Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ben's Chili Bowl (more food that looks like poo)

Ben's Chili Bowl (storefront)

Last April, I had a chance to visit DC on a business trip (how's that for backlogged!) and instead of focusing on what I was supposed to actually accomplish for work, my mind drifted instead to what I wanted to eat. The only thing that actually came to mind was Ben's Chili Bowl, a joint made famous by President Obama for something called the "half smoke." While I never really expect any hot dog to transcend all culinary achievement, I was definitely intrigued when I saw Danny's photo of it - noting that it looks like a poo covered hot dog. Going by my faithful doctrine, that meant one thing: it had to be good. Also I'm a huge fan of processed meat and chili, so there really wasn't much that could go wrong here. Plus, look at that line! While that would normally be a deterrent in Chinatown, for non-Asian cuisine? That many people crowding a single establishment gives me a food-stiffy. What glory does this pseudo-shit covered meat amalgam hide? Is it as wonderful as our dear leader say it is?

That shit is so cash.

Such good chili

That said, I'm also the type of guy who's okay with NYC hot dog carts (not with the price, but with the taste), questionable street meat, and weird deli sandwiches - so take whatever I say about the half smoke with a grain of salt, but shit... they've got their chili and hot dog knowledge down. Sure, NYC has Crif Dog, which for all intents and purposes is 'okay,' and we have Japadog, which I think is insanely overpriced for what it is, but is still good, but whoever Ben is... he basically shits on them when it comes to dog tech.

Half-smoke, fries, and a chocolate shake

THIS IS 'MERICUH. Look at this All-American meal - an order of a half smoke, a giant bowl of perfectly golden fries, and a huge-ass chocolate shake. I'd be unpatriotic if I didn't eat it all. And you know what? It was wonderful. Surrounded by freedom, I hugged my arteries with the love of thousands of calories. The delicious sweetness of hearty chili, whose consistency was halfway between lentil and meat, combined with a saltiness unmistakably associated with heavily processed meats bundled oh-so-tight in a snappy casing overwhelmed my tasted buds with flavor (and my heart with imminent pain). Past that... it was inevitable, Ben's half smoke would surely deliver freedom to my bowels in a way that hasn't been seen since we signed the Declaration of Independence. Just kidding, it wasn't that monumental, but it was damn good. At the end of the day, it's just a hot dog covered with chili, but me saying that alone should be good enough. Both those things are fucking fantastic and should need no further endorsement.

tl;dr - I found more food that looks like poo, this time it's a chili dog that some dude named Obama fucking loves. It tastes like Freedom, and will likely liberate your asshole the next day.

Ben's Chili Bowl
1213 U Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009


Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Kryptonite (Girl Scout cookies)

A full box of Samoas

Aside from bullets, they are my only weakness. Actually that's not true, I also have a debilitating fear of cockroaches, swimming, and public speaking... but Girl Scout cookies are definitely up there when it comes to things that scare the living shit out of me. I know, you're probably thinking - "you asshat! How can you be scared of delicious delicious baked goods sold by smiling little girls covered in flair pins?" That's a very good question. Superficially, Girl Scouts are innocent and harmless creatures who are learning about life skills and philanthropy by selling boxes of buttery delights, but underneath that perfect image of civility is the devil in disguise. They are harbingers of evil! Every year around this time, they storm around the suburbs and they terrorize every former fat person's dreams. These beret-toting crusaders go out peddling $4 boxes of heart-disease and poverty, leaving strong men broken and crying in their wake. Do I hate them? Oh yes I do. They deserve a special place in Hell for the torment they bring me... yet, I also have inexplicable love for the overpriced bites of shame they deliver. I swear... Girl Scout cookies must be laced with crack.

Girl Scout Cookies

See that girl on the right wearing the fireman's helmet? She could burn down your house and no one would even know. That girl on the left in the tire swing? You think she's smiling because she's having fun? No, she's smiling because she knows she can jack up your cholesterol and there's nothing you can do to stop her. When was the last time you had a Thin Mint and stopped at one? Maybe one box. You never just have one. You know how many calories are in that box? Doesn't matter. While the amount of shame you gain by crushing an entire box of cookies in 10 minutes is certainly significant, it's also proportional to how goddamn addictive those motherfuckers are.

Tagalong box

And her! In her little kayak, smiling fiendishly. She could drown you in that lake and no one would be the wiser, but instead - she delivers boxes of death to your doorstep and you gladly give her money to do so. The sudden realization that Girl Scout cookies are like cigarettes feelsbadman.jpg.


Eat cat shit Tagalongs. There are few things in the world I like more than peanut butter. Back in college, I'd routinely go ape shit on jars of Peanut Butter & Co's 'Chocolate Dreams,' crushing a single container and a loaf of Wonderbread (RIP) in a single sitting. Tagalongs are basically the same thing as 'Chocolate Dreams,' but instead of bread, now you have vanilla shortbread. It's like some sort of sick twist of a peanut butter sandwich invented by Paula Deen. Seriously, how much more sadistic can you get? You might as well inject butter into my veins and call it a day.

Singular Samoa

Have you ever had a Samoa? Caramel, coconut, chocolate, and pure sex. There's no separation of flavors, there's no subtlety, there's just thick and overpowering sweetness with a hint of texture from the coconut. Mashing one up in your mouth is about the most gratifying experience you can have, but you know what's better? Going at it twenty times in a row. The problem? The serving size is two. Two freakin' cookies. What sort of Herculean asshat are you if you can stop after two?! This shit probably stands at the top of my list of great sins, but I can easily throw down 2+ boxes at once. I think that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 30+ grams of sweet sweet saturated fats in an hour. Like I said, Girl Scouts - biggest scumbag Steves in the world.

What's the point of this post? I want everyone to see the evil that is the Girl Scouts of America. Sure, it's a wonderful program for youth that focuses on building character, but at what cost? I know I'm powerless against their devilishly delicious campaigning, and you all are too... I just wanted to bring to light the real life horror story that are: Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas, and a cadre of other death biscuits.

tl;dr - Girl Scouts are secretly assholes. Assholes who peddle death one $4 box of cookies at a time. Beware, they are everywhere.