Here’s one for the home folks.
Come August, a Washington institution will celebrate its 50th anniversary... Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Coincidentally, I just returned from Indiana, where I met a guy called “Punk Rock Don.” When Don found out I was from D.C., the first thing he asked me about was Ben’s Chili Bowl.
I never hung out at Ben’s. But back in the ’80s, I was one of a group of reporters who interviewed Bill Cosby inside the restaurant. Cosby is a famous fan; he used to take Camille there on dates.
Among others who’ve eaten at Ben’s Chili Bowl: Martin Luther King, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Marian Anderson, Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, Redd Foxx... on up to the new breed: Denzel Washington, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker, Dr. Dre, Allen Iverson, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton...
So I say “Happy Anniversary” to the Ali family.
Below is a 2½-minute video recently done by the U.S. government’s Voice of America service. If it doesn’t make you hungry for a half-smoke, there’s something wrong with you.