Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington DC

I had a few hours to kill after dropping my daughter off at a Blues Alley concert last month, so I decided to hop over to Ben's for a chili halfsmoke. I'd only been there once before, and loved the atmosphere, the history and, of course, the food.

I got my food and went to sit down. I wasn't in my seat more than 10 seconds when an elderly fellow in a leather jacket hurried over to the table.

"You know where you're sittin', boy?"

I looked at the little chrome and vinyl chair and the wonderful Formica table.

"No. Where?"

"That's where Barack sat."

"Really? Right here?

"Yessir." He pointed to the chair on the other side of the table. "And Fenty sat right there."

Before I was done, two other people, including a little kid who couldn't have been more than 10, breathlessly informed of the same fact. It made my halfsmoke a little more perfect to realize that just a month earlier, Barack Obama's butt was in the same place as mine.

Makes me wonder about the other famous patrons. Did Ella sit here? The Duke? Dr. King?

I think I need another half smoke.

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