Meb Byrne

The Legendary Half-Smoke

In dc, recommended, restaurant, street food on July 2, 2009 at 8:50 am

My dear friend and fellow blogger Rochelle recently posed the question of where to find the best hot dog on her website, Sexy Girls Eat. I tackle the issue, one which has baffled mankind through the ages, here.

Made famous by a recent visit from our current President, Ben’s Chili Bowl is located on U Street in Washington, DC. The area is historically run-down and dangerous at night, but U Street is slowly being gentrified. Ben’s Chili Bowl is a landmark there, having remained open since its debut in 1958. The tiny shack is always packed with customers who wait in a mob rather than a line; the staff is personable and takes orders rapid-fire. This past weekend, the cooks sang and danced with great gusto to Michael Jackson songs blaring on the PA.

Ben’s Chili Bowl offers many options, but their most famous dish is the half-smoke, a plump, smoky sausage that’s half beef and half pork. Order it “with everything” (chili, onions and mustard.) The half smoke packs a punch, with the mustard adding a flavorful zing. Served in red plastic baskets with tongfuls of Ruffles potato chips, this hot dog is not to be missed. (Obama thinks so, too.)

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hawkins Online.
  1. :o) Delicious delicious delicious

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