Football and a Ben’s Chili Bowl Half-Smoke

You know how when a successful restaurant opens a small franchise at the airport or something, the food’s not as good there as at the original spot?  I think that’s what happened with my Ben’s Chili Bowl experience.

This is a half-smoke from the Ben’s Chili Bowl concession stand at FedEx Field. (Amazing football game by the way. That RGIII — wow.)

It was a half-smoke “all the way,” which I think referred to it coming loaded with chili and chopped onions.

As pre-football food, not bad. It was a sausage, after all. But on its own merits? And after all I’d heard about the legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl? Not particularly memorable. I thought half-smokes were supposed to be spicy and smoky; didn’t taste much of that.  And the watery chili wasn’t all that mind-blowing.

Again, this was from a concession stand at a football stadium. They were churning these out. Maybe at the U Street Ben’s, more care is taken to get the half-smoke and chili just right.

Still though, give me a Fenway Park sausage, peppers and onions over a half-smoke any day. I’m a Washingtonian now, but I guess I’m not quite that Washingtonian.

Ben’s Chili Bowl
FedEx Field
1600 FedEx Way
Landover, MD

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