Obama wouldn't be sworn […]

The Year in D.C. Food & Drink

Tacos took off in D.C. in 2009 Good God, I can even begin to wrap my mind around all the things that happened on the D.C. dining scene during the past 12 months. Fortunately, not all of them were as apocalyptic as the closing of your favorite restaurant or the passing of Ben Ali. For […]

Bill Cosby Still Sweet on the Half-Smoke at Age 72

At 72, Bill Cosby might be at an age when his doctor looks the comedian dead in the eye and says, "Bill, I'm telling you, if you want to see 73, lay off the half-smokes." Well, if Cos has ever heard those words, he's not heeding them. Nizam Ali, youngest son of founders Virginia and the late […]

Say Hello to the Inaugural Class of the D.C. Dish Hall of Fame

Yesterday, readers of the Young & Hungry newsletter (hint, hint: sign up at right) got first word on who won the D.C. Dish Hall of Fame. Today, we tell everyone the results of our debut contest, which we launched back in October with the idea of sussing out the dishes that best define the D.C. metro area. […]

Have a Special Memory of Ben’s? Share It at Ben Ali’s Memorial.

All three of Ben Ali's sons plan to speak at the memorial service set for Friday at the Lincoln Theatre, right next door to the greasy spoon he made famous.  Mayor Adrian Fenty may speak, too, but as of this afternoon, no other people, famous or otherwise, are scheduled to honor the founder of Ben's […]

This Week’s Greatest Hits on Young & Hungry

Controversy over Esquire's selection for Chef of the Year. The passing of Ben Ali. The New York Times' investigation into commercial ground beef. All of these have been major subjects on the blog this week. And yet: The most-read item this week beat out Select 55 by a mere five clicks. Barton Seaver to Be […]

R.I.P. Ben Ali: A Look Back at What You Created

Y&H wishes he knew who produced this segment on Ben's Chili Bowl. It captures some nice moments, like this one from Nizam Ali, son of founder Ben, who died yesterday at 82. Nizam Ali talks about the struggle to maintain U Street's African-American identity in the face of gentrification: "It's a duty to be here," he says. […]

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