Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC

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rebi
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2009/04/10 09:24:14 (permalink)

Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC

Even though I am Washingtonian, I have never dined at Ben's Chili Bowl until yesterday.  The place is nothing to speak of, but was very crowded with the advent of a huge tour group. 
I ordered a half-smoke with chili and onions and my husband ordered a large beef hot dog.  We got fries, milkshake and homemade cake to round out the healthy meal!!
I was so so disappointed with the chili.  Couldn't find a bean or a fragment of meat in it.  And, to add insult to injury, the onions they use are reconsituted onions.....little dried onion flakes that they been soaked.  Yuk.  What happened to good old fresh chopped onions that give you heartburn long after the meal???  And, no shredded cheese was offered on my hot dog either.
I noticed that the cheese fries are covered with "cheese" sauce, but we just got our plain.  They were okay, but the oil they were fried it had a food flavor and probably should have been changed.
They offer turkey hot dogs and all beef hot dogs, but no kosher hot dogs.  My spouse said that the all beef was just fair.  Kind of pricey too at $5.20.  Roll was just a plain, cheap roll.  A nice potato roll would have been much better.
Milkshake was small but good.  Cake pretty good (they don't bake it there), but not enough icing.
All in all, I'll go downtown next time to give their other restaurant (ben's next door) a try as I heard that the short ribs are good.  However, Ben's Chili Bowl, is a DC landmark and has sustained years of business so they must be doing something right.  Perhaps, I am just too picky.
#1

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    i95
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 09:30:05 (permalink)
    Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
    #2
    Greymo
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 10:10:38 (permalink)
    I think that you just may not really be into real  Roadfood.  I can remember reading a trip report of your when you were most critical of one of the best places to eat breakfast in  Baltimore

    I did not respond as I thought  "Oh well, she must have been there on a bad day" (although I had never heard anyone being critical of their wonderful food.

    Then I recall you making the comment that there was no butter by the bread at Harold's Deli.  I just smiled to myself as I read that.

    Hope that you come up with a positive experience  soon.  In the meantime, I hope to get down to Ben's for the great ambiance  and a wonderful half smoke really soon!
    #3
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 13:31:52 (permalink)
    #4
    rebi
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 14:14:05 (permalink)
    Because I read and respond on Roadfood, I can't have my own opinion about places and is it my fault that three places I tried turned out to be not as good as perhaps others have thought or written? 
     
    I guess I should just write only about those that are terrific.  If you love food, cook and bake as I do, then one could have slightly more discriminating taste.
     
    No one said that Ben's, Harold's or that place in Balto. aren't landmarks because of all those who have written about them.  To me, quality is more important than quantity or landmarks.  And, with millions and millions of places to dine this world over, I'd better hustle.
     
    I hope that Greymo will enjoy Ben's.  I wonder if he read my complimentary views on a drive-in I tried in New Jersey??
    #5
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 14:46:05 (permalink)
    You expected beans and chunks of meat in the chili on you half-smoke? How odd.
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 15:03:04 (permalink)
    rebi
    my complimentary views on a drive-in I tried in New Jersey

    Link, please?

    #7
    ann peeples
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 15:24:42 (permalink)
    LOL, i 95!
    #8
    rbpalmer
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 15:59:05 (permalink)
    Rebi, I didn't interpret any of the replies as saying that you are not entitled to your opinions, or entitled to express your opinions about Ben's or about any other eating establishment. It's just that when those opinions are inconsistent with the experiences of other posters, they are likely to let you know about it. And that's a large part of what this forum is all about. It would just be very boring if everyone always agreed about the merits of every restaurant. 
     
    Re: the chili - Are you saying there was NO meat in it? That would be strange. It isn't "meatless" chili, and every time I've gone to Ben's, it's had plenty of (ground) beef in it.  
    #9
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 16:07:05 (permalink)
    TJ Jackson

    rebi
    my complimentary views on a drive-in I tried in New Jersey

    Link, please?


    I it might be this one:
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=481034&high=
     
     
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2009/04/10 16:08:35
    #10
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 16:23:54 (permalink)
    That doesn't seem to fit the description of a drive-in, Don.....
    #11
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 16:48:46 (permalink)
    #12
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 17:03:08 (permalink)
    Hmm, the review is indeed positive and is indeed about a diner in NJ, but it's the responses to the original post that are the most interesting part.....
    #13
    brickie
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 17:33:15 (permalink)
    What a reception rebi!
    Tinfoil hats for everyone!
    post edited by brickie - 2009/04/10 17:36:40
    #14
    saps
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 20:11:26 (permalink)
    Good to see that everything is still the same here.
    #15
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Ben's Chili Bowl - Washington, DC 2009/04/10 20:26:57 (permalink)
    Ah, brickie, I see your tinfoil hat is cocked to the rear.
    #16
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