Tag Archives: half-smoke

Ben’s Chili Bowl (Washington, DC)

As I’ve mentioned here several times before, I have a soft spot for one of the DC area’s unique food items. Indeed, you can read my previous treatise on DC’s most notable item, the half-smoke. But, after reading that and some of the comments I received from both my readers here and on flickr, I realized I’ve been amiss in visiting the mother of all half-smoke joints: Ben’s Chili Bowl.

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Hot Dog varieties: The Half-Smoke

One of my simple guilty pleasures that I indulge in on every trip to the DC metro area: A “Half Smoke” hot dog , with mustard and “cooked onion” sauce. Many of you that aren’t from broader Washington, DC metropolitan area are probably asking, “what the heck is a half-smoke?” Like many areas (Chicago and Rochester being particularly good examples), Washington, DC has it’s own particular variant of the hot dog, the half-smoke. A half-smoke is a close cousin to the hot dog, but is a slightly larger and spicier sausage, with a level of seasoning halfway between a typical smoked sausage and a hot dog, hence the name. Interestingly, however, the sausage itself isn’t smoked (halfway or otherwise).

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